Presentation Skills

• Presentations are a way of communicating ideas and information to a group. A good presentation has: • Content - It contains information that people need. It must account for how much information the audience can absorb in one sitting. • Structure - It has a logical beginning, middle, and end. It must be sequenced and paced so that the audience can understand it. • Packaging - It must be well prepared.

• Make sure your talk has a beginning that introduces the content, and an end that explains your conclusion. • Know your audience. Talk at the audience level. • Humor is good if it makes the talk easy to listen to, but questionable if it is offered at the expense of an art or cultural object or a person, living or dead. • Don't try to convey all the

The Voice
• The voice is probably the most valuable tool of the presenter. One of the oddities of speech is that we can easily tell others what is wrong with their voice, e.g. too fast, too high, etc., but we have trouble listening to and changing our own voices. There are four main terms used for defining vocal qualities: Volume Tone Pitch

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The Body
• People not only listen to you, they also watch you. • Displaying good posture tells your audience that you know what you are doing and you care deeply about it. Also, a good posture helps you to speak more clearly and effective. • Throughout you presentation, display: • Eye contact: Speakers who make eye contact open the flow of

• Facial Expressions: Smiling is a powerful cue that transmits happiness, friendliness, warmth, and liking. So, if you smile frequently you will be perceived as more likable, friendly, warm, and approachable • Gestures: If you fail to gesture while speaking, you may be perceived as boring and stiff. A lively speaking style captures attention, makes the material more interesting, and facilitates understanding. • Posture and body orientation: You

• Proximity: Cultural norms dictate a comfortable distance for interaction with others. • Vary your voice. One of the major criticisms of speakers is that they speak in a monotone voice. Listeners perceive this type of speaker as boring and dull.

Active Listening
• Good speakers not only inform their audience, they also listen to them. • Some good traits of effective listeners are: • Do not answer questions with questions. • Aware of biases. We need to control them. • Never daydream or become preoccupied with their own thoughts

• Let the other speaker talk. Do not dominate the conversation. • Plan responses after others have finished speaking...NOT while they are speaking. • Provide feedback but do not interrupt. • Keep the conversation on what the speaker says...NOT on what interest them.

• Begin with a joke to grab the attention of the audience and put them at ease. Starting off with a beautiful or unique image (when speaking to visual people). • Identify words you have difficulty pronouncing and use alternative words. Practice foreign words and difficult names until they fall readily off the tongue.

• You don't need to fill every available second with the sound of your voice. Take your time. Pauses may seem like millennia to you, but they help the audience keep up with you and digest what you're saying. • Let the silences BE silent. "Um" and "Uh" and other noises to fill silence are distracting. You can use silence to emphasize important points. • Try not to read from a text if at all possible. Know your topic and

• One technique to make your talks more intimate is to speak in a friendly, relaxed manner, as you would to a friend standing next to you. The audience is your friend, they want to like you and to hear what you have to say. People want to hear the new information, resources, or ideas that you are giving them, they are keep their interest!

• The main enemy of a presenter is tension, which ruins the voice and posture. The voice becomes higher as the throat tenses. Shoulders tighten up and limits flexibility while the legs start to shake and causes unsteadiness. The presentation becomes "canned" as the speaker looks in on the notes and starts to read directly from them.

• If you welcome nerves, then the presentation becomes a challenge and you become better. If you let your nerves take over, then you go into the flight mode by withdrawing from the audience. • When you feel tension or anxiety, remember that everyone gets them, but the winners use them to their advantage, while the losers get overwhelmed by them. • Tension can be reduced by

• Mental Visualization • During the presentation: Take a moment to yourself by getting a drink of water, take a deep breath, concentrate on relaxing the most tense part of your body, and then return to the presentation saying to your self, "I can do it!" • Know that anxiety and tension is not as noticeable to the audience as it is to you • Know that even the best presenters make mistakes. The key is to continue

• After inviting questions, do not rush ahead if no one asks a question. Pause for about 6 seconds to allow the audience to gather their thoughts. When a question is asked, repeat the question to ensure that everyone heard it. • Answers that last 10 to 40 seconds work best. If they are too short, they seem abrupt; while longer answers appear too elaborate. Also, be sure to keep on track. • Keep cool if a questioner disagrees


• We all have a few habits, and some are more annoying than others. For example, if we say "uh," "you know," or put our hands in our pockets and jingle our keys too often during a presentation, it distracts from the message we are trying to get across. • The best way to break one of these distracting habits is with immediate feedback.

• Be brief. If asked to speak for 45 minutes, speak for 30, and encourage discussion afterwards. • Never, ever, ever go over your allotted time slot. • DO NOT go over your allotted time. This is

Tips and Techniques For Great Presentations
• Speak to the audience...NOT to the visual aids. Also, do not stand between the visual aid and the audience. • Speak clearly and loudly enough for all to hear. Do not speak in a monotone voice. • The disadvantages of presentations is that people cannot see the punctuation and this can lead to misunderstandings. An effective way of overcoming this problem is to pause at the time when

• List and discuss your objectives at the beginning of the presentation. • Stand up straight. You'll be more believable. • If you have glasses that you must push up constantly, tighten them. If you have hair that falls over your eyes, fix it. Some audience members are really distracted by these things. • Try not to turn all the lights off. Keep a few lights on along the sides or at

• Learn to edit. You may have 1,000,000 gorgeous slides, but the audience will not know what they missed if you edit. If you don't, the audience will remember that you went severely over time and that they didn't have a chance to appreciate the slides because you went so fast trying to show it all. • Keep eye contact with the person who posed the question. • You don't have to know everything, so don't try to bluff if someone asks you a

• Diffuse hecklers quickly and politely. A calm, compassionate voice of reason can effectively get them off the microphone. "Sir, I understand your objection. Let's not take up anymore of the conference time with this issue. I'll be happy to discuss this with you in private. Next question, please?" Attacking the heckler will only make the audience sympathize with the heckler and

• Don’t agonize over mistakes, and don’t say you’re sorry. Keep confident and if you mess up—move on. • Learn from your mistakes. • If you’re getting lots of questions, don’t be afraid to ask the audience member to “hold that thought” if you’ll touch on the material later, or find a diplomatic way to say that it’s an interesting question and then ask them to ask it again at Q&A time.

• Don’t pay attention to distractions. • Have complete control on your audience like you are the leader of them. • Never argue with any audience. • Thanks the audience for the patience to listen you.

Thank You

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