Presentation Skills and Your Way Ahead
With the Prime Minister announcing that it will propagate the idea of ‘Make in India’ and promote entrepreneurship, many angel investors and people with moneybags are flocking to India to start up their own ventures. Alternatively, some of them are becoming equity participants in other people’s ventures.
IIT alumni are mainly doing the former while the latter is resorted to people among their friends. Alumni from the same school or college are funding startups, which have their school or college colleagues as promoters. This was the trend followed in earlier years and that is continuing to this day.
In the phenomenon of people from the same school funding startups started by their school chums as promoters, there is a trust factor involved and therefore, the investors do not have any fear of losing their money. This is because the trust factor is involved in it. This trust factor obviates the need of any kind of security from the promoters.
In such a scenario, presentation skills are very important. Imagine, if a promoter goes to his school chums for funding, he will at least have to give them a presentation of his concept, which he has proposed. If they are ready to back the idea, then he will do well.
However, the promoter will require effective presentation skills in order to convince his chums that his idea is worth backing. Therefore, the importance of presentation skills in today’s times. Presenting the information hidden in an idea clearly and effectively is a key skill to secure in today’s times.
Such presentation skills are required in any field, irrespective of whether you are a student, administrator or an executive, or someone who has set up his own business. In the latter case, the promoter will require effective presentation skills to put across his idea to his investors.
If you are a student, your presentation skills will be tested when you convey to your examiners what you have learnt in a particular subject.
If you are an administrator or an executive, presentation skills will be required to convince your bosses about the work you have done apart from conveying to your team what your idea about a certain project is. When in a job, people at the managerial level generally require presentation skills in order to make presentations for their seniors or for themselves.
Even if you take up a field other than those mentioned above, like politics, anchoring, marketing, business development, writing, etc, you will require effective presentation skills in all of them.
In preparing a presentation, the one skill that is primarily used exhaustively is your PowerPoint skills. Therefore, if you wish to be good at presentation skills, it is always better to learn making effective presentations using Power point slides.
Although, it is said that you will need Power point application to prepare slides for your presentation, at times, you may not require this Power point application but may require some other application to work with. Delivering an effective, clear and concise presentation requires tremendous hard-work and dedication.
This dedication and capacity for doing hard work will come with tremendous experience and patience. In this article, I will attempt to give you some tips to spice up your presentation skills. This article lists down the 10 tips to give effective presentations.
These tips will take you from good to best or if you are already best, then it will take you from best to even better. If you are already a good presenter, it will take you from better to great. These tips cover information on how to use your voice and body language in your presentations and will also contain detailed tips on preparing slide shows.
The tips are written under the following headings:
- What is a Presentation
- How to prepare a Presentation
- How to organize the Presentation material
- How to write your own Presentation
- How to single out on a Presentation method
- How to manage your Presentation notes
- How to work with Visual aids
- How to Present data
- How to manage the event
- How to cope up with Presentation nerves
- How to deal with Questions during Presentations
- How to present under special circumstances
What is a Presentation?
A presentation is a tool that is used to communicate the idea to the target audience. This is modified as per the available situation like in case if you are talking to a small group, you will not use sophisticated tools in the presentation.
If however, you are addressing a large group, you will use sophisticated tools like an over-head projector, slides, transparencies, etc.
How to prepare a presentation?
Preparing a presentation is the single most important aspect of any idea conveying activity. This is the foundation on which your idea is based and therefore, you should dedicate as much time to it as you possible to avoid any hiccups later on. A good presentation will ensure that you have thought out your message very carefully and that will help boost your confidence no end.
How to organize the presentation material?
Irrespective of whether your presentation has been prepared for a formal office setting or an informal club meeting, it should always be crisp and clear.
You should always know what you wish to say and the order in which you want to say it. Working out an effective structure for your message will alleviate any kind of nervousness in your mind towards the presentation.
How to write your own presentation?
When writing your presentation, you should have already worked out in your mind, what to include in it. The structure of the presentation should include an introduction, the main message and finally the conclusion.
How to single out on a presentation method?
When you decide on an appropriate presentation method, you will first check the size of the audience; you have to convey your message to. In case if, the size is small, then there is no point using sophisticated presentation tools.
If however, you are conveying your message to a large audience, then it is imperative that you use a projector, audiovisual equipment, etc.
How to manage your presentation notes?
When you start giving presentations, you will realize that it is important for you to recollect what you wish to say in your presentation. For this, either you will need a teleprompter or you will prepare notes on a piece of paper. In the latter case, it becomes imperative for you to organize your presentation notes and manage your material
How to work with visual aids?
Visual aids should be used if an only if they are necessary to maintain interest and assist in the comprehension of your presentation. In case they are proving barriers to your communication, then it is better you do not use them. Using Visual Aids to demonstrate your technological competence is a foolish act and is strongly advised against.
How to present data?
Any effective presentation will involve working with data and presenting such data is an art in any presentation. Many people in the audience might be uninterested in the number game and may only be interested in the text material that you have to present.
Still some others will be particularly interested in the data that you present in order to understand the situation in totality. Therefore, it should be presented in such a way that, it is well understood by those who wish to refer to the data in order to understand the presentation.
How to manage the event?
The deftness with which you manage your event will go a long way in ensuring its success. In this, you will ensure that the seating is well laid out, the final preparation before the event is done well in advance, how you cope with nervousness forms the cornerstone of your presentation, creation of rapport with the audience, your tone of voice and language, managing sound systems and microphones and finally positioning and body language.
How to cope with presentation nerves?
Some people develop goose bumps when they are asked to give a presentation. They are said to suffer nerves. Either people like these can keep pacing the floor of the presentation hall before the actual event or they can carry a stress ball in their hands before the event.
Another remedy could be to get some sound sleep before the day of the presentation. Deficient sleep is said to cause insomnia and that can lead to forgetfulness during the actual presentation.
How to deal with presentation questions?
After any presentation, generally there is a question round. In this round, the audience witnessing the presentation asks questions to the presenter.
Such questions should be dealt with smartly. Only questions pertaining to the subject matter covered during the presentation should be tackled. Those questions, which are out of the scope of the presentation, should be given the short shrift by excusing oneself.
How to present under special circumstances?
Presentations carried out under special circumstances should be tailored as per the audience taste. The presentation is given for the audience and therefore their tastes should be kept in mind when making the presentation. If the audience is blind then special handouts should be circulated in braille script, which explain the topic of the presentation and its content matter.