Written by Suzanne Guthrie
Almost all professionals are called upon to make remarks, speak up in a meeting, or provide formal presentations during the course of their career. What makes savvy people stand out is their willingness to learn and grow their skills – over the course of their lifetime. This article outlines what a smart professional does, Before, During and After each and every presentation to continually improve their skills!
Before Your Presentation
As soon as you learn of the opportunity to speak, it’s time to do a quick assessment of your audience. Ask yourself what your audience already knows about the subject and what they hope to learn. Who are they and what type of communication style do they have? Do they need information delivered in short bullet-like chunks, or do they need more relationship building, or time to digest extra detail. You also need to ensure you have the answer to this question: What’s In It For Them To Listen? Make sure you know the bottom line message and its value to your audience BEFORE you start your remarks!
During Your Presentation
During your presentation you want to keep abreast of the energy in the room. This is most easily done if your remarks are well organized and you can focus on your audience. Make eye contact with all those you can see during the presentation. If you’re in a large room, move your eye contact around every few seconds to areas of the room you can’t see. Involve everyone by varying your eye contact frequently. Use gestures to emphasize key points and constantly bring your remarks back around to your theme. Keep in mind that everything you say during your presentation needs to relate back to the bottom line message (and what’s in it for your audience) that you announced at the start.
After Your Presentation
Summarize your remarks powerfully by mentioning key points again, and tying them into your conclusion. Provide an action request so that participants know what they can do after the presentation to take next steps. Answer questions in the group or in individual conversations and always let people know how to get in touch with you should questions arise later. Make sure to maintain your professional poise even once you have left the stage as the audience’s eyes will still be on you! Once you’ve left the presentation room take stock of what went well and what you will improve next time! If nervousness was a problem for you try out the tips to master your nerves in our free report available at www.boldnewdirections.com This may also be the time to consider formal presentation skills training to take your skills to a whole new level. You can learn more about presentation training seminars at www.boldnewdirections.com or look at www.presentationtraininginstitute.com
By applying these steps Before, During and After all your upcoming presentations you will grow your skills, your confidence and your credibility. Over the course of your professional career, your comfort in providing formal presentations, casual talks and impromptu remarks will soar!
You can learn more about presentation skills training by visiting our parent web site at www.boldnewdirections.com
About The Author:
Suzanne Guthrie is co-founder of Bold New Directions, a transformational learning company that works with companies to transform people and performance through training solutions including seminars, coaching and keynote events. Bold New Directions specializes in training solutions that build leadership skills, communication skills and resilience at work. You can learn more about Suzanne Guthrie and presentation skills training by visiting the Bold New Directions web site at www.boldnewdirections.com
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