Great orators have always been a force to moving or influencing people. The world has seen its share of charismatic speakers that have made heads of nations, spiritual personalities, movie or music celebrities, company heads and even dictators. People are moved by the skill of a great orator or the effectiveness of his or her presentation skills. But what is it about their presentation that resonates with so many people? Or should we ask an even more important question – what is a Presentation skill?While certain specific presentation techniques are universally common, Business Presentation Skills have a certain tried and tested method 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 structure of a good presentation:
An Agenda With a Purpose: The speaker needs to know where he or she wants to go with the presentation – what is the message that he or she wants to convey? Who is the target audience? These are questions that a presenter needs to know the answers to, well before they take the stage to give a presentation. Proceeding through a plan is much more effective if one has a map and a plan. That should be the primary objective of having an agenda.
Meticulous Preparation: Regardless of the confidence of the speaker’s message, they must always prepare ahead of time to do justice to the goal of the presentation. Trying to stumble through the presentation without a plan doesn’t work and neither is it professional. The presenter must be prepared to clarify vague issues and also tackle troubleshooting questions. It also helps to arrive ahead of time in order to get a good feel for the environment.
The ‘Sandwich’ Structure: Just like a sandwich, every presentation must have three distinct parts to it that requires slightly different approaches. Most speakers tend to focus only on the ‘body’ of the presentation but fail to make a good first impression or fail to end their message well once done with the body. Beginning with a good attention-grabbing introduction that makes a good impression is vital to starting off on the right note. A good opener sets the tone for a good presentation.
The body of the message is where most of the intended content is placed. The speaker must take his time in unpacking the major elements of the body in a clear and concise manner. Holding eye contact and keeping an ‘open’ body posture helps to relax the crowd and feel connected with the speaker. Often speakers rush through their presentation without proper pausing or spacing due to nervousness or haste and end up looking anxious and insecure. Well-timed pausing can be useful to the presenter and must be used tactfully to allow the depth of the content to sink in to the listeners’ minds and hearts.Finally, ending a presentation well gives a good finishing touch to the presentation and ends with a note of closure for the listeners. If done well, the listeners will leave with a good appreciation for the value of the message. It helps to finish on a positive note while also thanking the listeners for their time and patience.Presentation Skills Training is an important aspect of corporate training that helps companies equip their employees with good communication and presentation skills and make them effective speakers or presenters.