During The Question-And-Answer Period Of A Presentation You Should Not Basic Presentation Skills

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Basic Presentation Skills

Presentation is a communication process of passing the message from the presenter to the audience. This message can vary in length and complexity. Different presentation aids can be used such as flip chart, PowerPoint presentation with video beamer, whiteboard with erasable pens, laser pointer, etc. The presentation can be done in different situations in a more formal way.

In fact, everyone is in a position to be a presenter at some point. At school, at university, during a business presentation or even you can be a professional presenter. Now we come to the common problem of most people. This problem is “Stage Fright” combined with a lack of technical presentation skills.

Stage fright can be very intimidating for some people. Many people have a fear of the audience, stage lights, they are afraid of what will happen if someone asks them a difficult question. This causes nervousness, sweating, rapid heartbeat, dizziness or even panic attacks.

On the other hand, presenting skills is a technical aspect. Presentation skills are a broad area. It takes some time to develop this skill, for some people more, for others less time, depends on a talent. Since we can all be in a situation to be presenters, to be the center of the audience, it is useful to learn basic presentation skills.

Anyone can prepare at least one decent presentation. A presentation takes time and effort to prepare. During the preparation, follow the main rules:

· Must have minimum presentation skills. This means that you not only have to learn your lines to say on each slide, but you also have to be prepared to answer potential questions from the audience. Simply put, you need to have at least the basic knowledge of the subject being presented.

· Create a concept for your presentation ( intro, main part, conclusion ). Your presentation should have a meaningful flow. It should have a theme, message and learning for your audience. Set learning goals for your audience and check the results at the end. A longer presentation should have a detailed agenda developed.

· Use aids ( power point or flip chart ), but remember that you are still the one presenting, not the slides. Don’t overdo the presentation aids. They should help you, instead of you helping them.

· Use no more than 3-4 lines of text on presentation slides, with maybe 1 photo. If you put too many details, no one will read it. The average audience does not read the content of the slide, if there are many details on it. Slides should be clear in content, visible to all of your audience, with graphics and colors that don’t distract the audience, or make it difficult to read. If you are not skilled with graphics and colors, use the predefined templates.

· Practice your presentation, so you can feel it. Review all slides before the presentation. Check the video beamer, cables, remote control, room lights and other technicalities before the presentation begins. Check the colors and readability, because the video beamer can present colors differently than your computer screen. Distorted colors make reading difficult or impossible.

· Estimate the time required for your presentation and check the timing during your rehearsal. If your presentation is longer, divide it into sections (eg 45 min) with breaks (eg 10 min). Time management is important during the presentation, as the audience may start to feel tired if the presentation is too long. You may not finish your presentation, if it takes too long.

· Try to move around during your presentation. Use your body language. If you just stand in one place, your audience won’t immediately see you and their eyes and minds may start to wander. By moving yourself and using your body language, in line with the dynamically presented topic, you keep the audience alert.

· Use examples for your statements. That could be your experience or something you read. If you are using someone’s examples, cite the source of the information. You can even tell a short story or proverb, if you find it suitable for supporting your presentation.

· Use humor in your presentation. It can be planned or spontaneous, but within limits that do not change the normal flow of the presentation.

· Ask the audience. Ask for volunteers, or choose someone to answer. This will help you keep the audience alert. They will pay more attention to your presentation, because they know you can ask them questions later. Asking questions will make your presentation more interactive, more interesting to the audience and easier for you, because you will motivate people to participate.

· Don’t say things like “Sorry about my presentation” or “I’m nervous”. I remember some of my friends saying something like that during the presentation. I find that wrong, because their presentations are really good and I can’t guess that they are nervous or unprepared, if they don’t say that. If you say you’re apologizing because you’re not a good presenter, you’re destroying your credibility before you even begin. Even if you are a little nervous there is no reason to say that.

In fact, everyone, even the most experienced presenters, has some “stage fright”. This is normal. But when the presentation begins, you are released, because you include your energy into the presentation.

I am not a “born presenter”, because I am an introverted person, but I have learned some basic presentation skills and I use them in the occasional business presentation.

Finally, you are born without knowing how to speak any language, without knowing how to do math, without knowing how to drive a bicycle or a car. But you know that and adopt this knowledge and skills as your portfolio. Why not make Presentation Skills part of your personal skills?

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