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Playbook

19 Effective Ways to Improve Your Presentation Skills

October 18, 2017

Presentation skills

In today’s marketplace, organizations depend on people to have the presentation skills needed to share their ideas. Whether a presentation is informative, persuasive, motivational, or intended for some other purpose, developing effective presentation skills is the first step to building this competency.

Here’s a basic checklist from AMA’s Presentation Skills Workshop to help you prepare for and deliver a presentation. These steps will develop your skills in three stages:

Plan — Develop and organize the presentation content

  • Know your topic
  • Know what you want to achieve—the purpose of your presentation
  • Research your topic and use timely information
  • Keep it simple (less is more)
  • Choose an organizational pattern that maximizes the impact of your presentation
  • Keep media simple and to the point
  • Know and adhere to your time limit

Practice — Use practice strategies and plan to create engagement

  • Use notes or an outline to practice the presentation
  • Highlight key words or phrases
  • Pay attention to your voice: quality, inflection, volume, pace, articulation, clarity
  • Check your visual presence: dress, stance, movement, facial expressions, eye contact
  • Practice ways to engage and interact with listeners, such as asking questions, surveying the audience, or addressing people by name
  • Practice, practice, practice

Present — Create and project a credible image

  • Create a credible image by communicating with confidence
  • Be energetic and animated
  • Be ready to adapt
  • Plan for potential questions and challenges and keep control of the situation
  • Give thought to the presentation environment: room setup, equipment, logistics
  • Be positive and enjoy yourself

By following this checklist, you’ll be on a successful path to developing the effective presentation skills that will help you to convey your message and engage the audience.

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About The Author

American Management Association is a world leader in professional development, advancing the skills of individuals to drive business success. AMA’s approach to improving performance combines experiential learning—“learning through doing”—with opportunities for ongoing professional growth at every step of one’s career journey. AMA supports the goals of individuals and organizations through a complete range of products and services, including seminars, Webcasts and podcasts, conferences, corporate and government solutions, business books and research.

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