You need good communication skills to excel at work.
Those with mediocre communication may work and move ahead. But people with solid communication skills will have an edge. Professionals need to understand that they will always be selling something or the other even if they are not in a sales role.
If you are a finance executive you may need to sell a financial plan to your boss or colleagues. At times, you may need to sell an idea or your viewpoint. In doing so you may need to present you idea or logic to other party.
This presentation may be informal or formal, but if it is good – people will be more likely to buy what you are trying to sell.
Steve Jobs’ name comes to mind when we think of excellent presenters.
People used to look forward to his presentations. His presentation of products, features and benefits made the audience crave for it almost immediately.
Famously, he worked for months on his presentations before presenting it to the audience. His presentations were simple and classy, and at the core of Apple marketing efforts.
Here are some ideas on how you can rock your presentations like Steve Jobs.
1. Decide the content. Think about what you are going to communicate. Do it before you open PowerPoint or Keynote.
2. Keep it simple. One word or one small sentence per slide. Large font size (32 is ok to start with).
3. Idea is most important. Focus on selling on your ideas and not your presentation slides.
4. Rehearse. Fix a timeline and stick to it.
5. Take up opportunities to present. “Practice makes a man perfect”, goes the old saying. If you are in a job take initiative and make presentations. If you are a business school student, you will have ample opportunities to design and make presentations. Grab them.
6. Use the power of software. Do not let it overpower you. Draw a line about how much graphics or multimedia content you are going to use. Have a backup plan ready in case software does not work.
7. Give away notes. Do not handout the print out of your slides to audience. Good slides have minimal content so that will not help your audience. Instead give notes. It can be an essay focusing on ideas you presented.
“Less is more”, works well in case of a presentation. Do not overburden your slides with animation effects in slide transitions. Do not use sound effects. They are outdated and annoying.
Just share your ideas, with an evangelistic zeal if you will, and who knows you will become the next presentation rock star.
Good luck with your next presentation.