Improving your Presentation Skills

Presenting material to an audience, a class or at a workshop can be intimidating and surveys about our fears commonly show that the fear of public speaking is near the top of the list. Public speaking is difficult for many people, and even the most confident of us can be nervous, but with a little practice it can become easier. To be an effective teacher and presenter, you need to be an excellent communicator and therefore it is essential that you improve your presentation skills.

Enthusiastic Presentation; Engaging Content

In order to be an engaging speaker, you need to be enthusiastic about what you are presenting and your content will need to be engaging. Consider the following:

  • Your speaking style; be yourself
  • Watch presentations by other speakers actively identifying what you like and what you don’t
  • Make sure that you know your topic and are fully prepared
  • Understand who your audience are and what they are expecting

Practice

There are a few people out there who will be able to improvise on the day and still give a good presentation, but most of us won’t be able to do this. If you are making a speech, try to make time to practice.  Write down prompts as bullet points rather than writing the whole thing and trying to read it verbatim. It will sound less formal, you won’t need to worry about losing your place, and you can make eye contact with the audience, checking to see how your message is being received. You can ask a friend or colleague to listen to you and give you feedback or, if possible, you can record your presentation so that you can highlight for yourself the areas that need improvement. It will also help you to develop your own individual speaking style.

If you are teaching, it is probable that at some point, you’ll be observed. This should provide helpful professional feedback and will enable you to improve your delivery skills.

Other Lessons or Presentations

Think about people who you love to listen to, they could be actors, politicians, television presenters or colleagues. What do they have that makes them special and engaging? Go along to watch presentations as you will not only get some tips but you will also see how the audience or class is reacting.

Know And Engage Your Audience

Communicating with your audience, regardless of the type, involves shaping both the content and the style to fit. If you were talking about healthy eating, your content and style would be very different if you were speaking to young children than if you were speaking to a retirement group. In the classroom, you will need to communicate in a way that is both understandable and interesting to your students, and by doing so they will learn a lot more.

Top Tips For Presenting

  • Consider your body language
  • Don’t rush, and use pauses for effect
  • Vary your tone and pitch
  • Speak loudly and clearly
  • Make eye contact
  • Consider where you stand
  • Have water to hand

Conclusion

Practice makes perfect. The more you present and teach, the more comfortable you will feel and the more accomplished you will become. Remember to smile and to breathe. Your audience and your students want you to succeed. Feeling nervous can be positive if you harness that nervous energy and transform it into positive enthusiasm. Don’t forget to reflect honestly after the event identifying what went well, what didn’t and why. That way you will gradually improve over time.

What To Do Next

TEA is here to help you on your teaching journey and with you every step of the way so that you can develop the necessary skills that you will need to be successful. Contact us today at https://teateaching.com/get-in-touch/

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