Presentation Skills – 5 Must Read Tips For New Presenters!

Ok, you have done the preparation, planning and practice so your presentation (or training session) should be fantastic, fun and fulfilling right? Maybe, but chances are you have not thought long and hard enough about managing the audience for results. Here are five tips you should read before presenting for the first time.

1. Focus on the audience

‘All about me’ is not going to invigorate your audience. Spend time understanding each of the audience members, asking them questions and getting to know their needs and motivations. Do not underestimate this step. This can make all the difference to how you present your information and how the audience responds.

2. Avoid speaking to fast

A common mistake when presenting is speaking to fast. This is often a result of presenters worrying that they will bore the audience. The problem is that the audience take time to digest new information. It might be easy to you; after all it is your area of specialty right? You have been doing it for years. Do yourself and the audience a favour and slow down, pause and allow them time to take on the new information. You will be surprised at the results.

3. Engage the audience

Get them involved. The techniques for this are endless. The basics include, asking them questions, doing activities, group work, using visuals, stories, quotes and humour to help keep their interest. Their understanding will greatly increase using this method so get creative!

4. Show enthusiasm

Is the audience bored, sending text messages or checking their watch? Perhaps you are not showing enthusiasm for a subject. If you are passionate about a subject (even if it is the hundredth time you have delivered the presentation, your voice tone will vary as you speak. This will make a world of difference. If you do not do it now, get practicing. Fake it if you have to! Your audience will be forever grateful.

5. Know the material

The best way to increase your confidence and ability to focus on the audience throughout a presentation is to know your material and your presentation inside out. Once you do this, the focus is back on the audience. See step 1.

Follow these tips and you will be five steps closer to a good presentation. It should be noted that these tips work very well for group training sessions as well. Good luck!