Persuasive Presentations – Key to Career Growth

How often have you had to sit in a corporate presentation only to find yourself bored to tears by the presenter? The information being presented is relevant and informative, but the presenter loses you quickly and your mind drifts off to other thoughts.

On the other hand, you may have experienced occasions where someone has enthralled you with his or her presentation, where you are completely focused on what is being said.

“There is no such thing as presentation talent, it is called Presentation Skills”-David JP Phillips

All it takes to hold the attention of an audience is to have captivating presentation skills. This can be learnt. Having the knowledge of how to give a presentation effectually will give a person the confidence needed to excel.

“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two! This means, to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.” – Jerry Seinfeld

Here are a few simple presentation skills tips:

  • Practice – as with any skill, practice makes perfect. Record your presentation on a video recorder and study the areas of improvement. When you feel satisfied with the quality of your work make a final recording and get your mentor or friend to give you feedback.
  • Preparation – the more you know the topic the more confident you will be and the more captivated your audience will be. Know your presentation thoroughly. If you have the presentation is in a PowerPoint and it is on your laptop, ensure you have taken a hard copy and a backup on your external hard disk. If all technology fails, your preparation should have been rigorous enough that you can conduct without any props.
  • Enjoy it – if you are passionate about the subject, your listeners will stay engaged with your infectious enthusiasm
  • Project your voice – make sure that when you speak, you enunciate clearly and have varying tones – both these techniques will engage the audience better
  • Make eye contact – glance around the room naturally, looking at different people in the audience and make eye contact with as many people as possible
  • Speak, don’t read – there is nothing worse than someone who stands up and reads out a speech word for word. It is boring and inhibits your ability to have eye contact with the audience and they are quickly lost
  • Speak slowly and clearly – don’t rush your presentation, which is easy to do when you are nervous. That is why practice is so important.
  • Be yourself – the more natural you are, the more people can relate to you. Use stories or experiences from your life to make a point.
  • Breathe deeply and relax – a deep breath does wonders in helping you to relax.

These easy tips will go a long way in helping a person to enhance ones presentation skills. Presentation Skills Training is a core topic of all leadership training programs as it is a skill that all people in senior positions must have. The training usually focus on three areas – understanding the audience needs, creating a powerful presentation and presenting with confidence.