Effective Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

Some folks avoid the jungle for fear of a poisonous snake slithering across their path. Some folks skip the surf sessions in order to not get eaten by a man-eating shark. And still others would willingly parachute into the heart of the Amazon or go diving with Jaws rather than have to stand before a group of their peers and superiors and deliver a speech or presentation. Public speaking scares the heck out of folks for a lot of different reasons. Often there’s nothing to hide behind. You feel as though your audience is physically and intellectually assessing, evaluating, and judging every square inch of you.

Fortunately, there are many, many products available to help improve one’s public communication and presentation skills. A presentation skills profile could do wonders. Developing a strong sense of public communication – on an individual and corporate level – will help immensely.

A cornerstone of successful presentation skills involves making a human connection with each member of the audience. You can know your information through and through. You might be a tried and true expert with regards to the content you are hoping to share. However, if you are unable to successfully read your audience, know their needs, expectations, fears, and annoyances, you will completely miss the mark when it comes to actually delivering your message. Connect with your audience. Look them in the eye. Talk with them, not at them. Bring them into the conversation, and show them that you respect their intelligence and their time. Make sure they leave knowing that there was no one who could have shared that information more successfully, and the information you shared is integral to their positive forward movement.

Start with self-analysis and then move onto skill development and finish with practice. Now become adept at teaching and sharing it. You begin every communication endeavor with a clear agenda. You will plant seeds of wisdom that will hopefully take root in the willing fields of the minds of your audience – and grow into productive, useful articles of industry and business. Make sure they believe you and hear you.

Be real. Be human. Allow the emotions you feel about the topic to surface and resonate amongst the listeners. Do your homework. Know your audience. You have your agenda. What is theirs? What does your audience need to hear and learn from you, and how can you facilitate the passing of this information? So often, if they like you, they will like your mental meanderings. If your message is perhaps a bit bitter, be sure to stuff it inside a pocket of trust, compassion, and empathy. Make sure to make some gestures and physical communication points that are worth seeing. Be receptive to the reaction of your audience.

Don’t be a presenter. Be a communicator. Be a facilitator. Build a bridge of commonality between yourself and your audience, and let that info and knowledge flow. And don’t forget to have fun, too!

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