There’s no harder time to motivate your team and generate enthusiasm than after the new year break. (Well, maybe just before the break too!) Good communication skills for leaders are essential at this time of year.
So if you’re delivering kick-off meetings or new strategy presentations at the office, or you simply want to motivate your teams quickly, these advanced presentation skills tips are for you.
Project Managers and team leaders will note that productivity levels drop at this time of year. And the longer it takes to crank them back up after the holiday period, the longer it’ll be before the business is back to optimum profitability.
Everyone knows that in order to get ahead of the pack, you need to get moving fast. So upskill yourself with these 5 advanced presentation skills to take your presenting from average to amazing.
5 advanced presentation skills used by the pros
Leaders who can inspire their teams from the get-go will see results fast, which is why advanced presentation skills are so valuable. If you’re required to do any sort of public speaking, whether it’s leading team meetings or presenting on stage, these tips will ensure you make the right impact.
1. Weak ‘soft skills’ leads to poor profitability…
Stories have been used for thousands of years to convey information and teach lessons, as well as to entertain. In business communication, storytelling is an under-used technique for engaging with your audience and motivating them to action.
It’s worth noting that research from the Stanford Graduate School of Business found that stories are up to 22 times more memorable than facts and figures alone.
If you watch any TED Talks, notice how often a story or anecdote is included. How does the story make you feel? At what point in the presentation does it appear? What point is the speaker trying to make by telling the story? Now consider how you can incorporate this extremely effective technique into your own presentations.
2. Use slides only as a visual aid to ensure the attention is on you
PowerPoint, Google Slides, even Prezi – they’re all excellent tools but they’re only as good as the communicator using them. Used poorly, slides can weigh down presentations, reducing engagement and motivation. This is one reason why Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has famously banned PowerPoint in executive meetings.
YOU are the leader of the meeting, YOU are the presenter, not the slide deck. Heavy reliance on slides overloaded with information will alienate, confuse and likely frustrate your audience. Slides should support your presentation only, with images, videos and key messages or data that make a quick impact.
3. Move around in the space to feel relaxed and confident
The PAVERS® methodology describes 6 components of communication that will help you to be more engaging and motivating.
– Visual Aids
Storytelling and Visual aids, we’ve already mentioned. But Energy and Physiology are about how you are physically present in the space you’re occupying.
The way you move your arms and hands; your facial expressions and gestures; how, where and when you walk in the space; these are tools not only to give you more presence and stature but, in doing so, also make you feel more confident and relaxed. (Check out our Body Language Hacks video for more tips.)
4. Interact with your audience to make sure they’re involved
This is about forming a relationship with your audience and including them in a dialogue, even if it isn’t a spoken one. You can pose a question to your audience to get a show of hands, for example, or invite them to shout out even. They can also get involved digitally by asking questions via a Twitter hashtag displayed on one part of the screen.
Asking your audience a question creates an instant visual response. In Kelly McGonigal’s TEDx talk, we can see how this works. By polling her audience on stress, she shows how common it is and proves to her audience how relevant it is as a topic.
5. Plan, prepare and practice before every presentation
Presentation structure and planning are critical for success. It’s a non-negotiable communication technique, even for expert speakers.
Find out what you can about your audience and make sure they’re at the centre of your presentation. Plan the overarching Concept, key Principles and supporting Details (CPD) in advance, so there’s no risk of going off-topic.
Finally, you know what they say, “Practice makes perfect.” Whether this is your first time leading a meeting or your 100th keynote, practising in a situation as close to the real deal as possible means that you’re less likely to be surprised and anxious on the day. That’s why our Virtual Reality Practice Rooms are so popular.
These advanced presentation skills tips are sure to take a mediocre presentation to a superior level. But if you want to learn more about team motivation, effective leadership and how to be an impactful presenter, get in quick for our first Mastering Communication programs of 2020. Early bird pricing is now available!
The Colin James Method® Facilitators train corporate executives to improve their professional communication skills with a proven methodology. Our highly trained Facilitators and Coaches are recognised for their experience in their fields and have worked with many individuals and organisations around the world to master the art of communication.
Erica Bagshaw is an entrepreneur, Executive Coach and Co-Founder of The Colin James Method® and Inner Profit Pty Ltd a vibrant leadership development company in Australia. She has spent the majority of her career growing and developing close client partnerships. She loves sharing her expertise on the perfect pitch.