Presentation Skills Training: 7 Tips To Do and 5 To Avoid

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Presentation skills training is what is needed for anyone having to present information to an audience.

As audience members, we've all been there…

Trapped in a hotel ballroom…

First thing in the morning after an evening reception that served alcohol...

Or first thing after lunch…

You’ve decided to attend a session at a conference because you really wanted to learn. You tell yourself to leave the smartphone alone, take notes and be engaged.

And then the presentation starts…

Slide after slide with too much text in too much detail and worse, the presenter is reading them to you like you were a six-year old.

That’s when it happens… you pull out your smartphone and start checking email. Wonder what’s happening on Facebook? Anything to keep your mind engaged.

I know because I witnessed this as an audience member with a group of executives last week. The last one’s I would’ve thought would dis-engage.

But it can happen to everyone – boredom.

And that’s what’s killing meetings meeting planners – poor presentation skills training.

So if you are not using a professional speaker like me, someone who makes their living on presenting to groups, at least make sure your members, vendors or other experts increase their presentation skills  beginning with these five things to avoid with your presentation.

Avoid These 5 Errors When Presenting To An Audience

  1. Not having an outline

  2. Using over forty characters per slide. (That was thirty.)

  3. Reading your slides outloud.

  4. Using the underpowered projector you use in your office.

  5. Being oblivious to the audience.

7 Tips To Increase Your Presentation Skills Training

  1. Give them a slide with a one or two word bulleted roadmap of your presentation.

  2. Chunk your information into no more than 3 main points and repeat them at the end.

  3. Edit for clarity.

  4. Find one killer picture that represents your one point.

  5. It’s OK to have notes but use the visual to keep your audience engaged.

  6. Keep their engagement by asking an easy question of someone who is paying attention. (If you ask it from someone on their cellphone you’ll look like a scolding parent.)

  7. Give a wrap-up at the end.

As a speaker, whether you are a professional or amateur you must be there to entertain as well as enlighten so never forget how it feels to be in the audience and bored. Unless meeting planners make sure their presenters are engaging, you’ll find attention drop-off.

Unless your audience is preschoolers, no one wants to be in a room and read to.