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How do I improve communication skills and be good at presentations?

Discussion in 'General Business' started by Elisa Martin, Oct 17, 2019.

  1. #1
    I want to improve my communication skills. While giving a presentation, I am too much and I can't explain those things which I want to explain. Can anyone suggest me how can I improve myself?
    SEMrush
     
    Elisa Martin, Oct 17, 2019 IP
    SEMrush
  2. qwikad.com

    qwikad.com Illustrious Member Affiliate Manager

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    #2
    Follow the 3 P advice: Preparation, preparation, preparation.

    Sounds corny, but if you know the topic 150% and you practiced it a few times on your spouse, friend or your dog, it will give you the edge you're looking for once you're in front of people. It should help you with not being nervous too. Most people will get super nervous within the first 30 seconds of a presentation. If you know the topic well that nervousness will give you the adrenaline rush you need to go through with your presentation. Been there, done that.
     
    qwikad.com, Oct 17, 2019 IP
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  3. nshep

    nshep Greenhorn

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    #3
    Join a local ToastMasters club? In the end, getting better at anything means practicing it. So, you could test run your presentation in front of friends or family and ask them for feedback. You can film yourself, play it back, and see where you could use some improvement.

    Generally, try to slow down. Most people, when they get nervous, they just try to get everything out and talk really fast. If you lose track, pause for a moment. While it can often feel like an eternity to yourself until you can pick up where you left off, it's usually just a second or so. If you pause during that time instead of hemming and hawing or making excuses, you actually usually come off as authoritative and confident instead of nervous. Being slower and more delibareate in general will also have this effect.

    Aside from that, what I like to do when I want to get better at something, is to research the top 3 books in that area, read them, take notes, and think about how to implement their advice.

    Hope this helps!
     
    nshep, Oct 17, 2019 IP
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  4. JoeSpirit

    JoeSpirit Active Member

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    #4
    I recall Brian Tracy (I think) saying that to get comfortable talking on stage practice in front of a mirror and record yourself. And do that repetitively.

    Michael Masterson said that if you do a thing 1200 times you are an expert at that thing.

    To become an accomplished speaker you have to speak. Don't worry about making it perfect. You improve over time. Just get started.
     
    JoeSpirit, Oct 17, 2019 IP
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  5. jrbiz

    jrbiz Illustrious Member

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    #5
    @qwikad.com @nshep and @JoeSpirit have given you very sound advice that you should take to heart. I can only add one thing to their sage advice: if I am about to embark on a presentation that will last 40 minutes or more, I like to start off with a short business joke on a topic that leads smoothly into my presentation. E.g., if I am looking to convince people to change the way they are doing something right now, I will lead with a joke about how someone doing something "because it has always been done that way" gets into humorous trouble. Leading with a brief (operative word "brief") joke that gets the audience laughing will reduce any tension in the room that you may be perceiving or feeling. You can just google "business jokes" to find a topic that fits your needs, in this regard.
     
    jrbiz, Oct 17, 2019 IP
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  6. Spoiltdiva

    Spoiltdiva Prominent Member

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    #6
    I am in 100% agreement with this. Humor is the great equalizer as we all enjoy a good laugh. It lowers peoples defenses and secretes endorphins into their bloodstream, making them far more susceptive and open to your ideas.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
    Spoiltdiva, Oct 17, 2019 IP
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  7. trigshady

    trigshady Member

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    #7
    For me the best way of learning is taking notes of good presentations and what I liked there - you can use all the good practices and learn from others.
    Preparing for the presentation is also important, you can ask your friends and family to evaluate how was your presentation while practicing it.
     
    trigshady, Oct 18, 2019 IP
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  8. JoeSpirit

    JoeSpirit Active Member

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    #8
    That does work. I used to start off with, "When I used to get up to speak in front of a group of people two things happened. One, my knees started shaking. Two, I'd wet my pants. After many years of forcing myself to speak my knees don't shake anymore."

    Usually the presentation went pretty smooth after that. Don't remember where I got that from now.
     
    JoeSpirit, Oct 18, 2019 IP
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  9. Spoiltdiva

    Spoiltdiva Prominent Member

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    #9
    Ever hear of Depends adult diapers?:rolleyes:
     
    Spoiltdiva, Oct 18, 2019 IP
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  10. Vaas

    Vaas Peon

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    #10
    Well, I recommend you to practice with people (simple as that), maybe small groups. Maybe you are bit shy or nervous when you are in front of a lot of people (but don't worry, everyone is).

    Doesn't matter about what are you talking about, you just need to be more "extrovert" and that you can only achieve it with practice.

    About how to keep all the info in your mind, you can have notes or even an ipad to be more professional.
    What helps to any guy that needs to make an speech is to make a joke or be funny sometimes to create a good environment and also it can help you when you miss something or make mistakes.
     
    Vaas, Oct 18, 2019 IP
  11. JoeSpirit

    JoeSpirit Active Member

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    #11
    Not back then.
     
    JoeSpirit, Oct 19, 2019 IP
  12. gradiva

    gradiva Peon

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    #12
    Don't become too preoccupied about what other people are thinking about you and focus on the information you're passing on to them instead.
     
    gradiva, Nov 16, 2019 IP
  13. Spoiltdiva

    Spoiltdiva Prominent Member

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    #13
    That comes off as amateur advice. How you present yourself is key to your presentation. You ought to dress well and have your hair combed and speak well etc. So how "other people are thinking about you" is not something one ought to ignore when communicating to others.
     
    Spoiltdiva, Nov 17, 2019 IP
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  14. jrbiz

    jrbiz Illustrious Member

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    #14
    You know, this comment reminded me of one of the things that can really hurt a presentation: Make sure that EVERYONE in the audience can hear you. And, by the way, just because you are talking into a microphone does not mean that you are being heard throughout the room. Be sure to test and ask the people at the back of the room if they can hear you okay before you begin the presentation.
     
    jrbiz, Nov 17, 2019 IP
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  15. Spoiltdiva

    Spoiltdiva Prominent Member

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    #15
    I'm sure you know the feeling of wishing that you could be in two places at once. One time I was very busy but got talked into showing up for a presentation. The sound quality was so bad that I made my excuses and promptly left.
     
    Spoiltdiva, Nov 17, 2019 IP
  16. Mike2718

    Mike2718 Greenhorn

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    #16
    I can share my experience. I was horrible with presentations. But I analyzed my skills and found out how to excel in it.
    The first and the most important skill is PREPARATION. Before each presentation, I prepare a script and practice it many times before I have a presentation. I script my speech, I memorize the text and I rehearsal it many times. I practice it 10 times before an important presentation.
    Also, I think what questions people are going to ask me and prepare answers in advance.
    You can prepare a presentation in Power Point if it is appropriate.
    I can memorize the full text or just write down key points and have it in front of my eyes during the presentation.
    One more important point is to get familiar with people and equipment, e.g. laptop, projector. Maybe come to the room in advance and check it.

    Hope it helps.
     
    Mike2718, Nov 17, 2019 IP
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  17. Spoiltdiva

    Spoiltdiva Prominent Member

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    #17
    ^^^Very good sound advice, I am pleased to be able to give you your first like.:)
     
    Spoiltdiva, Nov 17, 2019 IP
  18. JoeSpirit

    JoeSpirit Active Member

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    #18
    Good points on preparation. I'll add a caution about memorizing your presentation though. I've found that when the presenter does that it often comes off as stiff and too formal. I think the audience gets the most benefit when the presenter appears relaxed and doesn't sound like he's reading from a script.
     
    JoeSpirit, Nov 18, 2019 IP
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  19. KylieSweet

    KylieSweet Well-Known Member

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    #19
    Preparation is already given.
    However, in my experience, i take down organized short terms and i don't memorize them but elaborating them to fully understand by the audience in which would be better for presentation.
     
    KylieSweet, Nov 20, 2019 IP
  20. jrbiz

    jrbiz Illustrious Member

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    #20
    Memorizing scripts for your presentation is a mistake. Instead, do what the PR professionals do for their clients: develop talking points that you understand and are comfortable with. Use bullets points on each slide to remind you of the talking points, so that you can elaborate on the main points of each slide. Talking points tend to be simpler and easier to remember and that is why they are so effective.

    You can see examples of talking points if you follow any national political campaigns. You will find that each side develops a number of talking points that all of their proponents can digest and repeat across all of the media outlets. Makes for a very effective and consistent presentation.
     
    jrbiz, Nov 21, 2019 IP
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