Ask any employer today, and they will tell you that the ability to effectively communicate is the cornerstone of professional success. At some point in your career, you will likely be called upon to give a presentation of sorts. In order to make the most of this professional opportunity, you will have to display the communication skills that employers today so highly value. Effective communication and presentation skills can improve the delivery, understanding and reception of the information and messages that you are trying to send as a speaker.
Use of Visual Aids
In any presentation, effective visual aids can nicely complement the information conveyed, enhance understanding and keep the attention of your audience. However, visual aids can also distract from your purpose if not used properly. Effective visual aids will provide a visual representation of the information you are already conveying in order to present it in a more easily digested fashion. They should be simple, bold and to the point.
Effective Non-Verbal Communication
While everyone hopes that an audience will be paying attention to what they are saying, the way it is said will often determine how it is digested by the audience. Non-verbal speaking habits can either enhance or detract from the message you are portraying. Effective non-verbal communication includes standing up straight, gesturing with purpose, maintaining good eye contact and speaking at a pleasant, audible volume. Ineffective non-verbal communication might include swaying, over gesturing, fiddling with your hands and slouching. Effective non-verbal communication conveys confidence and a sense of authority, while ineffective non-verbal communication can make you look unsure and nervous, distracting the audience from your message.
It is incredibly important to be prepared for any presentation that you need to give. This means being familiar with the content you will be presenting and the manner in which you intend to present it. Being prepared is an important skill and component of communication and presentation for a couple of reasons. First, it establishes a professional atmosphere for the presentation, helping your audience take you, and your message, more seriously. Second, it allows the audience to focus on the content of your message, instead of being distracted by stumbles, fumbles and goof ups.
The ability to efficiently structure the message that you are presenting is a critical communication and presentation skill. Information should be arranged in an easy-to-comprehend manner. Organization of information allows your audience to better understand what you are saying and reference particular components to ask questions about. Moreover, an organized message is much easier to absorb and remember, allowing your message to have a longer lasting impact on its recipients.
- Photo Credit business colleagues preparing for business meeting image by Vladimir Melnik from Fotolia.com