6 Ways to Improve Your Presentation Skills

6 Ways to Improve Your Presentation Skills

Implementing a few sound strategies can make your presentation process more predictable and painless, keep the audience’s attention and help ensure approval for project goals

4.Animate to Communicate. Few stage plays begin with all the actors on stage. For the same reason, you shouldn't project a complicated slide or diagram as one complete unit. Besides the actors' egos and their need for an entrance, the fact is that no one can absorb a complex idea all at once. Introducing your important ideas sequentially lets them be absorbed more naturally. You can use the animation features of your presentation program to build your ideas a step at a time. Also, when you show a complex slide, the audience is distracted by trying to figure it out as you discuss it, so give it to them in stages as you talk about each concept.

Just about any slide is better viewed in stages. It's usually not necessary to animate the title, but showing your bullets with a click of your presentation mouse just as you discuss them (not read them!) makes you appear polished and prepared. This is where many occasional presenters draw the line, saying: "I don't have time to learn all of that animation stuff." Well, do you have time to craft a new resume? If you're lucky, you can tell your assistant: "Make this stuff appear one thing at a time." If it's just you, bite the bullet and learn some simple PowerPoint or Keynote skills.

Animation in PowerPoint is straightforward. PowerPoint 2002/XP and PowerPoint 2003 have Animation Schemes; you can instantly apply them to one or more slides by selecting them in Slide Sorter view. Doing so times the entrance of your bullets in seconds. For more complex material, such as photos, charts and diagrams, you need to open Custom Animation. Select each object in your slide and give it a simple entrance effect. Dissolve or Fade are usually the best effects for a novice to choose; whizzing and spinning don't work for many diagrams and also rarely impress audiences.

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