Soft skills and presentation skills - preparation of teams to professional presentation techniques . Daria Protopopescu. 1. INTRODUCTION. Making presentations involves several elements which differentiate them from all the other forms of communication:
Making presentations involves several elements which differentiate them from all the other forms of communication:
Content : the amount o information the speaker wants to deliver;
Structure: it involves a logical sequence of ideas, focusing on the beginning, the middle and the end of logical thinking;
Human component: the presenter’s voice, body language, good understanding of the audience and their needs, the presenter’s profile and gift in persuading the hearers.
First of all, presentations should be regarded as ways of communicating ideas and delivering information to a target audience.
Presentations show results of the research done on a certain domain, interpreting facts and transferring them into persuading ideas in a logical manner.
A good presentation should start from studies of a certain topic/domain/institution and then develop those findings.
We will elaborate upon each of the above-mentioned elements in order to outline the ingredients of a good and successful presentation.
The structure of an effective presentation follows a certain scenario:
In order to make presentations effective one should try to meet the following requirements:
There are two things to consider. First… second…
On the one hand, there are … On the other hand, we can see
There are four stages involved. At the beginning/ later/ then/ after that/ finally
c. Ending the presentation
That’s all I want to say for now on…
I’d like to finish with:
Facial expressions such as a friendly smile will win the target group’s interest, confidence and openness.
Voice is also an important tool. One should pay attention to his/her tone, volume and pitch. It is essential to moderate these three elements, to increase or to decrease them according to the emphasis you want to make.
Making presentations involves rehearsal; from this perspective the presenter behaves like an actor/actress who has to find the perfect balance between, on the one hand- body language, voice, facial expressions and, on the other hand, the presenter’s profile- nervousness, ability to convince and anticipate the target group’s questions, expectations, hopes, and needs.
The presenter should control his/her nervousness which is his/her greatest enemy. Nervousness leads to losing the voice control, to inappropriate body posture, and ultimately, to losing the audience’s interest.
4. The key to presentation success is only good preparation beforehand involving a logical structure (see 2), a perfect control of voice, pace, emotions etc (see 3), but above all an icebreaker, such as a video file, a story, a testimonial etc, this is what we consider an excellent start whose role is to capture the target group’s attention instantly.
The audio-visual aids are o paramount importance according to the extent they are used. One should have the slides organized chronologically according to the presentation structure, the slide should include only the main points that are to be elaborated upon, at length , by the presenter.
Types of visual support are as follows depending on the topic and the audience: film/video, picture, diagram, chart, pie chart, table graph, line graph, equipment: slide projector/OHP/flip chart/whiteboard/meta-plan board.
A. Number the 8 key areas according to their prominence.
B. In any presentation the beginning is crucial. Certainly some things are essential and others are useful. Here is a list of what could be included in an introduction. Mark them according to how necessary they are using the following scale:
Essential Useful Not necessary
1 2 3 4 5
C. Read the comments from the audience who are listening to a presentation. What caused the problem in each case?
D. Mark the following statements on a scale of 1 to 5:
1 =”I agree entirely” 2 = “I usually agree” 3 = “I have no opinion / I’m not sure”
4 = “I usually disagree” 5 = “I disagree entirely”
The key to good presentations is to play by the following rules:
The conclusion is clear now: the skills required for good presentations combine inborn skills and acquired skills. Like most things, it simply takes a lot of preparation and practice. The presenter should find the perfect balance between content (cohesion and consistency of the topic) and the human element. A good presenter is not only a good professional, but above all, should know a lot about the human psychology.
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