Being a Good to Great Presenter

Presentation skills are an essential part of your business arsenal. How well you articulate and get the message across makes a big difference in all aspects of your business. It could be speaking to your stakeholders, or at a business conference or networking meets. Your caliber of communication elevates your stature and makes your presentation impactful.

An article in HBR elucidates eloquently the methods to be a great presenter. Titled, ‘What It Takes to Give a Great Presentation’ this article is worth reproducing here. It is possible that you may already be a good presenter, but I can vouch that these tips will make you a great presenter.

1) Use fewer slides — and fewer words.

Massive PowerPoint decks no longer amaze the audience. Some of the most memorable speeches in history were among the shortest. Less crowded slides are so much easier to read and assimilate. Keep the presentation short and crisp. This requires intelligent editing skills to cut down excess words.

Key takeaway: Reduce clutter where you can.

2) Don’t use bullet points, use images.

Bullet points are the least effective way to get your points across. Steve Jobs, one of the most remarkable presenters of his time supported text with images to get his message across.

Information delivered through images are more likely to be remembered than words alone. A picture is worth a thousand words. View a piece of text, and later you’ll remember 10% of it. Affix a picture and you’ll remember 65%.”

Key takeaway: Balance text with imagery and videos on slides.

3) Enhance your vocal delivery.

Speakers who fluctuate the pace and volume of their voices are more effective, according to a research conducted by Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger.

Voice modulation to highlight the key message, and intermittent pauses to stress on a point is an important skill. Your presentation will be more impactful when you alternate between a high to low pitch to deliver the crux of your message.

Key takeaway: Use voice modulations to emphasize on key points.

4) Create “WOW” moments.

A friendly and instinctive introduction to the subject allows the audience to better relate to your presentation. Unexpected and humorous moments take people by surprise and captures their attention. This phenomenon is explained by neurologist A.K Pradeep who cites ‘Our brains are trained to spot something brilliant and new. Novelty recognition is a hardwired survival tool humans exhibit.’

Key takeaway: Give your audience something extra and unique.

5) Rehearse well.

Most presenters do review their slides ahead of time but may have not put in the hours of practice to achieve precision.

The world’s greatest speakers have extensively rehearsed behind the scenes in order to deliver the finest presentations. It just takes a good amount of practice to attain a level of mastery in the field of oration.

Key takeaway: Practice to go from good to great.

What did you think of these tips? I would love to hear from you any unique methods you have employed to enhance the quality of your presentations over time. Share with me.