3 presentation techniques to improve your speaking

December 22, 2022

3 min read

Presentations are a powerful tool to capture the attention of an audience and deliver meaningful messages. But if you don’t have the right skills, your presentation can fail miserably. Whether you’re giving a business pitch or delivering a lecture in class, mastering certain techniques is essential for success. In this blog post, we’ll discuss three of the most effective presentation techniques that will help ensure your next presentation is as engaging as possible.

Presentation Technique 1: Prepare thoroughly.

Before you give a presentation, it’s important to do your research and put together a well-prepared set of content (this could be slides, a memo or talking points). Make sure all the information is accurate and up to date, and that the visuals are clear and easy to understand. Additionally, practice presenting in front of a mirror or friends so you can become more comfortable with your material and delivery.

Experts recommend using www.yoodli.ai to practice – think of Yoodli as a smart mirror. It provides you with artificial intelligence powered feedback on your content, filler words, eye contact, body language, and much more. Yoodli is free of cost and used by corporate professionals and students across the world.

Presentation Technique 2: Engage with the audience.

Don’t just stand up there and read off slides – engage with your audience by making eye contact, using body language, and speaking in an enthusiastic tone of voice. Give examples to illustrate your points, ask questions to involve the audience, and use humor to keep things light.

Remember, the presentation is less so about what you want to say and more about what the audience might find valuable. Switch your focus from you, the speaker, to the listener, your audience. Remember the ABC principle – audience before content. If your audience doesn’t care about what you’re saying, even the most exciting topic will come across as boring.

Some quick ways to improve your audience empathy:

1) Use “you” focused language as opposed to “I” focused language. For example, rather than saying “in this presentation, I will talk to you about our company’s mission,” try “in this presentation, you will learn about our company’s mission.”

2) Get feedback from your audience before and after the presentation. Before your presentation, make sure you’ve practiced your speech with someone who might be in attendance. They can give you an honest overview to help you course correct. In the same vein, ask a friend in the audience to give you feedback after the fact. Rather than asking a vague question such as “how did it go”, ask them “what is the one thing you took away from my presentation”

3) Use structure and pacing effectively. You likely have a lot more context on your speech than your audience ever will. As a result, make sure you’re conveying one main thought. Use anecdotes, examples, and numbers to emphasize this point. Most speakers fall into the trap of wanting to say too much (by talking too fast or cramming information into slides). Saying little but saying it well is far more valuable!

Presentation Technique 3: Finish strong.

At the end of your presentation, provide a summary of your main points so the audience can easily recall what you said afterwards. Invite questions from the audience and provide thoughtful answers to ensure everyone is clear on your message. Finally, thank everyone for their time and attention before you leave.

Here’s a great example of how Steve Jobs uses each of the three presentation techniques above while delivering his commencement address at Stanford. By following these three steps, you can ensure your presentation is engaging and informative. Good luck!

Sources for presentation techniques:

TED: https://ideas.ted.com/before-your-next-presentation-or-speech-heres-the-first-thing-you-must-think-about/

HBR: https://hbr.org/2019/09/to-overcome-your-fear-of-public-speaking-stop-thinking-about-yourself