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How to Acquire Effective Presentation Skills


Effective presentation skills are a vital skill set for employees of all levels. Presenting a project to a boss, presenting important information to subordinates and creating memorable presentations for customers are all parts of the normal business day for many employees and business owners. Having the skills and tools necessary to create a valuable presentation can help your career in many ways. With confidence, practice and the right tools, you can gain effective presentation skills and become a valuable asset to those who come to see the information you present. 

Get Acquainted with the Tools

Today's presentations generally use more than just the human voice. Presentation tools like Power Point and projectors are often used to give the auditory portion of the presentation another dimension. People don't have to try to picture what you're talking about. If you have statistics to talk about, you can show them bar or pie graphs as you talk about them. If you want to discuss a physical place, you can show pictures of it as you speak. Because Power Point is so common now in presentations of all levels, it's wise to use a Power Point tutorial to become acquainted with the features and how they work. Start to create your own practice presentations to further your skills.

Attend Other Presentations

To get more ideas for a smooth-running presentation, attend presentations given by other people. Study how the person presents the information and what was most memorable about it. Taking notes about highlights of the presentation, as well as what didn't work, will help you to craft your own personal presentation style. Take note of any tools that are used, particularly if they could be utilized in your own presentations. You may see laser pointers, specialty software, posters, audience handouts and other items that help keep the audience engaged and informed. Don't be afraid to ask the presenter about the tools and how they are acquired. 

Give Regular Presentations

If you've never given a presentation in front of a group before, you likely won't have much confidence in your ability to keep your audience entertained and informed. You may worry that your lack of confidence alone will be enough to ruin the presentation. To get more confidence in your abilities, stage a few practice sessions with family members or friends. Ask people who are not likely to give you false compliments, if possible. However, even if your chosen audience gives you positive feedback no matter what, the process still gives you plenty of practice in creating and delivering presentations for an audience. 

If you plan to give an important presentation to the higher ups, practice on your peers first. This not only helps you to gain confidence, it may help them to see how to put together an effective presentation of their own. It also helps you to streamline the way you present information and eliminate unnecessary parts of your presented material. If you have trouble with your practice sessions, start slowly by giving a speech to your chosen audience and gradually add your presentation tools.

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