Presentations aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. For some, it may even seem to be an insurmountable endeavor. Everyone has some level of presentation anxiety. But it’s a different story altogether if that anxiety has already turned into glossophobia. If you don’t know what that is, it’s simply the word for the fear of public speaking.
As a leader, to develop good communication skills is a must. One avenue where this skill can be tested is during presentations. This is because presentations are a whole different ball game compared to other forms of communication. In a way, you can even consider it to be a combination of all other forms of communication.
Now don’t get overwhelmed by the notion of having to master all that. The key to becoming an excellent presenter is to understand the intricacies of presenting itself.
The Ingredients to an Excellent Presentation
Think of presentations as a meal. The ingredients you would need are: a well-thought out message, visuals that clarifies your message, and a delivery that brings these two together.
A compelling message entails what thoughts and ideas you want to express. The trick in getting the message part right is to get as specific as possible. To do this, you need to be clear on what your end goal is. Do you want to educate, persuade, request or build relationships? Putting these things in mind will enable you to create a clear message. Having a clear message will make it easier for you to remember the entirety of what you’re imparting. When the message is clear to the presenter, it will also be clear to the audience.
The second ingredient which is your visuals or what some would call a PowerPoint . Remember this, you don’t have to present with slides all the time. If not done right, visuals can become a distraction and lessen the impact of your message. Slides should only be used if they support and amplify your message. And in creating slides, be deliberate in every information that you include. So stay away from creating slides that are full of text and bullet points.
Lastly, the final ingredient to a presentation is a powerful delivery. You have to understand that this last component can make or break your entire presentation. You can have the message and visual (if you have one) part right but this all goes down the drain if you don’t deliver it well . And this is where the second part of making a meal comes in.
Preparation for a presentation is vital. You must give yourself the right amount of time to pond over your message. Your script will go over numerous revisions so that it will be as clear as it can be. You also need time to design your visuals so that it will supplement your message. Most importantly, you need time to rehearse all of this. Rehearsing would entail you to practice as if it’s already the day of your presentation. So you deliver your message as best as you can with your visuals as support. It is through rehearsing where you will find the areas where you need to improve. Maybe your script is too long and you won’t have the time to use your visuals. So take the time to rehearse so when presentation day comes, you will be able to have a powerful delivery.