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9 Presentation Skills to Help You Reach Your Presentation Goals

Reach Your Presentation Goals Every Time with Nine Simple Presentation Skills


What Makes an Effective Presentation?

Is it the product or concept that everyone is waiting to hear about?  Not likely.  It is the presentation skills of the presenter that will make a success or failure in selling this item to the audience.

Use these practical tips to enhance your presentation skills.  Make your presentation goals achievable with these simple "tried and true" presentation tips.

See Also ~
10 Tips to Create Successful Business Presentations

1. Know Your Target Audience

Presentation skills
Presentation skills © Kutay Tanir/Getty Images

This seems simple enough.  But it is surprising how many presenters go into the room having no idea who they are presenting to.  Is it ...

  • a group of colleagues?
  • board members?
  • the head of the company?
  • a prospective client?
  • a group of children?

Who you are presenting to should be a major consideration in how you structure and present the information. If you are using presentation software such as PowerPoint, to accompany your talk, loud colors and lots of animated objects would be great for a group of small children, but hardly effective for the president of the company.

See Also ~
Background Colors and Graphics in PowerPoint 2010

2. Research the Product or Concept

Presentation skills
Presentation skills © Stockbyte/Getty Images

Simply said ... "Know your stuff."  You want to be up on everything there is to know about the product you are selling.  However, a successful presenter will focus on three or four things about the product and only promote those features. You want to give the audience lots of information but not overwhelm them.

See Also ~
How to Become a Better Presenter

3. Rehearse and Rehearse Some More

Presentation skills
Presentation skills © John Rowley/Getty Images

Actors don't go onstage or before a camera without a rehearsal (or many rehearsals).  What makes you think you don't have to do the same?  You too will have an audience.

Spend some time going through your complete presentation, from start to finish, and make that presentation out loud. If you can have a friend or colleague offer some constructive criticism, even better.  If not, talk to your mirror.  And ... if you can ... record yourself and listen to the recording.  You might be surprised at how good (or bad) you really are.

See Also ~
Record Sounds or Narration in PowerPoint 2007

4. Have an Agenda -- and Follow It

Presentation skills
Presentation skills © Photodisc/Getty Images

Break your presentation down into three sections:

  1. Introduction
  2. The "meat" of your topic
  3. Conclusion

In the words of Dale Carnegie:
"Tell the audience what you're going to say, say it; then tell them what you've said."

See Also ~
Dale Carnegie Quotes to Help You Become a Better Speaker

5. Confidence Sells

Presentation skills
Presentation skills © Jacqueline Veissid/Getty Images

This goes along with tips number two and three. Only a speaker who is thoroughly prepared can really be confident.

6. Don't Get Sidetracked

Presentation skills
Presentation skills © Dougal Waters/Getty Images

If questions arise during your talk, know how to pause the show and answer the question, but get back on track right away. It is too hard to get your momentum back if you get off topic.

See Also ~
Resume a PowerPoint Show After a Pause

7. Be Enthusiastic!

Presentation skills
Presentation skills © Laurence Monneret/Getty Images

Have you ever bought anything from a salesman who spoke in a monotone or clearly did not have any interest in his product? I know I haven't.

An effective presenter knows that the audience will ultimately decide on the success or failure of the product/concept he is selling. An enthusiastic presenter grabs your interest every time. Just make sure it is genuine enthusiasm. Audiences are savvy enough to spot a fake.

See Also ~
Deliver a Knockout Business Presentation

8. Use Real Life Examples

Presentation skills
Presentation skills © Siri Stafford/Getty Images

Reach out to the audience using real life examples. If the concept is difficult to get across, help them relate to it by saying "Remember when you did _______ as a kid?" or "You know what it is like when you _______ ."

This presentation technique helps the audience relate to the product or concept in a way that makes it real to them. As a result, it is much easier to see how this might fit their personal scenario.

See Also ~
Bad Presentation Techniques and Their Remedies

9. Don't Try to Be Convincing

Presentation skills
Presentation skills © Patrick Ryan/Getty Images

More than likely, many members of your audience will already know something about your topic area. They may have preconceived ideas or be in the audience unwillingly.

Present your material as if it is the most exciting product or idea ever. Bringing your knowledge and enthusiasm to the fore is what will make a sale. If you have to convince the audience, their opinion will remain the same as when they sat down.

See Also ~
The 10 Most Common Presentation Mistakes

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