The PR world is evolving – and part of this relates to the new skills required by PR practitioners to succeed in this competitive industry. However, one key requirement which has stood the test of time is the ability to present, and the ability to do it well. Whether it is face-to-face, over the phone, in front of clients or colleagues – it is as important now as it perhaps was a decade ago as a means to get a message across in a compelling and personable way.
To help you for when you next take the spotlight, here are three tips to help you excel when presenting:
The audiences’ attention span is perhaps greatest at the beginning, so the start of your presentation is crucial. You need to grab your audience’s attention and hold it. So don’t waste too much time explaining who you are and start by entertaining them.
Instead, you could look at telling an attention-grabbing story which uses a human character who is directly involved in your topic. Human beings are programmed to respond to stories relating to other humans. Therefore, if you mention a character who – for example -has used the product you are pitching and explain what issues it resolved for that person then your audience is more likely to engage and to remember your points afterwards.
Rehearse, rehearse and rehearse some more!
If you have the time this cannot hurt, and knowing your content so well that you can maintain eye contact with your audience instead of reading from your slides ensures that you cannot connect to your audience. In turn they might even remember your message.
Don’t be afraid to enlist a colleague or two to listen and critique your skills. In lieu of human beings, videotape yourself and watch it critically and honestly. This all helps to hone the smooth delivery of your presentation.
Make the most of that last minute
It is important to regain control after the Q&A for that last minute with a short but encouraging tip, summary or call to action. In fact, it’s even okay to recap on what you hoped the audience would learn at this point so they have one thing to take-away from the last 30 minutes or hour they have sat down and listened to you.