Capture and Maintain Attention When Making Presentations
At work, employees are required to present in front of clients or senior managers. In school, students are also required to prepare presentations frequently. To truly impress an audience, here are several tips to improve one’s presentation skills.
Presenter: Not the Presentation Slides
Very often, people prepare for presentations by focusing most of their time on their presentation slides. However, this is not the most important part of the presentation. When presenting to an audience, the presenter should be what the audience focuses on. Any slides should serve as a guide or to help the audience understand the topic better. Therefore, any presenter should know the topic well in order to ensure that the presentation flows smoothly.
For presenters who find it hard to remember every single point of their slides, it is acceptable to prepare small notes to refer to during the presentation itself. However, do ensure that the notes are written or printed on small pieces of cards and not huge A4 size papers. This would be too distracting and look less professional.
Pictures Speak a Thousand Words
Although presentation slides should not be the main focus, it still plays an important role in bringing across the main gist of the presentation or speech. An important thing to note is that pictures attract more attention than words. An interesting picture could have the power to explain more, in comparison to having four or five bullet points on one slide.
Besides that, a graph or a chart can be used to show a clearer example of trends (especially for business-related presentations). On the other hand, science students who wish to illustrate the process or development of an organism can include a video or a slide show.
Practice, Practice, Practice: Practice Makes Perfect
It goes without saying that without practice, no one will be able to deliver a good presentation. A rehearsal allows for better preparation and the ironing out of smaller details with each extra round of practice.
A good way to prepare would be to record a video of the rehearsal. This would ensure that any inappropriate body language is noticed before the actual presentation itself. Besides that, if possible, rehearse in front of a live audience. This would enable the presenter to practice eye contact with the audience.
Public speaking is a useful skill to obtain. By preparing well before the presentation and allocating time to rehearse, this will enable presenters to capture the audience’s attention and maintain it throughout the presentation.