Good presentation skills are essential in today's workplace. Even those workers who aren't required to make presentations regularly as part of their job may be expected to present information occasionally at meetings. Public speaking, even in a business setting among coworkers you see every day, can be stressful for many people. The three skills listed below can help you present well during any type of business presentation:
COMMUNICATING WITH THE AUDIENCE
The first step in your business presentation should be to form your message to meet the needs and expectations of your audience. Ask yourself what the purpose of your presentation is and what your audience is supposed to gain from it. Write this into a timed script and ask yourself if it's something that you would find appropriate if you were an audience member hearing it from someone else. Check to make sure the information you need to convey is logical and complete, yet also interesting to hear.
Tone is one of the most important presentation skills. Make sure your prepared script is natural-sounding and isn't pompous or insulting to anyone in any way. Practice your script a few times a day and then make simple bullet points of key words from the script on an index card. You can then begin practicing your presentation using the bullet points to prompt you if you get stuck. Having the card beside you on the actual presentation day can be a real confidence booster.
USING PRESENTATION TOOLS EFFECTIVELY
Whether you'll be using something like PowerPoint or just large charts, these visual tools can enhance your presentation skills in several ways. They can help take some of the visual focus off of you and this can make you feel more relaxed. Visual tools can also make the contents of your presentation easier for your audience to understand. Even a handout with bullets outlining your main points can help your audience gain clarity on what you're saying. Taking cues from respected higher ups at your company about which types of presentation tools to use can also enhance your corporate professionalism.
ANTICIPATING AUDIENCE QUESTIONS
Thinking like your audience can really improve your presentation skills. Anticipate the questions the audience could ask at the end of your presentation and have good answers ready. It's also very important to prepare yourself for how you'll answer any unexpected questions by practicing how you'll respond to questions you may feel are irrelevant or impossible to answer. Again, when you attend presentations by respected higher ups in your company, take cues from them. Notice how they deal with difficult questions and apply their techniques to suit your own position and style.