The National Institute of Mental Health reports that 73% of the population is affected by public speaking anxiety.
Are you one of the millions who experience fear when stepping out on a stage?
You aren’t alone if presenting in front of colleagues or strangers is the last thing you want to do for your career. But there is bound to be a time when presenting confidently is a must for your professional advancement. We are here to share how easy it is to achieve strong presentation skills.
Continue reading for the six ways to improve your public speaking and ensure your audience soaks in every word.
1. Practice Presentation Skills for Mastery
The most important part of mastering strong presentation skills is also the easiest: practice makes perfect. Confident speakers exude extreme knowledge of what they are presenting and talk with ease.
You should create ample time for practicing your presenter skills and the talk you are working on. Mastery comes in how and what you present, so don’t focus all efforts on memorizing a presentation while leaving out the confidence factor.
2. Ask for Questions
Engaging presentations encourage audience participation throughout the session. You can build your presentation skills by welcoming your audience to ask questions.
Pausing every few sentences for a question can be distracting for you and your audience. Section your presentation into relevant portions and ask the audience after each section for questions.
3. Maintain Eye Contact
One of the worst traps presenters fall into is not making eye contact during presentations. Your presenting skills will lack if you don’t build a connection through contact.
Focusing on participants is one of the key tips on how to give a good presentation. Attendees will also pay closer attention if they feel noticed.
Move your gaze from one side of the audience to the other as you talk, and make as many passes as your presentation allows. Adding excitement with hand gestures, voice inflections, and audience shoutouts compliments eye contact.
4. Don’t Add Too Much Text
It’s tempting to fill a visual presentation with words – maybe even full sentences to read. This makes your presentation boring, predictable, and un-engaging.
Use visuals to emphasize the important points you bring up. Create graphics and charts that follow along with your story. Highlight key points through quotes.
Visual design is a strong way to improve presentation skills and create an audience of active listeners.
5. Pause When Needed
Any great presenter can get nervous sharing ideas in front of audiences. You may speak quicker and stumble to get over the finish line.
A simple way to up your presentation skills is by allowing yourself to pause throughout the talk. Pauses won’t make you seem like you’ve forgotten content. Rather, these times where you take a deep breath create suspense or rest for the audience.
Giving a good presentation means taking care of your needs and, as Moxie Institute shares, feeling unstoppable.
6. Have a Backup Plan
What ifs can be a killer for confidence when getting in front of people. You can never plan for every mishap, but you can create a backup plan for the fails you are most anxious about.
Worried the tech won’t work or forgetting a part of your talk? Create easy plans that give you an out if your worries come to life.
Create a Captive Audience
Improving your presentation skills means you can confidently ace any work meeting, Ted talk, or event speech that comes your way. Use the six methods above to become a powerful presenter and remember that practice is key no matter how many talks you give.
Want to strengthen other business skills? Check out our full blog for tips and easy-to-dos.