Three quick tips to improve your presentation skills
Tuesday, 29 March 2011
We do a lot of training to help people stand up and present to an audience. Sometimes it’s easy to spot what will improve a performance. Sometimes it’s about subtle coaching and confidence building.
My background was presenting news on ITV and Channel 4. I can’t help but evaluate interviewees when I see them on TV. I saw Baroness Ashton on Newsnight recently in a two-way with Jeremy Paxman. She was, I think, in Cairo.
And she was awful!
Not because of what she said. Paxman didn’t seem to rate it and tried to lay in to her. But I don’t really think anyone apart from him was paying attention to her words. The rest of the audience was wondering why her head was resting on her shoulders at 45 degrees and looked as if it was about to drop off.
So in a nutshell – anything which distracts the audience detracts from the performance. The good Baroness may well have made some excellent political points, or not, I was simply wondering how her head was staying on.
Here are three quick tips to ensure the audience pay attention to your words:
- Sit up straight (if you are sitting)! If you are standing you should still have shoulders horizontal! It’s amazing how many people sit at a slant and slouch.
- Say what you want to say! This isn't necessarily what the interviewer is trying to get you to say.
- Be an enhanced version of yourself. Don’t make jokes if you can’t tell them well – but do be confident in what you can do well. After all – if you’ve been asked to present it’s because you’ve got something to say.
I will be writing more about presentation skills in the coming weeks. Let me know if there is anything you want covered.
If you want to speak to one of our team to discuss a bespoke presentation training course, send an email to email@example.com or give us a call on 0115 969 4600.