Media presentation skills are increasingly important in the technology obsessed world of today. In fact, they’re now considered valuable enough to be included in the curriculum of many a UK state school. Media presentation is more than just a business tool. It allows employees to hone and refine both their personal impact and their communication skills. It encourages confidence and increases assertiveness. Graduates with high quality media presentation skills are set to dominate our country’s employment market.
Fortunately, learning how to give a great media presentation is really not that difficult. Whether it’s for a sales pitch, a focus group, a big business proposal or just a simple conference meeting – these five skills are all that you need.
Nothing causes a media presentation to crumble faster than poor preparation. After all, the number one rule for all public speakers is ‘be prepared for anything’ – including system failures, compatibility problems and software hitches. It can be difficult to know just how much of a reliance on technology you can get away with when it comes to media presentation. Too much and you risk running into unexpected IT problems – too little and you fail to show an audience just how much you can achieve.
A good rule of thumb is to produce a presentation that can be run through quickly and efficiently without the aid of any software at all. That way, if you do run into technological difficulties, your work is still salvageable in some form. Take the advice of expert Ryan Estis and use technology to enhance your message, rather than create it.
When it comes to preparing for a presentation, don’t be afraid to take advantage of social media outlets. Posting ‘pre-event’ information on sites like Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest can be a great way to make sure that your audience is excited. It can also help to reduce performance related nerves. Spreading a presentation out over a period of a week or so is a good way to stop it feeling like one big make-or-break scenario.
Never lose sight of the fact that you’re trying to cater for an audience, says allvoices.com journalist Stephanie Weaver. It doesn’t matter whether yours is big or small – it’s just important that you make your presentation accessible to them. More often that not, your audience will be made up of colleagues or individuals with the same skills as you. However, this isn’t always the case. There is absolutely no point creating an exhaustive, in-depth presentation on statistical analysis for example, if your audience doesn’t know the first thing about it. Don’t be afraid to use lay-man’s terms if necessary and always take the time to answer audience questions. Remember, it is how you say something, rather than what you say that will ultimately decide whether or not people will remember it.
Keep in mind the four different types of learner – auditory, kinesthetic, visual and those who learn through the use of written language. The most effective and captivating media presentations are without doubt, the ones that provide for all four groups. Try to include something for everybody, by using a combination of written and spoken information. Never use more than 15 slides in one presentation and do not fill whole pages with writing – it will inevitably bore the pants off an audience.
Handing out a brief paper summary of your presentation can be another great way to cater for visual learners and those who learn through writing. Distribute handouts to all audience members at the end of your presentation. Journalist Oliver Adria suggests that you explain to your audience just why you have produced a handout and what you propose they can get from it.
Its the oldest tip in the book for a reason. If you don’t have confidence in your presentation or in your skills, it is going to very hard for you to engage your audience. If you don’t believe that it’s worth watching and listening to, neither will they. Don’t give much thought to forgetting lines or even getting them wrong – you can always work bungled or missed pieces of information back into your presentation at some other point. If it does happen, try to laugh about it. Audiences tend to respond much better to people who are comfortable with imperfection. You don’t have to be perfect to give a good media presentation – you just have to make sure that your audience is glad to be with you.
Author Bio : Eva Holmes is a voice coach and an expert on public speaking. she recommendsSpeak First for high quality media presentation training and courses.