The Top Ways to Improve Your Business Presentation Skills

It seems like most people are afraid of something, although each and every person’s phobias are different. Some fears are founded in reason, like America’s second-most popular fear, the fear of heights — one wrong step and your life could be over. Drowning is similarly rooted in reason, even in people who can swim.

What is the most popular fear, anyways? It’s surely death, paralysis, loss of loved ones, or something similar, right?

Wrong — it’s public speaking. According to the Chapman University Survey on American Fears, public speaking edges out heights, bugs and animals, drowning, needles or blood, and claustrophobia as America’s most prevalent fear. More than 25% of United States citizens share the ever-common yet irrational glossophobia, a proper term for speech anxiety.

Most employees have to give presentations as part of their jobs, ranging from multiple times every day to once a year. Let’s look into the top ways to improve your business presentation skills. With at-home practice, real-world application, and a little — or a lot — of toughness, you’re certain to dole out quality presentations more often than ever before.

Practice In Front Of A Camera

Everyone’s heard the cliché “practice makes perfect,” and it’s actually very true. People preparing for business presentations often practice by themselves, in front of friends, or around willing coworkers. Most fail to practice in front of a camera, unaware of its potential benefits.

Practicing in front of a video recording device allows you to closely scrutinize yourself using video playback. You can grade your body language, tone of voice, and stage presence. Practicing using video offers many benefits that plain-jana, camera-free rehearsals don’t.

Research The Demographics Of Your Audience

The goal of business presentations are usually to persuade listeners to change their views or take action. Business representative might be asked with selling new products, underused services, or beefing up their employer’s brand image among other businesses. As such, presentations are entirely about audience members, rather than speakers themselves. To best deliver the message(s) your employer instructs you to, thoroughly research audience demographics, interests, and characteristics.

Learning about audience members, if possible, allows speakers to tailor their messages directly to listeners, rather than spreading generic messages that might not hit home with any one group of people.

Learn To Improve Your PowerPoint Skills

PowerPoint is used in virtually every business, university, or team presentation or speech. The program is installed on most computers, is safe to use, and regarded across businesses as the standard in speeches, talks, and demonstrations. As such, every talented business speaker is well-versed in PowerPoint.

Stay away from charts with more than 7 or 8 sections. Don’t use more than two different sizes or types of font. Center slides and back them up with plain slide backgrounds that don’t distract listeners from your message.

Try To Channel Anxiety Into Healthy Nervousness

Nobody knows for sure, although it’s more than reasonable to assume that humans get anxious in hopes of encouraging better performance. Men and women alike spend hours preparing themselves for first-time dates, worried about what their potential partners will think about them. University students get scared of upcoming tests, realizing bad performance could destroy scholarships or academic honors. These are just two examples of situations that spur anxiety, among which there are many others.

Rather than succumbing to the discomfort of anxiety, channel your negative feelings of uncertainty into healthy nervousness. Instead of being scared and putting off presentation preparations, utilize anxiety for encouragement in knocking your upcoming demonstrations out of the proverbial park.

Don’t Underestimate The Value Of Humor

Trained and brand-new businesspeople alike realize business presentations are serious business, with managers expecting them to act on their best behaviors to impress visitors. It might seem counterintuitive, but humor is effective in creating bonds with audience members. Aim to start off demonstrations with humor.

Final Thoughts

Public speaking is the most prevalent fear in the United States, if not across the entire world. Anxiety often affects people’s presentation skills in business settings, harming their career advancement and salary potentials. Utilizing these tips will nearly instantly improve your business presentation skills.

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About the author: Wifred Murray

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