President Gerald R. Ford said “Nothing in life is more important than the ability to communicate.”
Whether in a formal situation to a large audience or to a small select group, getting your idea across in a competent, confident and clear manner is very important. The key is to be yourself; people will relate to and understand your message better if there is a strong element of authenticity. When you stand up and present, you need to inject your own individuality and core beliefs.
According to Bloomberg Businessweek, there are two key elements to ensure you exert leadership and validity when presenting:
- Prepare. It is just as important that you understand the ‘ins and outs’ of your audience, as well as your message. Solid preparation will mean that what you present is understandable and relatable for your audience
- Project. Think about the way in which you are presenting. Bloomberg highlight that you need to “use your voice to amplify your words, your gestures to punctuate your message and your pauses to give the audience time to reflect on what you have to say”
If you do not feel too confident at presenting, then build up from presenting to smaller groups first and even practise your speech on friends to gain any feedback from them. Being able to present confidently not only means you are a good public-speaker, but that you are apt at speaking eloquently and clearly. Understanding your audience will ensure you know the best way to put your message across and build up a strong case, to make sure others believe in what you are talking about just as much as you do.
Have you had any good or bad experiences when presenting? What do you find is the key to strong presentation skills?