A large part of your success as a seminar facilitator lies in your presentation skills. Because presentation is crucial in every seminar, you should therefore endeavor to learn these skills and never step up that podium without even bothering to understand the things you need to do in order to become an effective facilitator.
Seminar Presentation requires proper planning and extensive preparation. How well are you able to communicate with the audience? Are you able to effectively deliver your thoughts and ideas towards them? Are you able to keep them interested that they do not even want to move or fidget in their seat? These questions will later on help you determine if you reached your goals for the seminar or not.
Presentation Skills Defined
Presentation skills are a set of skills that will help you well to a large number of people. It is about being able to keep them interested and excited, while you discuss your topics to them. Such skill set includes confidence, voice quality, body language, presentation style, choice of words, the use of visuals, and rapport with the audience. All these have to be present during your presentation if you want the audience to take interest in hearing out what you have to say. An important thing you should keep in mind is that presentation skills are not developed overnight. You need time to prepare and practice well so that you can develop them.
Steps to Improve Presentation Skills
- The very first step in improving your presentation skills is to come up with a very good presentation. Most people are visual learners, which means that they are able to retain more information in their head if they see it instead of just listen to you talk. So, you must make your visual presentation eye-catching, interesting, and clear.
- Being able to deliver a good presentation is a skill, and just like any skill, it takes time, practice, and repetition to hone it. So, another important step that you need to take in order to develop your presentation skills is to practice and practice some more. Talk in front of a mirror and discuss your slides when you are alone in your room. Keep doing it until you already know what to do and say even while you are sleeping. This can be tricky though because you should never aim to memorize your presentation.
- Once you are already in front of your audience, keep in mind that body language is also very important. You must project a positive and confident image; avoid unnecessary gestures and maintain a good, relaxed posture. Don’t forget to smile and maintain eye contact with the audience.
- Next, work on your voice. Using varied tone and volume will also improve your audiovisual presentation. Do not be monotonous otherwise everyone would fall asleep. Not only is it necessary to keep your slides interesting but you must also take time to develop voice quality. Your voice creates a very big impact on the effectiveness of your presentation.
Many public speakers say that their ability to effectively speak in front of a large crowd is made possible because of their self-confidence. It is very difficult to express what is in your mind or to convince the audience to open up to your ideas if you are nervous and sweating heavily in front of them. This is why developing self-confidence is considered to be the first and foremost thing that every aspiring seminar facilitator or public speaker should focus on.
Overcoming the fear of public speaking can be tough and it will take awhile to do so. However, if you commit to this challenge then it is possible to get rid of your fear. First of all, believe in yourself. You need to tell yourself that you can speak in front of many people and given enough time to practice, you will be good at it. Secondly, never do so unprepared. Nothing can make a person more nervous than facing dozens of people and not really knowing what to do or say. If this is your first time to hold a seminar, plan and prepare for weeks and even months just so you would be confident enough to deliver a good presentation.