Being able to communicate effectively, whether that is during a presentation or training program, is a skill that any professional can improve with consistent practice. An engaging and interactive presentation or training program can enhance one’s ability to influence an audience, inspire action and facilitate the process of improvement or achieving better results.
People learn or take in information differently and if we’re in front of an audience, it is our responsibility to be able to give our audience the best opportunity to grasp what we’re sharing in order to achieve the result or transformation we have promised.
In order to be regarded as an outstanding speaker or trainer, you need to be able to do these five things which will help make your next presentation engaging, fun and memorable.
- Master yourself. This means being fully present in front of an audience and being in control of who you are. Having the confidence to deal with whatever happens during a presentation or training program is a fundamental requirement.For example, if an audience member gets hostile or in an extreme case, has a physical or emotional breakdown, knowing how to handle the situation will be critical to if you want to be known as someone who is a confident and competent speaker or trainer.
Some tactics for mastering yourself includes acquiring coaching skills including the ability to ask powerful questions, learning how to guide people through difficult situations, and learning techniques to help people release emotional blocks.
- Master your message or content. This refers to sharing relevant ideas and staying focused on adding value for the audience. If you haven’t mastered your content, a lot of time and effort will be put into trying to remember what to say next rather than focusing on how best to serve the audience.Some tactics for mastering your content includes preparing well before you are in front of the audience. An unwritten rule in the training world is that for every hour of delivery, there needs to be 20 hours of preparation. The more time that can be spent preparing, the more natural your presentation or training program will appear to be.
- Master your structure or format. As we learn differently, it is important to know how to design your presentation or training program that aligns with how adults learn best. There are typically four learning styles which are why, what, how and what if learners.Here are some ways to cater for the four learning styles:
- ”Why” learners — tell more stories which are emotional and get people motivated.
- ”What” learners — organize, chunk and sequence content so people can see the whole picture. Using a framework will help people put information that is logical and sequential and leads to an end outcome.
- ”How” learners — tell the audience specifically what they need to do, with examples, and give them the opportunity to practice what they are learning through activities or exercises.
- ”What if” learners — introduce scenarios or case studies that are relevant to the audience’s world.
- Master your delivery. This refers to the communication styles that will be used during the course of a presentation or training program. Being able to calibrate your audience early will be so important for overall success. One thing to remember is to have enough breaks between sessions. A good rule is to structure sessions between 90 and 120 minutes then have a break.Some tactics for mastering your delivery includes making your presentations or training programs interactive or experiential which means the audience has the opportunity to ask questions, there are breakout sessions such as partner exercises or group activities, and the audience has time to reflect and commit to taking new actions. The best way to keep an audience engaged for long periods of time is to illustrate teaching points with relevant, highly emotional or engaging stories.
- Master your environment. One of the most important things to do before a presentation is to create a physical space conducive to high levels of learning. This means having the right props, lighting, screens, audio visual technology, and the right tables and chairs. Plus having the right support team in critical to having the right energy you want in the room. The greater the attention to detail, the better the experience will be for your audience which ultimately means a better presentation or training program.
Mastering these five things is not a quick process. The more time you’re able to dedicate to each one, the better you’ll become over time. Anyone who is able to master these five things will be regarded as an outstanding presenter or trainer. All it takes is a commitment to mastery.
Question: Which of these five things do you think you can start applying now?
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