List of good presentation skills – getting your audience on side
Here, I am going to give you a list of good presentation skills that will help you get to your message across and get your audience on side.
The key aims are to help you to:
Put over the detail of the message.
Maintain attention and Interest.
Put it over clearly and in a manner appropriate to the audience.
Putting Over The Content
Take one point at a time when structuring your presentation and make sure to put it into a logical sequence. To help your audience make sure to use main and even subheadings if necessary. These can be put over verbally or physically in your PowerPoint. They will be in effect, sign posts to let your audience know what is coming. e.g.” There are three points we need to discuss today, Performance, method and Cost. Let’s start with Performance …”
Clarity is important too which means people need to understand you. Know your audience. Using Jargon is great if everyone in the room understands and speaks it. Always speak to the lowest common denominator in the room. Explain acronyms or jargon early in the presentation if you are going to use it.
Long drawn out, convoluted arguments or awkward turns of phrase will confuse your audience. Don’t have verbal diarrhoea, call a spade a spade and stick to that.
Be careful not to make assumptions about your audiences level of experience or their current views on your subject.
Use Visual aids but make sure they support what you are saying rather than being a distraction.
Use gestures when speaking. Use your hands and physical manner to support your message. Use your voice to convey whether you are excited, serious or despondent about what you are saying. You can get tons more information on this by heading over to my post on improving your communication in presentations.
It is also important that you gain acceptance from your audience else your presentation may fall on deaf ears.
Relating to the specific group you are talking to in some way will help you to gain acceptance. Know and acknowledge how your subject matter affects them or what they want it to do for them. Using the term “We” rather than “You”or “I” will also help in them accepting you.
Provide Proof. If you want acceptance of your message something more than your word may be needed, To your audience you may have a vested interested and therefore cannot be wholly trusted. Others opinions, references or test results may help here.
Now you will not be asking for feedback but you will be getting it anyway. Watch and listen. Your audience will be giving you non verbal clues as to what they think about your presentation. Fidgeting is not a good sign. They are bored and you need to up the anti in some way. If you listen you may also hear murmurings of discontent too. If this is the case you may want to ask your audience for some feedback on their thoughts. You will be surprised at how much you can gain from doing this. If you are not brave enough for this you could build in answers to the objections you think they may have. e.g ” I Know you may be thinking ….. however…..”
Other Useful Tips
Use good eye contact. Every member of your audience needs to feel you are speaking with them directly. Don’t just stare at the friendliest face make sure you share your eye contact when speaking.
Don’t let your audience lose their way. Keep them on track by recapping after each section or point of the presentation. This is especially important in long or complex presentations.
Get your audience active even if it is just a show of hands.
Thank you for reading and if you have any questions or ideas I should have included here please comment below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.