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10 Presentation Skills (And How to Improve Them)

Published

February 17, 2023

Author

Jen Avelino

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Presentation Skills

Having a strong set of presentation skills is the key to advancing and thriving in a corporate setting. Being able to present confidently and effectively sell your ideas to your audience increases your chances of being trusted for larger projects, giving you a competitive edge over those who cannot. In this article, we'll take a look at the must-have presentation skills today as well as some tips to improve them so you can crush your next big presentation.

1. - Public speaking

Public speaking is arguably the most important presentation skill to have. Knowing how to speak in large crowds equips you with the same confidence to stand in front of your superiors, co-workers, and even clients and effectively get your ideas and opinions across. Having a good grasp of public speaking skills also gives you the power to engage and move your audience, making sure that they're not only listening but also absorbing the thought of your message.

Presentation Skills - Public Speaking

How to improve this presentation skill:  There’s no better way to improve your public speaking skills than to practice. Before your actual presentation, try to find some time to practice your speech and familiarize yourself with the words and sentences that you plan to use. It would help to calm your anxieties if you practice speaking with a buddy or colleague, although you can also try rehearsing in front of a mirror. 

Award-winning training platform SC Training (formerly EdApp) houses a number of great public speaking courses that you can also take to improve this particular presentation skill. There’s this course about Speaking with Confidence, which lays out some tips and techniques to gain fluency and confidence in public speaking. It’s best combined with another presentation skills training course, Getting Your Voice Heard, which demonstrates the right way to express yourself and make sure that your audience is actively listening to your points of view. 

Public Speaking - SC Training (formerly EdApp) Speaking with Confidence Course

Build and hone your presentation skills with SC Training (formerly EdApp)’s microlearning courses!

2. Effective communication

To succeed in your future presentation, it’s also crucial that you’re equipped with strong communication skills. More than just being able to deliver your message, you need to make sure that your ideas and opinions are fully understood by your audience. Being a good communicator also entails being able to listen to others when they ask questions and explain complex problems or clear up any confusion that may arise during your presentation.

Public Speaking - Effective Communication

How to improve this presentation skill: Improving your communication skills doesn’t have to be a daunting task. All you need is to have a good grasp of the 5Cs of communication – clear, concise, correct, complete, and compassionate. Better yet, use it as a checklist when preparing your presentation so you know you'll be able to properly communicate the right messages to your audience.

You can also turn to SC Training (formerly EdApp)’s Effective Communication course to gain some tips on how you can improve your communication skills, especially when you’re presenting and speaking in public. This presentation skills training course is 100% free for up to 10 users, plus it’s easily accessible through any device, like laptops and smartphones. 

Presentation Skills - SC Training (formerly EdApp) Effective Communication Course

3. Clear articulation

Presentations are done in real time. With no pause or rewind buttons to use, you must be able to articulate every word as coherently and clearly as possible. You must assure that your listeners can easily understand and interpret your message on their own, so that they can focus their full attention on you as you talk. 

Presentation Skill - Clear articulation

How to improve this presentation skill: To improve your articulation, make it a habit to record yourself when you practice your speech. This approach will give you a sense of how you sound to others and identify specific words and sentences that are not articulated as clearly as you would like. If there are some words or phrases that are quite tricky to pronounce, try saying them out loud every day until you get used to pronouncing them.

4. Research

Research skills include the ability to find information relevant to your topic or studies, and assess their credibility. It’s also about being able to critically analyze the knowledge you’ve gained and from there, make an informed decision. Being fully armed with information that’s supported by proven data or scientific results will allow you to discuss your presentation with confidence. It will also give you the expertise to address any questions that your audience might ask you. 

Presentation Skill - Research

How to improve this presentation skill: When preparing your presentation, it would be a good idea to always create an outline of the crucial things that require research. And as you start your research process, always look for different but credible sources that are relevant, accurate, and written by a trusted authority. It’s also essential that you organize your references in a systematic way so that you can easily return to those texts in case you need to confirm certain information. 

5. Writing

Another important presentation skill example that should be under your belt is writing. The logic is simple. If you can write your presentation script in a cohesive way, then you can also effectively present and communicate your ideas in-person. Having great writing skills can also help you construct your speech better and make sure that you’re using the right grammar and vocabulary as you speak in front of your clients, supervisors, and colleagues. 

Presentation Skill - Writing

How to improve this presentation skill: Being a good writer means having a strong command of your grammar and spelling, so it’s important that you have a full mastery of these things. There are a lot of manuals that you can consult to improve your grammar and spelling. Otherwise, you can also take advantage of some language training tools and English training tools to improve your language fluency.

Creating an outline of the things you’d like to discuss would also help improve your writing skill. This approach will help give your writing greater clarity and structure, leading to a more effective and compelling presentation.

6. Organizational skills

Having the ability to properly organize and structure your presentation will allow you to better communicate your message and ideas to your audience. It will help you keep track of the talking points that you must cover and prevent any awkward stops as you present your ideas. Having an organized presentation will also benefit your audience as they’ll be able to easily follow along and better understand your message. 

Presentation Skill - Organizational skills

How to improve this presentation skill: Whenever you’re preparing your presentation, it would be useful to always use a flow chart to organize the topics that you’re planning to tackle. From there, list down all the talking points you’d like to emphasize, along with some extra bits of information that you might want to share with your audience in case you’d be left with enough time. 

You might also want to consider following the three-part story formula – introduction, body, and conclusion – to better organize your thoughts. This will help you improve the flow of your presentation, securing better engagement with your audience.

7. Nonverbal communication

Nonverbal communication is as important as verbal communication in terms of delivering a successful presentation. Nonverbal cues like your body language, posture, and hand gestures emphasize your verbal message, increasing the clarity and credibility of the message you’re sending to the audience. To exude confidence and trustworthiness, it’s also worth learning how to make consistent eye contact, as if you’re personally talking to them.

Presentation Skill - Nonverbal communication

How to improve this presentation skill: The most effective technique to improve this soft skill example is to record yourself while you practice. Pay attention to your poise, gestures, and eye contact as you present your topic. Keep filming yourself until you achieve the right non-verbal responses. 

8. Questioning skills

Having the ability to formulate the right questions can do wonders for your presentation. It creates an exciting and engaging atmosphere, removing the boredom often associated with traditional presentations. Another thing is that it gives your audience a chance to think more deeply about your topic, effectively bringing them closer to your presentation. Knowing how to ask questions will also help you determine whether or not your audience is understanding your topic and clarify any information that seems confusing to them. 

Presentation Skill - Questioning skills

How to improve this presentation skill: When structuring your questions, make sure that they’ll encourage an active response from your audience. You might also want to consider asking rhetorical questions to stir a strong reaction from them. 

If you’re a little unsure about your questions, consider practicing first with your friends or colleagues and observe their responses or reactions. Watching public presentations or videos like TED Talks is also a great way to get some idea of how effective speakers formulate and deliver their questions to their listeners. 

9. Handling questions

It will also be highly beneficial for your presentation if you know how to handle questions during presentations and offer solutions without much difficulty. It’s likely that your audience might ask you questions before, during, or after your presentation, and to avoid sending a bad note, you need to learn how to respond as confidently as possible. You also need to know how to give intelligent solutions to establish your credibility and expertise as a speaker.

Presentation Skill - Handling questions

How to improve this presentation skill: If you have a presentation coming up in the near future, it would help significantly to read more about your topic in advance. Visualize any issues or problems that your audience might have, and try to develop a straightforward answer ahead of time. Having a bit of an idea of the questions they might ask can help better prepare yourself mentally, reducing your nerves as you speak in front of them.

10. Storytelling 

When done right, storytelling can be an excellent way to capture your audience's interest. Because, let’s face it, people, in general, enjoy stories. Even more so if they can resonate with it. Delivering a compelling story will allow you to connect with them more effectively and hold their attention all throughout your presentation. It also helps your audience easily digest your topics and listen actively to your points of view.

Presentation Skill - Storytelling 

How to improve this presentation skill: Storytelling, fortunately, is a skill that can be learned through continuous practice. Try to incorporate stories whenever you’re casually interacting with friends and colleagues. Every now and then, analyze whether or not the delivery of your stories is effective. If not, take the chance to improve that part until you find a way to fully engage them. 

There are also several storytelling training courses that you can take to build and improve this presentation skill. Like SC Training (formerly EdApp)’s Story Design course, for example. Here, you’ll get to explore the basic elements of a good story design and some tips to make your story strong, relevant, and compelling. This course is ultimately free and risk-free just sign-up to access it.

Presentation Skills - SC Training (formerly EdApp) Story Design Course

Author

Jen Avelino

Jen is a learning expert at SC Training (formerly EdApp), a mobile-based training platform that helps corporates and businesses bring their training solutions to the next level. She carries an extensive writing experience in a variety of fields, including architecture, the gig economy, and computer software. Outside of work, she enjoys her free time watching her favorite series and documentaries, reading motivational books, and cross-stitching.

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