Top 7 Presentation Skills For an Interactive Generation

Have you ever struggled to keep an audience awake and attentive through a presentation? Do you want to be the kind of speaker that engages an audience and makes them remember your message? Whether you need to polish your speaking skills for meetings, addresses or speeches, large or small, formal or informal, the seven simple skills listed below will show you how to engage and inspire an audience throughout your presentation.

Most of us spend a great deal of our professional life listening to other people explain things to us and we know that, even with the same material, a great one can make all the difference. An audience instinctively appreciates someone with polished presentation skills and is more likely to respond enthusiastically to them. But have you considered what techniques a great speaker uses to accomplish this?

As the demographic of the work force changes, what an audience expects from a speaker changes as well. Gone are the days where a speaker could count on an audience passively receiving a presentation. A younger audience, brought up on interactive media and video games, expects more engagement and interaction. President of the National Speaker Association Kristin Arnold explains, “a stand-and-deliver style of presenting just doesn’t work well with today’s audiences.”

So for a quick boost in your presentation skills, try the following 7 techniques:
Using inclusive language – Using words like “You”, “Yours”, “We” and “Ours” emphasizes the bond between participants rather than the speaker herself and gets people on your side.

Connecting with your audience personally using their names and jobs – Another technique is to foster a sense of community and get the audience on your side by engaging them on a personal level. Talking with members about their jobs and referring to their names and occupations throughout your speech is a great way to keep the audience receiving your information on a more personal level.

Communicating the speaker’s passion – Nothing excites people more than listening to what makes other people passionate.

Taking questions as you go – Stopping periodically for questions or even creating small groups to come up with questions is a great interactive alternative to saving questions for the end when they might be forgotten or ignored.

Letting the audience help direct the flow of the presentation – Inviting the audience to help set the agenda by engaging with them online and inviting questions before the event helps involve the audience and gives them a personal stake in the success of a presentation.

Tell interesting stories, examples and case studies – A good technique for bringing a dry collection of facts to life and make them personally relevant to an audience.

Using “Power Point” to its full effect – To keeps your audiences full attention, consider inserting video clips, cartoons, graphs, color and photos throughout your speech – especially during information sections that are important yet many could consider boring.

The time and effort a speaker puts into their presentation shows. Incorporating these 7 presentation skills will help you better engage your audience and get your message through as your audience will be more attentive to and remember the information that you are presenting.