Your presentation skills reflect your level of preparation and confidence in your product or service. Take the time to hone this important skill and reap rewards from better relationships with your clients, suppliers and even your family and friends.
Probably you’re already doing a lot of these; look for one or two that jump out at you and do them right away.
1. Join a civic group or community service organization.
2. Practice your talk with your family and ask for feedback. (Warning: you’ll get blunt honesty from your kids.)
3. Go to TED.com and listen to one talk every day or so.
4. Join Toastmasters.
5. Write down the purpose of your talk or presentation.
6. Think about how you can create hunger for your topic — that’s an important part of your introduction.
7. Write an outline.
8. Give a talk in a non-threatening (for you) environment. Find out as much as you can about the room before the day of your talk.
9. Tell your audience why your topic is important to you. You can do this with a short story.
10. Don’t apologize, unless you REALLY mess up.
11. Invest in a coach.;-)
12. Speak about topics you really care about.
13. Focus on your audience. Find out as much as you can about them, before you show up.
14. Make it shorter. They’ll love you if you go less than the time allowed.
15. Learn a new word every day.
16. Watch movies and pay attention to how stories are told.
17. Notice what parts of your talk appeal to emotion, and which appeal to logic.
18. Use short sentences.
19. Stand up straight and tall.
20. Visit a museum for inspiration.
21. Listen to what people are complaining about — that’s a good way to create the hunger for your topic.
22. See if you can give your audience a way to participate – ask them questions.
23. Breathe deeply.
24. Keep yer hands out of yer pockets.
25. Write your ideas for future talks in your journal.
26. Have someone record your presentation and watch it afterwards.
27. Do the research.
28. Put the quantitative stuff on a hand out.
29. Think of a better example of how your topic helps people.
30. Make a list of 10 new metaphors.
31. Appreciate your audience and let them know it.
33. Ask speakers you enjoy for their suggestions.
34. Challenge yourself to be more creative with your visual support. Use high-quality photographs.
35. Get a makeover. (Or a new suit.)
36. Take random notes about things that call your attention.
37. Have fun with it.. It’s your show.
For more tips on presentation skills and life leadership, visit Mixonian Institute for frazzled, over-committed, overachieving leaders who are one chipped nail or one Prozac away from losing it!