Whether it’s delivering a new business pitch or leading a lunchtime workshop for colleagues, your career will likely include a presentation or two. Presentation skills are an important addition to your professional toolbox. In fact, 70 percent of employers say this skill is critical for career success. But becoming a star presenter requires more than just a flashy PowerPoint and a clear speaking voice.
For example, consider some of the most popular TEDTalks. These events go beyond the usual drab presentation to deliver an empowering speech that inspires and empowers audiences and also sparks conversation. While some people might claim there is a science behind making a speech go viral, there are still a few basic characteristics of a powerful presentation:
- A simple and clear message
- Original thoughts and ideas
- An enjoyable and relevant topic for your audience
While you don’t need to be the next great TEDTalk presenter, there’s no doubt that honing your presentation skills can help you level up your professional presence. Here are a few easy ways to perfect your next workplace presentation:
Make a connection with your audience early. As said, some of the most powerful presentations involve and engage the audience. Remember that this presentation is as much about your audience as it is about the topic you’re sharing – even if you are just chatting with co-workers in the conference room. Here are a few creative ways to get your audience involved early:
- Start the presentation with a question or survey, asking for a show of hands, etc.
- Ask audience members to write down their burning questions, concerns or opinions.
- Create opportunities throughout the presentation for audience input.
- Ask questions that invite your audience to agree, disagree or offer validation to a point.
Step outside the usual presentation box. Too many presentations happen from behind a podium. Body language and tone can greatly impact the connection you make with an audience. Don’t be afraid to move around your space. Also think about where your presentation is taking place. With a tool like the Touchjet Pond Projector, meetings don’t have to happen in the conference room. While a formal setting might be the perfect option for your dressy business meeting, don’t overlook hosting somewhere a little more fun.
Think about the visuals alongside the words. Most presentations are often accompanied by some sort of visual – even outdated clip art stuck to a PowerPoint presentation. The right visual aid can give your presentation an extra punch, since the human brain can process visual information up to 60,000 times faster than text. Sometimes a picture can really be worth a thousand words. Just make sure your visuals enhance your message, rather than drawing attention away from it.
How are you perfecting your next big presentation? Share your best tips in a comment below.