Managers often have to make presentations as part of their job duties.
Whether you are making a sales pitch to a client, presenting a report to your company’s president or announcing a new project to your team, you need the skills to make a good presentation.
Communication is often ranked as one of the most important skills required of a manager, and, therefore, it is vital to improve presentations skills to impress your clients and bosses, and motivate your employees. Follow these tips to prepare a good presentation:
Be Prepared – Have you ever seen an Oscar’s speech where the winner just fumbles over words? That’s because she was not prepared.
Even if you feel like you know the topic you will speak about inside and out, make an outline of what you want to say. Chances are something will distract you during the speech, whether an unexpected question or outside noise, causing you to lose your train of thought.
It will be beneficial to have a written plan of action to refer to, just in case. If the topic you are presenting is fairly difficult, try to give examples to your audience to make them understand better, or come up with clever analogies, like sports references, to make the topic simpler to grasp.
Images – Heard the expression, a picture is worth a thousand words?
Make sure to include images in your presentation. If you are talking about sales goals, last quarter’s revenues or an increase in sales, make a graph versus just saying the numbers out loud.
If you are describing a new product, show photos of it rather than just explain it. Some people understand better visually, while others orally, so it’s good to have a mixture of both to increase concentration and comprehension.
Engage – There is nothing more boring than a presentation that goes on and on.
Remember to stop and assess the state of your listeners.
Do they look bored?
Try to include a joke, or switch up the pace to keep them engaged. Ask if there are any questions every five to ten minutes, and encourage feedback. Another great tactic is to warn your audience, especially if they are your employees, that you will ask questions at the end. This will make them pay attention more for fear of not knowing the answer when questioned.
Remember that any presentation, no matter how complicated or lengthy, can be delivered in a manner that will make it interesting for your listeners with these tips.
Head of Training and Development
Originally published: 19 September, 2014
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