Having great presentation skills can do wonders for your reputation and personal brand.
- Be on time. Being late ruins your brand even before you speak. Make sure you have directions to the location and give yourself enough time to get there.
- Check the equipment BEFORE. Another reason to get there early is to make sure everything is prepared for your presentation.
- Use personal examples. People make connections with people they feel understand. Be yourself and include your experiences in your presentation. Just make sure they’re relevant and not big tangents.
- Less is more. Don’t pack the presentation with slides. People will not remember nor care about most of them.
- Involve the audience with the presentation. Even if it is a lecture, include rhetorical questions to get the audience mentally involved with the talk.
- Make roving eye contact. Don’t avoid or stare down your audience. Move your eyes around the room, making a connection with someone for a second or two and move on. It help you to be more natural and relaxed.
- Be passionate about your topic. Frame your topic in a way that makes you excited to give it. Enthusiasm is contagious and memorable.
- Work from an outline. Don’t right out your presentation word for word. A script hinders you from making necessary eye contact and getting visual feedback from the audience.
- Include opposing thoughts in your presentation. Counteract skeptics with well thought out explanations on why your ideas work. It’s even better when you can build on a differing thought.
- Invite the audience to chat with you later. Person to person is always best, but leave them your email or possbily your Linked In account for follow up questions.
The ability to convey your thoughts and connect with your audience can lead to success or failure.