Platform Presentation Skills And How To Improve Them
Updated 1 October 2022
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As a working professional, you may make presentations, speak at public events, present your ideas to the senior management or train your juniors and colleagues on several occasions. During such events, you can make connections with your audience, convey your message effectively, meet interesting people, find relevant opportunities and expand your professional network. Having good presentation skills can help you communicate well, present your ideas accurately and appear confident. In this article, we discuss what platform presentation skills are, explore some examples of these skills, understand why they are important and look at ways of improving them.
Related: 14 Tips To Improve Presentation Skills (With Importance)
What Are Platform Presentation Skills?
Platform presentation skills, also known as platform skills, are the set of abilities that can help speakers deliver their presentations, speeches or conversations effectively. These skills can help trainers and presenters convey their messages precisely, engage the audiences and encourage them to participate actively in their presentations. It can also help their listeners learn better as the quality of content delivery significantly improves by applying these skills. Practicing platform skills can help presenters appear calm and confident during their presentations and can help them improve the flow of their lecture or talk.
Related: Types of Public Speaking Skills And How To Improve Them
Examples Of Platform Presentation Skills
Here is a list of platform skills that can help you deliver effective presentations at your job:
One of the most important skills for a presenter is good communication. Effective communication can help you convey the contents of your presentation and ensure that your audience understands your message. It can help you generate responses from your audience and understand their expectations from a presentation. This skill also includes proper pronunciation and articulation of words. Practicing the difficult words before your pronunciation can help you speak comfortably while presenting.
Your body language during your presentation can have a significant impact on the effectiveness of your speech. Sudden movements can often distract your audience and make them miss important parts of your delivery. You can choose to stand behind the podium or walk around the room during the presentation.
Maintain eye contact with your audience to keep them engaged. While you can hold a pointer in your hand while you speak, hold it firmly in your hands instead of fidgeting with it, as it is a sign of nervousness. It is also important to maintain good posture and pleasant facial expressions when you present as they can help you appear confident.
Related: The Ultimate Guide To Nonverbal Communication Skills
Proficiency with tools
Your presentation can include teaching aids like whiteboards, videos, models or infographics. You may also present using a laptop or a projector to show slides of your presentation or other contents to your listeners. Tool proficiency ensures that you are comfortable with all the tools you plan to use and can smoothly transition to them during your presentation. It is a good idea to test all your tools before your presentation to ensure everything works properly.
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Voice modulation means controlling or adjusting the pitch or tone of your voice to help listeners understand your message clearly. During presentations and speeches, voice modulation keeps your audience engaged. By altering your voice, you can express excitement about something, draw attention to a topic or add other emotions to the content. This skill can also help you appear confident during your speeches. It is also important to pause after certain parts of your speeches, such as paragraphs in an outline, to help your audience understand the content better.
By using this skill, you can present the contents of your presentation in an engaging manner. It can help you gain your audience's attention and keep them engaged until the end of the presentation. Storytelling can be helpful when you want to inspire your audience to take some action after the presentation and help them imagine themselves as the centre of your narrative.
Why Are Platform Presentation Skills Important?
Platform skills help you communicate effectively with others and convey your message as intended. It can help you appear prepared while speaking publicly or while instructing a group of people. You can apply these skills while making presentations at your workplace and also use them to present ideas to your seniors. These skills can also be helpful if your job involves training other employees or if you are a human resource professional like a training manager. Having these skills ensures your audience understands most of your presentation and pays attention when you are speaking.
How To Improve Platform Skills?
Here are some ways in which you can improve your platform skills:
1. Prepare the contents
Being prepared for your presentation can help you ensure you include all the important points you want to speak about at the event. It can help you maintain a thought flow and can also help your audience follow the points of your presentation better. You can do this by writing the contents of your presentation on a piece of paper that you can carry while speaking. A good idea is to write brief bullet points on the paper so that you can glance at them to ensure you are following the sequence you planned.
You can also write these short statements in bold on flashcards and look at them whenever you need help to remember the next topic. While preparing your presentation, you may want to consider the questions that your audience can ask you after your presentation. It can help you prepare for the answers beforehand, appear calm when someone asks you the questions and provide complete answers to them.
Related: How To Start A Presentation (With Tips And Examples)
2. Practice your speech
To ensure smooth delivery of your presentation, it is very important that you practice it several times before the actual session. Practice the contents of your presentation, as it can help you maintain a flow and can keep you from forgetting important points. You can also practice the difficult words, voice modulations, pauses and other effects during these rehearsals.
Practicing in front of the mirror can help you observe your body language, facial expressions and posture. You can also rehearse in the surroundings where your presentation may take place like a meeting room or a stage. It can be a good idea to practice your presentation in front of a group of people. Recording your presentation and watching it later can help you identify areas of improvement.
Related: How To Prepare An Audience-Centred Speech (With Tips)
3. Include presentation materials
A good way to ensure that your presentation is effective is to use presentation tools that can aid learning and delivery. You can create handouts of the session where you can summarise the presentation in bullet points. It can also include activities such as word puzzles or quizzes that your audience can refer to during the content delivery.
You can also use videos to make your content more engaging. If you want your listeners to pay attention to your slides, you can use a pointer to highlight the point that you are talking about at that moment. If you have access to a whiteboard, you can also make bullet points of important information as you progress through the presentation. This can help you summarise your speech in the end.
4. Engage your audience
If your presentation is long, you may be required to take additional measures to keep your audience engaged until the end. Along with changes in pitches and tone, you can periodically include question-and-answer sessions throughout your speech rather than waiting till the end. You can also ask questions to your audience or schedule activities after different sub-topics. This can help keep them active and alert throughout the speech.
A great way to keep your audience engaged is to mention that there may be an assessment questionnaire or activity that tests their understanding of the topics being taught. This can be very effective if you are conducting training sessions. While speaking in an official presentation, you can engage your audience by mentioning your colleagues or listeners in your presentation. For example, 'I am sure you are all aware of the brilliant stats XYZ presented to us in the previous session.'
Related: What Are Presentation Skills? (And How To Improve Them)
5. Seek feedback
While practicing your speech, you can perform for a group of people such as your family, friends or colleagues and ask them for feedback. You can take their help to identify your strengths and weaknesses so that you can work on them before your speech. You can also consider watching videos on platform skills by experts and learn from them. Observe the way they engage their audience, make a list of the tools they use and identify the factors that contribute to their successful presentations. You can then apply the relevant techniques to your presentation and make it more effective.
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