Having trained on presentation skills a number of times, I understand peoples' reluctance to step into the lime light.
I also note that most of us think that, if you're an extrovert you'll be a naturally good presenter; conversely, if you're an introvert you will never be able to move in a position which calls for this skill. Actually, neither of those sweeping statements is fact.
What we aren’t reading is the second word - ‘skill’. If something is a skill and you have sufficient interest, aptitude and a great attitude, you can learn to become a competent presenter.
Understand that every single one of us, introvert and extrovert alike, is actually selling - all day long. We don’t call it selling, we call it persuading. But the required outcome is always a need or wish to convince someone else that we are credible, worth getting to know, knowledgeable or generally able to add value to their day.
This being said, do not fall into any of the traps below.
1. Do not go into it unprepared. Irrespective of how good your communication skills are, lack of preparation will be your down fall. Interestingly, the introverts amongst us are most unlikely to try to wing it. Our extroverts can be over confident. It’s really tempting to rely on our confidence to mitigate a lack of good preparation.
2. Do not forget to practise with your electronic aids before-hand, so you know exactly how each device operates. This needs to be seamless.
3. Never simply read your speech off the power point slides on your screen. Your audience can do that for themselves. Understand that aids are there to re-inforce what you are saying, not take the place of what you should be explaining.
4. Do not arrive late. Give yourself plenty of time to get there and set up before people start arriving.
5. Don’t speak on a subject which you haven’t researched. I like to think that the information you have included in your presentation is just the tip of the ice-berg, and the hidden bulk represents the rest of your knowledge on the subject. The more you know, the more confident you will feel.
6. Do not try to be a stand-up comic. Use humour sparingly – it's a great icebreaker, but only if you are able to carry it off naturally.
These are just a few of the “no no’s’’ when it comes to compiling and delivering a good presentation.
Our Presentation Skills workshop is designed to take the guess work out of delivering a killer presentation.
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