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How to hone your presentation skills

Introduction

Presentation skills are not just for boardroom discussions or for the reveal of a new product. We are using our presentation skills all the time. When we "present" ourselves to another individual, we are using our presentation skills. Honing your presentation skills may initially be more focused on learning how to better present a formal presentation to a group of people, but also remember that in order to hone your presentation skills, you need to start with the presenter.

Instructions


The presentation skills that you will need will vary depending on the line of business that you are in. Presenting products and introducing a new management technique are both very different things and therefore will be presented in totally different manners. Remember that honing presentation skills is important because whenever you give a presentation the whole point of doing so is to get the attention or catch the interest of whomever it is that is in the room.

Steps to honing your presentation skills

1. Know your stuff - If you know that you will be giving a presentation on something you had better take the time to educate yourself about that topic. You don't just have to know what you are talking about, but you have to know more than anyone else in the room about the topic that you are presenting. You must become the expert. When giving a presentation chances are that your listeners will have questions for you. Not knowing the answers to these questions can be detrimental to the success of your presentation.

2. Know your audience - Presenting to the board of directors is going to be a completely different experience from giving a presentation to the local supervisors of a small branch. Tailor your presentation to the ability levels of the people that you are talking to. Using a lot of proper English and advanced terms may make you sound smart, but they do not make for a good presentation.

3. Be original - We have all sat through presentations where we are lectured on material that we already feel we know everything about. Make sure that your presentation has original subject matter and that you do not bore your audience with what they already know. If there are times when you will have to present on a topic that your audience is already familiar with, look for ways to present new information that will spark their interest. Some of the most interesting presentations are those that address common issues in a completely original way. Try to find a different side to what you will be presenting that will get your audience thinking.

4. Be under control - Nervous presenters tend to make everyone in the room nervous. By preparing yourself mentally and physically for a presentation, that could very well be extremely intimidating, you will not only feel better but you will exude more confidence and you will be better able to handle questions that may be difficult to answer. If you have done your homework, you should be confident in what you know.

Other tips

Some of the most popular presenters have a great deal in common with great motivational speakers and story tellers. A good presenter puts on an informative show that leaves his audience feeling engaged, interested, and wanting to learn more. Anyone can learn how to hone their presentation skills. Usually the most difficult part of doing so is learning how to be confident in yourself. If you are unsure of how to do this, consider attending workshops or seminars that are designed to help hone your presentation skills. Observe other presenters and find ways to apply their strong points to your own presentation skills.


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