Dale Carnegie once said that “There are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave.”
Considering that in future your presentation will be listened to by various stakeholders of the society and the organisation in which you work, it is the hallmark of a successful Manager to present the content at their level best.
The presentation that you deliver will not only define the way forward for the organisation but will also pave a way for many working under you to understand their objectives and tasks and expectations from them. On the contrary, a poor presentation will only eat up into the productive hours of employees with no focus on goal setting.
Thus, it is very crucial for a Manager to come up with an effective and powerful presentation that leaves a mark on the audience and helps them get a better picture of the tasks entrusted to them. Here are 6 presentation skills that have the potential to transform you into a great Manager.
1. Prepare well for the Presentation
It is important to prepare well for the matter that will be listened by your peers and seniors. While speaking, you must not fumble or appear anxious or you will be considered as self-doubting by the listeners. These are a few points that you should take care before appearing for the D-day.
Rehearse your presentation: Try to read through the slides and memorise the matter so that you look confident while transitioning the slides. This will also keep you at ease in the interjection round when the listeners will cross question you about the content mentioned in the slides.
Know the PPT Equipments before-hand: It is advisable that you check the projector and other requisite machines involved in the process. This will also help you avoid technical glitches during the final show.
Prepare to Speak: Your speech should sound seamless to the listeners. An in-depth research of the matter is required to build a sound understanding of the topic. Avoid using too many sentence fillers such as ‘emm, err, Umm, ohh, hmmm’ in the presentation as they sound unprofessional and exhibits shallowness in the knowledge base of the speaker.
Carry Cue Cards if required: If you feel that a lot has to be delivered and the slides carry very less information for the ease of the readers, you can carry Cue cards to guide the talk. But, do not read from them. Mention important pointers that you wish to take up to keep the interaction interesting.
2. Focus on the Audience
A renowned author and speaker ‘Lilly Walters’ once said that “The success of your presentation will be judged not by the knowledge you send but by what the listener receives.”
If we go by the meaning of the quote, it explicitly mentions that it is important to understand the profile of your audience who, you will address in the presentation. Sometimes, use of heavy technical jargons can restrict smooth flow of information and the listeners become uninterested. Other times the case maybe that the issues being discussed are not related to the work profile of the listeners and they feel out of context in the meetings.
It is important do profiling of the listeners before you make a final move. This profiling will help you prepare well and deliver rich content that will benefit the organisation and its employees. The presentation should aim to enhance the existing pool of knowledge leading to enhancement in the performance of the employees.
3. Involve Listener/Audience Engagement
It is your onus to shift the limelight from you to the audience listening to your presentation. The biggest failure of your presentation will be a lazy and uninterested audience. So, involve your audience in interactive sessions and ask them to participate.
Prepare relevant repertoire of questions that you can use while at that moment. There is a ground rule of audience attention span which you must respect when you deliver the presentation. A research study reveals that a best speaker or presenter can hold the attention of the audience for maximum 7 to 10 minutes which is the longest time block.
Image Source: makeuseof.com
If you do not want to end up in a situation as shown above, it is recommended that consider that keep the speaking sessions short. You can ask questions in the session to keep them attentive. Include pictures, videos and other interactive stuff to help listeners remain alert.
4. Keep Your PPT Slides Interactive
Most of you must have heard of the idiom that “A picture is worth a thousand words”. The idiom correctly summarises the core idea of the presentation slides.
There are various marketing companies which engage in the eye-tracking study of the viewers. It is very relevant for the presentation as well because 90 per cent of the information we take in comes from the path of eyes and it barely takes a quarter of second to process that information and interpret it to derive its meaning.
Hence, you must use the following cues to make the listeners/viewers understand your presentation more effectively.
5. Follow the KISS Rule
Your presentation also needs a KISS from you!
Yes you heard it right. Applying KISS (Keep it short and simple) rule to your presentation will make it more relevant and receptive. The rule was coined by the late Kelly Johnson, who was the lead engineer at the Lockheed Skunk Works. Your presentation should be easy to follow and understood. Don’t clutter it up with too many words or examples to make the listeners confused at the end.
Even when you speak to the listeners, be very clear and concise in your message. Do not give indirect references or best around the bush. Remember that you have the responsibility of all the people in the meeting to perform at their best after the meeting winds up. The presentation must give some point to everyone to take home and put to practise.
In order to apply this rule, you can follow these instructions and win the hearts of the listeners.
6. Be Generous
Generosity is one asset that can take you long way with your audience. The listeners do not seek a speaker who is loud and gives them headache, but are more willing and open to the ones who maintain a level of generosity in their voice, pitch, actions and thoughts.
It is a complete package of everything that your personality depicts. There are many ways to be generous from the stage with your listeners. One way is to rehearse and become a compelling speaker which requires you to be fully available to your listeners.
Generosity is that tangible skill that will impact your communication with the listeners at every level of communication. These are certain points which you need to keep in check as a presenter:
- Do not negate the queries of the listeners. Do not offend them or make them believe that their doubts are baseless.
- Accept your mistakes and if you do not possess information on any points raised by the listeners, then let them know by when you will get back.
- Offer them genuine advice if they share their problems/grievances
- Seek their feedback at the end of the presentation and appreciate healthy criticism
These are a few tips which you should consider before delivering a presentation. These tips can significantly impact the quality of your presentation positively. A good presentation often makes the effort worthwhile for the listeners to understand and helps them gain an edge over others in professional career.
Truly said that a presentation has the power to portray you as a great manager!!