I Have Presentation Skills. How About You?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

You are in your calculus class, and the teacher says you have to present a presentation about the conceptual look at limits and how you are trying to get a grasp on just what they are and what they can tell us. Gulp. Awesome right?

Thou shall not fear, I am here to give you some tips on how to keep your nerves to yourself and how to present yourself to your clueless audience. You will be the kid known as, The Kid with the Professional Communication Skills.

When you look at an audience, the first thing you usually do is move your eyes rapidly to see everyone. This is called 'scanning', and scanning increases your butterflies in the pit of your stomach, which is not good.

The solution to this problem is simply talking to a person one at a time. By doing this, you are in control of your voice and you are not in visual overload.

Step one. Check.

Your audience will not only be paying attention to your awesome conceptual look at limits, but they will be focusing on you more.

Your audience receives your messages by how you look, how you sound, and what you say. They will be paying attention to your facial expressions, stance/posture, gestures, eye movement, volume and vocal tones.

Even if you don't know exactly what limits are, you need to look confident! First off, plant your feet in a balanced stance and make sure you move with a purpose. We don't want to see you shift your leg to the other. We also do not want to see you sway from side to side. We aren't in dance class.

Second, get your hands out of your pockets! Unless you have spare money to give, then go ahead. We want to see gestures from the shoulder, not the elbow. Emphasize what you mean with your hands. Make sure to use an open palm, and let your hands fall to your sides after using them.

Feeling pretty confident now, eh?

One last step.

Vocal Energy:
Have you ever been to class, and you couldn't hear your professor? Or you listened to a boring monotone voice? Yea, this isn't the way to go.

You want your audience to be able to hear you and be engaged at what you are saying. Even if it is about calculus and limits...

First off, you need to increase your volume to a 6-7 level on a 10 point scale. Then you need to use inflection to get rid of that monotone voice.

And of course, don't forget to breathe so you can project your soothing, non-monotone voice to your audience.

These presentation skills can be used in everyday life, not just when you are presenting power points about limits. You can use these skills when you are being interviewed for that once in a lifetime job, or even when you are interviewing someone else.

These are great tips for journalists because we can be calm when situations get hectic or we have to do a fly on the job. I hope you ace your presentation about the conceptual look at limits and you get the most wicked nickname ever, The Kid with the Professional Communication Skills.

Photo Credit: Creative Commons


Amanda Hintgen March 2, 2011 at 11:49 AM  

I especially agree with vocal energy. It is just like what Brian said in class the other day. We don't want to sound like a bunch of 20 year olds. We want to sound mature and confident. We also want to display ourselves in that sense as well.

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