Presenting to a group of people in a professional environment can be quite daunting for many of us, but it is possible to improve our presentation skills with an effective professional development approach. In this CPD article, we will explore what makes for an impactful presentation, and provide some helpful ways for developing your presentation skills.
What are presentation skills?
Presentation skills are the skills used to deliver engaging, informative, sometimes instructional, presentations to convey information to an audience. Public speaking, body language, our tone, vocal delivery and creativity all contribute to this. In a social context, most of us know how to communicate, to get our ideas and opinions across to others. Improving your presenting abilities means taking these skills and bringing them to a professional setting.
Why is it important to improve your presentation skills?
Whether you’re in a team of five or a team of five hundred, many of us will have to present to a group at some stage in our work lives. Depending on your industry, you may even need to do a presentation at the recruitment stage. Developing your presentation skills will help you communicate more easily to audiences and make a positive impression. You want your listeners to remember you for all the right reasons and for the great information you’ve shared.
Working to improve your presentation skills in your professional life is important, not just for your current role, but also for your future career. A great presentation can have a big impact on your audience and help you to persuade them of your ideas. You may be an expert in your field, but if you cannot be confident and convey your expertise and knowledge to colleagues or management, your ideas may not be valued and go unnoticed.
When working towards improving our presentation skills, it’s important to incorporate the complimentary skills associated with good presenting too, such as improving body language, communication skills and public speaking. Feeling more confident in yourself and your own ability will be recognised by audiences when you have to give that presentation.
What makes an effective presentation?
If you have been tasked with giving a presentation, it is important to ensure you are presenting information in a clear and organised way. Everything needs to make sense and everyone in the room needs to be able to understand it. Here are a few simple ideas and points to consider for delivering a successful presentation.
• It is vital that you know your content well and that you brainstorm ideas before delving headlong into the topic. It’s easy to go off on a tangent, so it’s essential that you keep the information as concise but informative as possible. Stick to your key points and objectives.