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08 Simple Hacks to develop Great Presentation Skills.

Complete Video Transcript –

Do you know any tips for a great presentations? That’s the question someone asked me a few years ago, and I  said no. because It really didn’t matter to me, as I my work never involved giving presentations. Then one fine day, I had to give a presentation to some of my clients, although they were just a bunch of people, I had never felt so nervous in my entire life. I spoke very fast without breathing, because I just wanted to get over with the presentation. Soon I realized, it’s not gonna work like this, my next presentation has to be great.

Now, on the way to develop my own presentation skills, I discovered many little hacks that could improve the way we present things to the audience, maybe small or large. So in this video today, I am bringing you these little hacks that would make a great amount of difference to your presentation skills. Hi I am AAKASH and today I am gonna share with you few ways to improve your presentation skills, that have helped me personally, or I could say they have saved me, on a number of occasions. So let’s get started.

Know the 3 Knows

Well I am not gonna start with your appearance, how should you dress, its common sense, I am sure you all know that you need to be well dressed and appear great when you are supposed to stand on the podium. Of course you know that – you are not going to wear your most comfortable boxer shorts and give a presentation. But I would like to add something here, wear something that you are comfortable in. Only because you saw some presenter wearing that impressive Jacket, you also shouldn’t jump in. How you carry what you wear is important.

Okay, now if I say that you need to be a genius with your presentation that would sound unrealistic. But you need to know these 3 knows even before you start preparing your presentation. These 3 Knows are definitely the building blocks for any great presentations.

First, know – know your room. Arrive early and stroll round, so you know where you will be presenting. You get the feel of the place, we humans always take some time to get adjusted to the environment.

Next, know your people. Know your audience beforehand, if you have a brief background about your audience, you can tune your presentation accordingly. What’s the point of presenting something that in not in sync with your audience?

Let me explain that to you better. In the software industry, when you develop a particular software, understanding what the client needs is very important, understanding their business is very important, if you don’t do that, the outcome of the application what the client pictured would be completely different, even though you are great at your programming skills. Same thing applies when it comes to understanding your audience, if you do your homework well, your presentation is sure to be accepted by the audience

And finally, know your speech well. Rehearse the presentation until you’re comfortable with what you’re saying and how you’re saying it. After all you are presenting to and for the audience. If you sound confused with your presentation, and it’s not absorbed by the audience, what’s the point. So, always remember these three knows know your room, know your audience, and know your speech well.

The audience doesn’t know the script.

Take the comfort of knowing that nobody understands your presentation or the data in your presentation better than you. There is a very popular mantra shared by theatre expert that says –    Sometimes mess-ups can happen but…     “The audience doesn’t know the script.”

So it could happen that you could mess-up with some of the points in your presentation. You might forget to highlight some important fact, what would you do? Would you start saying sorry or maybe panic or freak-out? Come on …Just relax.

Instead of freaking out, freezing up, or trying to ignore it happened, just try to be graceful about it. Chances are that it went unnoticed by your audience. And even If it was noticeable, all you need to do is say “excuse me,”  “I would like to add some more information” and carry on with your presentation.  Believe it or not, presentations can be fun. All you need to do is be prepared and know your audience well…

Check your Stance

Are you one of those people who get really nervous and start to walk up and down the stage like a polar bear in a zoo, mark a spot for yourself on the stage or bring a stool if required to use.   Guy’s people are watching a presentation and not a tennis match!  I’m really bad for shuffling while I’m talking. I even flap my hands around when I get excited with some points in the presentation.

Remember when you are presenting, what do you want your audience to remember, your poor body language or your great presentation.  Do you want your audience to think about your message or your body movements? So be aware of your body language.

Do you wriggle from one foot to the other, crossing and uncrossing your legs or stepping backwards a lot? Try to keep all these body movements under control. Make some eye contact. Eye contact helps to keep the connection between your audience and you and is one of the key elements for a great presentation. If you show your back all the time while reading your slides that will destroy that bridge between the audience and you. Now also remember staring down your audience without a blink can be creepy. It’s also stressful on you. Shift your gaze and sometimes it’s acceptable to glance at some note cards if you have one. But also remember just don’t read those cards, it’s gonna be as good as reading your slides.

Come on you need to smile, everyone knows you are nervous, Giving presentations is nerve-wracking. So make sure you are smiling and make an effort to make eye-contact with people. Practice meeting your audience’s eye while rehearsing and it’ll feel a lot more normal in the big presentation. This would project you as a warm and friendly person and your audience would be also at ease.

Watch your Presentation

Using PowerPoint? Well, you’re not the only one – Do you know? There are around 350 PowerPoint presentations given every second across the world. And what do you think, are they effective enough? They aren’t that #effective. Immediately after a ten-minute presentation, only 50% of the facts can be recalled. By the next day, only 23% is retained, and 7 days later, just 10% of the information. You know this human mind has its own limits, and it can only hold on to between three and or say maximum seven points.

You should aim for three main points and your presentation would be remembered. ALSO, AVOID BIG WALLS OF TEXT. This is a common mistake a lot of presenters make with their PowerPoint slides. I know it’s tempting to stick every item of information on your slides. However, this will intimidate your audience and the recall value of your presentation would be limited. Now if you have too much text on your slides that would force you to turn your back to the audience which is a big no-no in all forms of public interaction. So guys, Keep your slides brief, and let the audience keep the attention on you.

Define the purpose of your Presentation

Rather than focusing your mind on your presentation and how you’re gonna do it, think about the message that you are gonna give. You’ll come across as a lot more passionate and interested, and would give yourself an expert presenter status as well. You’ll also make fewer mistakes because you won’t be flustered. Define the purpose of your presentation. Before you start designing your presentation, ask yourself what’s the purpose of your talk is. In general, you’re either informing, persuading or building a goodwill.

So think about it: are you sharing your expertise, giving a step-by-step workshop, do you want people to buy your product or service, are you motivating people, educating them, are you presenting case-studies,  is it purely entertainment.  Now, these are just some main themes you could build your talk or presentation around.

One of the  best public speaking tips, I have learned  is to make sure that you’re only gonna cover 1 main topic and just stay away from adding anything else you might want to share. Although it might be important as well, it just takes away the power of your presentation. Now what do I mean by this For example, This video is about How  could you improve your presentation skills, Well designing a good presentation is an important part of presentation skills, However  my main goal is to introduce you to important hacks for delivering a good presentation and not how you could write a good presentation. I will certainly do that in some other video. But In this video my main topic is – How to deliver great presentations And I am gonna just stick to that only, that’s my main topic. Although I might share a few highlights about designing a presentation, but that’s not my main topic. You need to draw an outline of your talk, so you have a framework to start with. Because if you don’t know the main purpose of your talk, no-one in the audience will. So always, define the purpose of your presentation.

Hey! Slow down. It’s not a race

Focusing on speaking slowly should be one of the most important things in your talk, because you are speaking to an audience where not everyone is an expert on the topic, possibly quite a few people have English as their second or even third language and it really just takes time for people to let new information sink in.

PRACTICE SPEAKING SLOWLY For some reason, people talk faster onstage. I remember, my boss always told me to speak so slowly, until the point it gets uncomfortable. That will be the perfect tempo for the audience.

I promise it’s gonna feel weird initially. But what’s weirder: speaking a lot slower than usual, or stumbling over your #words and confusing your listeners? There’s one more way you could learn to speak slower, listen carefully to each and every word that you say, only say the next word when you have listened to the first one clearly. It would help you to certainly slow down your speaking speed and be clearer with your words and pronunciation.

Master the art of storytelling

Why do phrases like, “Once upon a time…” or “In a land far away…” immediately grab our attention? Because those phrases tell you, you’re about to hear a story, and stories, are incredible communication tools.  When you tell stories in your presentation, they challenge our intellect, stimulate our imagination, and touch our emotions.  Why does everyone love a good story?  Because stories communicate ideas and information that no other medium can.

Now No matter where you tell a story, it could be around a campfire when you are on a picnic, it could be by the water cooler in the office or in a courtroom, or even in an auditorium while giving presentations.   The impact of a story always remains the same: When you tell a story, start strong, be engaging, capture the interest of your audience and get them thinking about an impactful story related to your presentation.

Look through for anywhere that you can add in stories or a really good or relevant image from where you could build the stage for telling your story. Story telling will make your presentation seem realistic, as well as help your presentation to flow naturally and increase the retention of your presentation by a minimum 65%. So, learn the art of storytelling, it certainly works.

Interact with your audience to create a bond

Listening to a presentation for any length of time can be a difficult process. If the talk doesn’t engage their attention, the audience will start to feel distanced from your presentation, they will start to lose track of the flow of information and eventually fail to absorb your ideas and insights. To engage an audience fully, the presentation needs to be energetic, purposeful and staged as if it is a direct conversation between you and the audience.  Direct interaction with the audience is harder , as most presentation are one-way only, but if you can find a way to get your audience to DO something, like a activity,  chances are they will remember what you said much better.

The activity doesn’t have to take long, but just let your audience members speak up or speak to each other for about a minute. To give an example, I can recall a presentation I attended where the speaker asked the audience to close their eyes for a second and think about their first travel experience. And then to turn to the person sitting next to and share the travel experience. Very simple, but so powerful, as the rest of the presentation was all about powerful travel stories.

Involving your audience is essential to making an impact. Your presentation should pull them in, get their attention and stimulate their thoughts and understanding. The way that you deliver your presentation should create a bond with your audience and ensure that the audience receives a positive message about you and your presentation.

The single most important thing to remember is that there is no one good way to do a presentation.  The most memorable presentations always offer something fresh, something no one has seen before. So do not on any account try to emulate every piece of advice I’ve offered here. Take the bulk of it on board, but make the presentation your own. You know what’s distinctive about you and your idea. Play to your strengths and give a talk that is truly authentic to you. That’s all for today, Subscribe to our channel and press the bell icon to get notification of all our new uploads. Thanks for joining me and keep watching Skillopedia – You place to learn skills for the real world.

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