Public Speaking Training on Presentation Skills – a Beginner’s Guide

If you’re new to public speaking, then let’s start with an easy way of understanding presentation skills.

Simply put, presentation skill is the process of efficiently, effectively, and elegantly communicating and transmitting your message to your audience.

Your message may be simple or complex.

Presentation skills can vary depending on why you’re speaking in the first place and what you’re trying to accomplish: you may be attempting to persuade and influence your audience, or you may be trying to inspire and enlighten, or you may be required to impart new skills and abilities, or you may just be there to report facts and data.

Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, you can use various presentation aids such as a flip chart, PowerPoint presentations with a projector or a whiteboard or flip chart.

In some cases nothing at all is just fine, again depending on what you’re trying to accomplish.

The tone of your presentation may be more or less formal depending on the context. If you know everyone in the audience such as a work meeting of coworkers, that’s different than if you’re making a presentation to a group of people you’ve never met before.

Of course the beginner public speaker may need to deal with stage fright. See my other training articles if you have fear of public speaking.

Presentation skills boil down to using various techniques that are very easy to learn. With a little practice, anyone can become a polished presenter.

The best way to develop terrific presentation skills quickly is simply to take a very good presentation skills training (see my training articles on how to evaluate public speaking training).

Here are some tips to help you with your presentation:

* If you use PowerPoint, have a one-page bullet-point outline of your entire presentation handy in case the computer crashes, the projector doesn’t work, or for any reason you can’t use your PowerPoint presentation.

* Use the “Rule of 3”: distill your presentation down to 3 key points you want to cover. Tell them what you’ll tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you’ve told them: design your presentation in 3 parts: first an overview of your key points, then the details of your presentation, then a summary (basically a recap and repeat of the overview in the beginning).

* “Use the 5 Minute Rule” to conquer stage fright: most of my students report that any lingering fear of public speaking goes away within the first 5 minutes once they get rolling with their presentation.

* If you use PowerPoint, never read your slides out loud: the audience can already read them. Just put up bullet points that remind you of what you want to talk about.

* Openings and closings are most important: psychologists call it “primacy / recency” but really the last thing you say is the last thing they’ll really hear and remember, so hammer your main points at the end and then say “thank you” and you’re done.

Best of luck in all your public speaking! For more public speaking training articles visit http://www.bestpublicspeakingtraining.com/

David Portney is the author of “129 Seminar Speaking Success Tips” and the founder of the Academy of Public Speaking located in Redondo Beach, California where he personally conducts specialized workshops and public speaking trainings. Visit David’s website: http://www.bestpublicspeakingtraining.com/

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