presenting

How to improve presentation skills through practice

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At work or in school at times we have to present. It can be a group presentation or we have to present ourselves. Whatever the situation presentation skills are usually important to succeed at work. So let’s talk about how to improve presentation skills.

How to improve presentation skills

Watch yourself in your mirror

Practice, practice, and practice. That is how you become better at something and that is how to improve presentation skills. Before any presentation practice in the mirror and watch yourself. Don’t write down everything just points. So you aren’t reading out everything but if you forget something you have points there to get back on track.

Record yourself

Voice recordings allow you to hear yourself. There you can tell if you sound nervous, shaky or if you are going too fast. When you get nervous you might tend to go faster so remind yourself to be slow.

It can sometimes be awkward to listen to your voice as you are not used to it. It is an adjustment to listen to yourself but it is worth it.

Video record yourself

Video recording allows you to watch your body language while presenting. You might be doing something that might make you seem nervous. You can hear yourself and see yourself so there are double benefits. You can also time yourself through the presentation.

Slower your pace

This is a problem I always have is talking too fast. I’ll practice and I’ll be slow. But in the moment I will become fast when I am nervous. So I keep a post-it for myself on my computer when presenting online reminding myself to slow down.

Ask for feedback

Feedback from someone else is the best way to improve. We sometimes have a blind eye when it comes to our fault. Asking a co-worker, professor, manager, or friend for feedback after a presentation might give you some insight on how you can improve. You can then put the feedback into practice.

Get every opportunity you can

Use opportunities at work and class to present. Yeah, at the beginning you might sound nervous and it will be hard but the more you present the more comfortable you will get with it. Try in small groups and large. Online and in-person are both great ways to start presenting. Start small with trying to present in the pandemic virtually then build your confidence to present in person.

Take a course

Take a course that has presentation and public speaking. This will give you a reason and accountability to make sure you present

Join Toastmasters

Join groups like toastmasters where you can get ample opportunities to present different types of work.

Small steps and continuing to practice is the way to improve any skill and it is the same with a presentation.

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