7 Steps to Effective Presentation Skills

Studies show that many people have more fear of public speaking than of dying. That’s huge. Whether you’re giving your first presentation or your 100th, these tips will help you give less fearful, more powerful presentations.

Step 1
Plan, Prepare, and Practice.

The first step is to plan your verbal presentation – what you’re going to say. When giving a presentation, you should always talk about something you know – something in which you are an expert. Credibility is important to get people to listen to you.

If you’re stuck on planning a talk, use this formula: Tell them what you’re going to tell them. Tell them. Tell them what you told them.

Once your presentation is complete – practice, practice, practice. Know your talk so well you could give it in your sleep. But so you won’t put your audience to sleep, follow these next tips.

Step 2
Focus on your visual presentation.

The visual aspect of your presentation is the most important in getting your message across. It includes your body language, gestures, facial expression, eye contact, appearance, and visuals such as PowerPoint – all of what the audience sees.

The people in your audience will form their first impressions of you when you walk into the room. So dress for success and appear confident and friendly, even if your knees are knocking.

Good posture and natural gestures are important. Your most important facial expression is your smile. Smile and they won’t notice if you’re nervous. The most important visual is eye contact. Look at each person during your talk.

Use visuals whenever possible. Some basic rules for PowerPoint are that your slides should always be in color (no exceptions) and use graphics. If you’re talking about going green, for example, show video, photographs, or clip art that represent what you’re saying in each slide. Don’t hesitate to be humorous if it feels right for you.

Step 3
Use variety in your vocal presentation.

The second most important aspect is your vocal presentation – how you use your voice. It includes volume, pace, tone, inflection, and enunciation. Speak loudly and clearly (even with a microphone), not too fast or slow.

Vary you pace and don’t forget the all-important PAUSE. Don’t be afraid of silence and say “uh.” Pause before and after you make a point; it makes your listeners’ ears perk up. If you go along in a monotone, don’t be surprised if they go to sleep. Pausing can make you sound conversational. Say, “There’s one thing that (short pause) can make recycling more effective.” That slight hesitation makes it seem as if you’re just thinking of what you’re going to say next, as you would in a conversation.

Use a downward inflection at the end of a sentence. Don’t say, “More and more people are composting than ever before?” You’re telling them, not asking them. This is a bad habit a lot of people have, even experienced speakers. Don’t be guilty of doing this or you’ll sound wishy-washy and unsure of yourself. A fatal flaw for speakers.

Step 4
Use notes, but don’t read or memorize.

When I prepare a talk, I think of what I want to say and say it aloud. Then I write a phrase or some key words that will remind me of what I want to say. I’ll type a twenty-minute talk on one or two sheets of paper with just notes that guide me to the next point.

There are a couple of exceptions to this rule. Since your introduction and closing are most important, it’s okay to memorize them so you can begin and end with confidence and effective eye contact. Also, if you’re quoting someone, it’s all right to write the quote in full and read some (not all) of it.

If you’re going to allow for questions and answers, do them before closing your talk. You want to leave them with your strongest point and call to action. I like to end by saying, “I’ll leave you with these words of…” and give a powerful quote that sums up my presentation. Don’t end by saying, “thank you,” as if they’re doing you a favor. You’re doing them a favor. If you must, say instead something like, “You’ve been a great audience and I’ve really enjoyed being here.”

Step 5
Tell stories.

Tom Peters said, “The best leaders…almost without exception and at every level…are master users of stories and symbols.” And, of course the best leaders are the best speakers.

Tell them the story of how you got your children to turn off lights, save water, and recycle. Your stories should be personal and related to a point you’re making. Have you ever gotten teary-eyed or a lump in your throat when a speaker told you how they escaped death in a car accident? Make ‘em laugh; make ‘em cry. They’ll relate to and remember you for it. And stories just make your presentation a lot more personal and interesting.

Step 6
Control your fear of public speaking.

Notice I didn’t say eliminate it, although you may reach that point with enough experience. A little nervousness is a good thing – it keeps you on your toes and gives you energy. Just don’t let it show. Steve Bull advises, “Nerves and butterflies are fine – they’re a physical sign that you’re mentally ready and eager. You have to get the butterflies to fly in formation, that’s the trick.”

There are only two reasons I can think of to be nervous or fearful of giving a presentation. One, you’re putting too much importance on what people think of you (ego). Think of what you can do for them instead; that’s what you’re there for. And know that audiences are on your side. They want you to do a good job; they’re not sitting there judging you unless you’re awful. Your presentation is for them – not you.

The other reason – a legitimate one – to be nervous is if you’re unprepared. There’s no excuse for this. People don’t mind if you make mistakes or lose your place, but they do mind if you bore them or show a lack of concern for them by not being prepared.

Step 7
Get speech coaching.

Hopefully, these steps have given you some ideas on improving your presentation skills. The best way to make huge improvements is to hire a professional coach. Every experienced, dynamic speaker has had one. Your coach will support you and diplomatically point out ineffective things you’re doing that you may be unaware of on your own.

Here’s to your success as a personable, professional, powerful presenter!

Are You Presentable From All Sides? The Art Of Building A Trade Show Display In The Round

You’re used to analyzing your trade show display from the front. You can hide many things in back, like a disorganized pile of literature or a staff schedule. Yet this kind of design makes a very important assumption: that you’ll be able to put it against a wall and that three of the four sides will be enclosed. While space allotment often works out such that those conditions apply, there are many venues where the design permits, or even favors, trade show displays that can be viewed from any angle.

A Trade Show Exhibit Inspired By Theatre In The Round

For many years, some of the most artistic and innovative theatre companies have been putting on performances in the round. In the round means that there is no ‘back’ to the stage; your audience is all around, so you have to be certain that you’re always presenting an appealing visual from every side of the stage. This becomes even more complicated because the design must be a good setting for the telling of a story.

Remembering the roots of the total visibility trade show exhibit often helps first-time designers with their initial conceptualization. Your information is like the plot of the play, unfolding against the backdrop of your trade show displays. When you have the unit out in the open, the stakes of good display practice are higher, but there’s a lot more potential reward as well. Like the set designer for a major production, you must always remember that you’re promoting a product or the unit itself can take over.

Square Or Round Trade Show Display?

The first choice you will make will be to decide what shape you’d like the unit to take. Theoretically (and budget permitting), you could make it any shape you desire. Some of the companies with the largest budgets will create highly personalized shapes that further represent their company or offer particular advantage for showcasing their products. While this might be a good option for your next trade show display, your first exhibit in the round can be a bit more simplistic. Simply decide whether you’d like the strength and hardness of a squared-off unit, or the curved form of a circular version. Like with so many other questions, there isn’t a wrong answer; it’s simply a matter of which you feel best suits your company.

Remember That Your Trade Show Exhibits Have No Back

Whenever you design one object for an exhibit, you need to plan what will be put in back of it. When you have true total visibility, people will literally see things from every angle. If you’ve chosen to put a sign high above your exhibit, you need to think about how you’ll hide the supports so people passing on the other side can read it as well. In some cases, adjusting for this is as simple as creating a mirror image of the front on the backside. In other cases, it can be much more difficult. One way or the other, the key to success here is to simply plan out all sides of the unit and its components.

Creating a cohesive and visually dynamic freestanding display is an art that takes time and practice to master. Once you have some experience under your belt, you’ll have a substantial advantage because this type of unit looks like no other. Many companies and visitors consider it to be the pinnacle of modern trade show displays. Your first attempt might not win any awards, but with additional experience you’ll be able to create even more outstanding designs that will impress visitors at every angle.

Fathers Day Presents – Intel Wireless Gamepad

Brief Description Of This Gamepad Accessory

The Intel Wireless Gamepad is great for your gaming needs and will make a great Father’s Day gift for your dad if he loves playing games on the computer.

However, before you get this gamepad, do take note that it requires the 900 MHz Intel Wireless Series Base Station in order for this gamepad to work and it is sold separately. So, you may want to also get that (you can get it on Amazon.com as well) for your dad too if he does not have one.

The Intel Wireless Gamepad features a unique design that is sleek and is able to fit nicely in your handing allowing your dad to play games comfortably for long periods. It has an excellent range of 9 foot and still works even if there is no direct line of sight to the base station.

On the gamepad are 8 buttons, 2 triggers, 1 shift button, as well as a Dpad that is very sensitive. Your dad can even customize the gamepad by assigning the control buttons with up to 28 moves or profiles.

Customers’ Critiques About This Intel Wireless Series Gamepad Accessory

In terms of customers’ satisfaction toward this Intel Wireless Series Gamepad Accessory, a majority of them are pretty satisfied with their purchase (the product has received an overall of 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com).

Some of the positive feedback as reported by the customers include the fact that they are very delighted to find out that the range of this Intel Wireless Gamepad is much more than advertised (which is 3 yards). And when it comes to the installation of this gamepad, many have said that it was a breeze due to the fact that the installation guides were extremely helpful.

Many of the customers have also added that this Intel Wireless Gamepad was also very nice to hold, and very functional as well (in that the response rate was fantastic).

The only downside about this product, as reported by some of the customers, is that the button to enable the mouse feature was probably placed a bad spot – As they sometimes will press it accidentally during a game, which makes it turn into a mouse cursor.

Our Final Verdict

In conclusion, after taking a look at this Intel Wireless Gamepad for ourselves, as well as taking into considering the customers’ feedback about it, we feel that, especially if your dad is an avid gamer, then this gamepad will probably be one of the most perfect Father’s day present you can get for him.

What’s nice about this gamepad is that it not only functions as a gamepad, but it can also be used as a mouse with a computer and surf the net with it.

Therefore, surprise your game-loving dad by getting him the Intel Wireless Gamepad for your dad this Father’s Day. He’ll love you for it!