Jan 20, 2016

7 Ways to Master the Art of Presenting - What I have learned in 7 years!

1. Practice. Practice. Practice. The more you present, the better you get. There is no other way. You will fail quite a lot initially but keep going.

2. Learn to use software. I see many good managers who hardly know simple features of PowerPoint. You do not need mastery. Spend few hours on Google and learn some cool tips and tricks to help you save time and make the most of the software.

3. Entertain. Remember as a presenter, you are there to entertain people. Even in business presentations. Everyone wants to have a good time and no one wants to be bored. Add humor and add stories.

4. Go visual. Ditch wordy slides completely. Force yourself to write no more than 10 words on every slide. Use large images which cover the entire screen. Use professional stock images and avoid clip art.

5. Get inspired. Presenting is a creative skill and you need inspiration. Expose yourself to TED talks. Watch how these people communicate, share stories, make you laugh and carefully look at their slides. You can use their styles in your next presentation. What stops you from learning from them?

6. Read. Read books on presentations and communications. You cannot learn everything by doing. Read a book and then try to implement the lessons in your next presentation. The best book? Made to Stick. It is a classic.

7. Rehearse. Rehearse atleast 10 times before you take the stage the next time. Point 1 above was about - the more you present, the better you become. This is about mastering a particular presentation. To come out natural, rehearse before a talk. Do not memorize, just find a flow. You will have no stage fright if you have rehearsed 10 times.

Why this post today?

Every new year I celebrate the birthday of my blog. What started as a hobby way back in January 2009 is now a full-time business for me. I started blogging to learn more about presentations and public speaking. Slowly the blog brought in enquiries and business. Eventually in January last year I started my own communications business. I now make presentations for a living :)

Looking back, in these 7 years I have written more than 550 posts. Today I have condensed all of that and shared 7 tips that will make you a good presenter this new year. Go ahead and take the stage with confidence. Happy New Year once more...

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