Throughout history great orators have always had an impact on moving or influencing people. The world has seen its share of orators in the form of heads of state, religious people, celebrities, organizational heads and even dictators. People are moved by the aura of a great presenter or the effectiveness of his or her presentation skills. But what is it about their presentation that appealed to so many people? Or should we ask an even more foundational question – what is a Presentation skill?
While there are certain presentation tactics that are universally common, Business Presentation Skills have a certain tried and tested methodology that anyone aspiring to be a good presenter in the corporate world, can learn from. In this article we will look at a few such aspects that make up the anatomy of a good presentation:
The presenter needs to know where he or she wants to go with the presentation – what is the core message that they want to get across? Who is the target audience? Is the agenda relevant to the message? Is the message relevant to the crowd? These are questions that the presenter needs to know the answers to well before he or she takes the stage to give a formal presentation. Navigating through a mission is so much more effective if we have a map and a plan. That should be the primary objective of having an agenda.
No matter how confident the speaker is of his or her message, they must always prepare ahead of time to meet the needs of the topic, crowd or situation. Trying to ‘wing it’ just doesn’t work and neither is it professional. The presenter must be prepared to clarify ambiguous issues and also tackle difficult questions. It also helps to arrive there ahead of time to get a look at the venue, to get a good feel for the environment and absorb it.
Just like a three course meal or a sandwich, every presentation must have three robust parts to it that requires slightly different individual handling. Most speakers tend to focus only on the body but fail to either make a good first impression with a good intro or fail to wrap up their message well once completed with the body. Beginning with a good introduction that grabs one’s attention and makes a good impression is crucial to starting off on the right note. A good opener sets the tone for a good presentation.
The body of the message is where the majority of the intended content is positioned. The speaker must take his time in unpacking the major components or aspects of the body in a clear and concise manner. Maintaining eye contact and keeping an ‘open’ body language helps to ease the crowd and feel connected with the speaker. Often speakers rush through their presentation without giving appropriate pauses, out of nervousness or haste and end up looking anxious or unconfident. Well-timed silence can be a good friend of the presenter and must be used generously to allow the poignancy of the message to sink in to the listeners’ minds and hearts.
Finally, closing up a presentation well gives a nice finishing touch to the message and ends with a note of closure for the audience. If executed well, the listeners will leave having grasped the full measure of what was being conveyed but also have a good appreciation for the value of the message. It helps to finish on a high or positive note while also thanking the listeners for their time and patience. All is well that ends well.
Presentation Skills Training is an important aspect of corporate training th