Ten Tips to Improve Your Presentation Skill
Giving presentations extends beyond the academic world and is often an essential skill to have in a work environment. Presentation delivery can enhance your speaking skill, boost your confidence, and increase your ability to make clear, concise points. Here are ten key items in creating a successful presentation.

Practice
The better prepared you are for your presentation, the more confident you will be. When practicing, there are a few aspects to consider when working to improve the delivery of your presentation:

1) Structure/Content
Avoid filling your presentation slides with too much content. The slides are there for you to have a few bullet points or graphics, but the material itself should carry most of the details. After all, you are the one giving the presentation. The focus should ultimately be on you, not the slides.

2) Timing
Practice your pacing and when to pause. You want to be certain that you are not rushing through your presentation or taking too much time to hold one's interest.

3) Articulation
Speak loudly and clearly. Avoid mumbling your words, as it will appear unprofessional and as though you are not confident or prepared, even if that is not the case.

4) Body Language
Nonverbal communication can speak as loudly (often louder) than verbal communication. Practice standing with good posture to demonstrate your professional demeanor.

5) Avoid Memorization
Focusing too greatly on memorizing your material affects your ability to make your points properly, especially if you forget one of your lines. If you instead focus on practicing your presentation continuously, without concern of saying it word-for-word, you will become more comfortable with what you want to say and how to say it, and ultimately remember it better than you would through memorization.

Presentation Day
After the hard work and preparation put into practicing your presentation, there are several actions worth taking on presentation day itself:

6) Arrive Early
Aside from the clear importance of timeliness, there are other pros to arriving early. It allows you time to become comfortable with your environment as well as a chance to ensure that your presentation is set up properly.

7) Have a Positive Attitude
Imagining positive scenarios or outcomes can improve your mood and give you the boost of confidence to give successful delivery of your presentation.

8) Be Lively and Engaging
If you appear bored, your audience may likely feel the same way as a result. Speak with confidence and purpose, make eye contact, and even use occasional hand gestures to remain enthusiastic and hold the attention of your audience.

9) Be Prepared for Questions
Whether or not the audience has any questions, it never hurts to be prepared. Be sure to have done your research thoroughly, consider potential questions that may be asked, and lastly, admit that you do not know if you have no answer to a question. You are not expected to have an answer for everything, and your honesty will be appreciated more than a forced, potentially false answer.

10) Seek Feedback
Whether it be as simple as asking a coworker or boss, or even passing out a questionnaire at the end of the presentation, seeking feedback shows that you know there is always room for improvement and that you wish to take the steps necessary to achieve it. Evaluating yourself on your presentation has its benefits as well, but it especially helps to ask for feedback from the audience.

Utilizing these tips does more than hone your skills. It allows you to showcase your capabilities as a professional, intelligent, hard-working individual. Even the most nervous of speakers can overcome their fear with practice and preparedness, and may be surprised to see the difference that it makes.

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