Presentation Skills

When people give presentations they tend to focus on delivering great content, and spend almost no time on preparing how they will deliver that content for maximum effect.

It’s well known that 70% of communication is non-verbal, that is to say, if you do not get that 70% absolutely spot on you will communicate the wrong message.

Did you know we can not, not communicate? If you stand in front of your audience, fold your arms and say nothing at all you will still communicate something… probably that you don’t care!

We are excellent communicators (hey we’ve been doing it since we were born!) it’s just we don’t all focus on how we communicate the messages we want… and so the message we don’t want gets sent… doh!

So here are a  few pointers to great presentations:

  1. Get in to an appropriate state to start your presentation
  2. Believe that you are a great presenter
  3. Be aware of how you anchor parts of the room to positive and negative emotions, or how parts of the room can represent different states, such as motivation, excitement or curiosity – then ensure you use this to your advantage
  4. Start the presentation by managing the state of your audience. Encourage them to be in a state that is useful to you e.g. curiosity or relaxation. Do this by telling stories they can relate to.
  5. Start 3 stories at the beginning of the presentation, Open story 1, Open story 2, Open Story 3. This technique opens the mind and keeps it open during your presentation as the audience are subconsiously waiting for the conclusion
  6. Give your presentation
  7. Close Story 3, close story 2, close story 1.
  8. During the presentation be aware of rapport building. Ensure you speak to all sides of the room and make eye contact with people from around the room. In a small group, if some people are fidgeting or not paying attention, turn your body towards them, open your arms in a welcoming gesture and engage with them to bring them back in.
  9. Be aware of your language patterns. Tell people what to do, not what not to do! The mind doesn’t process negatives well, so if I say “Don’t think of pink elephants” what are you thinking of? If I say “Don’t slam the door” I put the focus on slamming the door, a far better phrase would be to say “Please close the door gently”. So, focus on what you want, not what you don’t want.
  10. Use language that people can relate to in  their own ways. Some people are visual, so use visual language. “Do you see what I mean? How does that look to you?” Some people are kinesthetic and relate to feelings. “How does that grab you? Can you get a handle on that?” Some people have that logical voice in their heads which analyses everything “What do you think about that? Can you figure it out?” whilst others relate to the world by sound “Does that sound OK to you? Does that ring any bells with you?
These are some simple basics for a great presentation, for more information about managing your state, overcoming phobias of public speaking why not book on an NLP Taster Day

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