Improving Your Presentation Skills

 

Improving Your Presentation Skills

Manchester Youth Information Centre

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1. Do your research.

Researching the topic as thoroughly as you can is your best bet for making them believe every single word you say. Hit the Internet and talk to experts to get a better idea of your subject. The more research you do, the more confident you'll be about giving your presentation. And if you're more confident, you'll be better at giving your presentation.

2. Know your audience.

If you know you'll be presenting to your fellow classmates, then you have to think about what will intrigue and interest them. If you're presenting your topic to a group of specialists, then you can assume they know the lingo; if you're presenting a complicated topic to a group of eighth graders, however, then you'll have to simplify it so they can follow along.

3. Make a plan for your time limit.

Chances are that you have a certain time limit for giving your presentation, whether it's half an hour for a work presentation or ten minutes for a presentation in class. Whatever your time limit is, you should make your presentation so it fits comfortably under the time limit so you don't spend your time talking too fast to try to hit every point; however, you shouldn't make it so much shorter that you're left with a lot of "dead time" at the end.

4. Consider using technology.

Technology, from using music or a slide projector, can help enhance your points and engage your audience. It can be easy to use technology as a crutch. You may feel less prepared and skilled if you're depending on a machine to do some of the work for you. However, if you think having some charts, graphs, or bullet-pointed arguments will be really helpful for making your point, then by all means go for it.

5. Have a solid presentation structure.

A logical and well-organized presentation structure will help you improve your skills because all of your work will be laid out for you. Though you can have room for creativity when creating a presentation, most presentations, just like most essays, typically follow a similar structure. Here's how it should look: Introduction: Hooking your audience and introducing the main points you'll be making. Body: Using specific examples, facts, stories, and data to help illustrate your point. Conclusion: Wrapping up your presentation with some food for thought while summarizing your main points.

6. Practice, practice, practice.

Practice it in front of the mirror, practice it in the shower. You should not, however, memorize it word for word, or your presentation will sound too rehearsed and you'll feel out of place if asked an unexpected question. Instead, you should practice it enough that you feel so comfortable with the subject matter.