Presentation skills – 5 top tips that you didn’t know until now

Clipart image of person pointing at a presentation of a pie chart containing data points.

Let’s start by casting our minds back to our school years. Remember the different teachers who taught you? Some were good, some were great, and some were thoroughly confusing and dull.

What teachers did was share information, and that is exactly what you’ll be doing in your next presentation. And the last thing you want to be is confusing and dull. So let’s take a look at the art of effective presenting, the Sales Commando way.

Keep it simple yet significant

Your presentation is your story. It needs to be informative, interesting, attention-grabbing and holding. It needs to have a clearly defined beginning, middle and end – and above all it needs to be simple yet significant.

Okay, that’s a lot to achieve, but you can do it by dress rehearsal, honing and revising. Record your presentations a few times. Play them back and take an objective view. Ask yourself, what words am I using that aren’t necessary? How can I construct each sentence into a creatively powerful communication?

Command the stage

When you present, you’ll not necessarily be on a stage but what you will be is on show to your prospects. You need to think of your presentation as the main event. You’ll need to come alive, be as animated as possible (without speaking faster!) and be as visual as you can by drawing or showing illustrations that underline the points that you’re making.

And on the subject of visuals, apply the same routine that you do to the words you speak – revise, hone and make them simple yet significant.

Put yourself in the right position

If you’re presenting to one person, try and create a shared space – avoiding the interviewer/interviewee stance at all costs. And when taking notes or drawing explanations ensure these can be easily seen by your prospect. Left-handed or right-handed? Position yourself slightly to the front of your prospect with them on the left if you’re right-handed and on the right, if you’re left-handed. This way you’ll avoid creating a barrier with your shoulder or arm. Simple and effective.

Prove your point by triangulation

Proof by triangulation sounds complex but believe me it isn’t. What it is, is a sure-fire way to add an irrefutable argument to a point or series of points – and basically ram home your message with authority. Here’s how it works. Take one key element of your presentation and endorse it by showing your prospect or audience three separate sources of supporting information. This could be two customer testimonials and the results of a survey, news article or a case history.

Proving your point in this way – by triangulation – is a powerful, effective and compelling way to a successful presentation.

And finally…

Be interesting, be visual, be animated and be logical. Be concise and support your points with independent endorsements. Be simple yet significant with your story – and above all, be in love with what you do!