You have been invited to stand up and speak in front of a room full of people.
As you think about this opportunity does it excite you or do you dread the thought?
For many people, delivering a presentation is a daunting proposition. As psychologists, we are often asked to coach employees and leaders in the area of presentation skills. After all, being able to communicate ideas effectively is such an important, yet underrated, skill.
Today we wanted to share 5 tips when it comes to building your presentation skills and confidence.
1. See nervous energy as a good thing. Even the most accomplished presenters will tell you that they feel a degree of nervous energy. When harnessed, this energy can help us convey passion and keep us focused.
2. Have a conversation. Deliver your presentation in an authentic and conversational way. This requires a shift in thinking from the traditional, podium approach to presentations. When you engage with your audience in this way, trust is built, dialogue is genuine and you are more likely to empower and involve your audience.
3. Find your passion. You can’t inspire others unless you are inspired yourself. Find a meaningful connection to your presentation topic and this passion will be contagious with your audience.
4. Vocal delivery and non-verbal communication matters. How much of your preparation time do you spend working on your presentation content (i.e. your presentation structure and words)? Compare this with the amount of time you spend thinking about your non-verbal delivery? While we are strong advocates for a good structure and content, don’t overlook one for the most powerful tools – your non-verbal communication. What you do with your voice, gestures and body language matters.
5. Practice, Practice, Practice. The best way to improve is to jump in, step out of your comfort zone and practice. Embrace a learning mindset – practice in front of people, ask for feedback and if you are brave enough, record your presentation and watch it back.