Honing Presentation Skills Can Help You in Work and in Life

Aug 20, 2015

By Michaela Rutschow, Membership & Marketing Intern

Do you remember the best presentation you’ve ever experienced or someone who really resonated with you? Have you wondered what you can do to be just as impactful? During a Young Execs program session last month Amy Hedin, CEO & Founder of HumanPoint, focused on public speaking and how to prepare for a powerful presentation. Throughout her presentation Amy gave many good tips on how to not only impress others with your presenting skills, but also how to present yourself with confidence in any situation. Check out these tips:

Pay attention to body language to lay a powerful foundation.  

Body language is a powerful form of nonverbal communication. With this in mind, it is important to know what body language conveys so that we may use it to our advantage. For example, Amy said that standing with your feet crossed or together may communicate weakness or nervousness, whereas if you plant your feet 4-6 inches apart, you look strong and capable. Keeping eye contact is important when you first meet someone or are giving a presentation because it also portrays confidence.

Approach your presentation like you would any other project.Amy suggested a simple 7 step process as a way to prepare a powerful presentation.

  1. Write a purpose for your presentation. If you create a clear purpose it allows you to hone in on what you need and want to accomplish which leads to the next step.
  2. Write out your desired outcomes such as “Do you want a promotion or a new client?”
  3. Identify a key message so that you can portray a point you want to make.
  4. Write and re-write a copy of your presentation until you are happy with it. Be happy with your draft because it gives you inspiration and peace of mind when trying to complete a final presentation.
  5. Memorize your content, but not until you are happy with it. Once you are happy with it, make sure to above all memorize the key points of your presentation.
  6. Rehearse. It is so important to rehearse because it allows you to become familiar with your slides and notice things such as your body language and your timing.
  7. The last step is to prepare multiple versions of your presentation because you never know when you will be asked to cut your 20 minute presentation to just 10 minutes.

So now you are ready and have an amazing presentation – what’s next? The skills you adapt for a great presentation, such as your body language, allow you to go out in other social settings and be conscious of how you look to other people. It is the small things like sitting in a meeting or a short talk in the hall that allows others to see you out of the spotlight and how you interact with others. It allows them to see your true character. Gaining these skills will positively impact the way you feel amount yourself and how other people see you.

If you would like to watch an example of a great presentation here’s a TED Talk that Amy suggested. When asked what she thought the best speech ever was, Amy said Steve Jobs delivered a knockout speech for the unveiling of the first iPhone which you can watch here.

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