In today’s world, presentation skills have proven to be very vital across all job fields. Presenting information clearly and effectively is a challenge that many of us face and realize that we need to tackle it.

Whether you’re a student, administrator or executive, you will realize that your presentation skills are the key to a successful presentation. Many people feel terrified when asked to make a public speech, but these initial fears can be reduced by good preparation which will also lay the groundwork for making an effective presentation.

Step 1: Talk naturally to your audience without the aid of using a script will give your presentation a professional touch and it would trick the audience into thinking you know your material. Moreover, it would help the presentation to flow naturally and stress-free.

Step 2: Move around on the stage rather than standing in one spot, use hand gestures and body language to your advantage and to emphasis the point being made and maintain the levels of attention. It also gives the audience an impression that you’re confident, calm and collected.

Step 3: Vary the tone and volume of your voice to emphasis a point you’re making and maintain the audience’s interest. Using a monotone and a straight face would come off as though you’re not interested in what you’re doing and give a dull tone to your presentation.

Step 4: Make eye contact; divide the room in three vertical groups and alternate your eye contact between the groups without focusing on one specific person. If you focus on one group of people or one person in the whole audience this would leave the audience feeling left out and not involved in your presentation.

Step 5: Use visual aids and videos rather than a text heavy slide. Text heavy slides will discourage the audience and it puts you at risk of losing their interest. Instead, use visual prompts to discuss your point. Meanwhile, the videos will attract the attention of the audience and it would target the visual learners in the audience so the information would stay in their memory.

Step 6: Structure your presentation properly. Introduce your topic and tell the audience that it is about; then transition from one point to the other seamlessly in order to maintain the interest levels and for the presentation to seem whole. Finally, have your conclusion, whether it is your own opinion or a summary of the key points in the presentation.

Step 7: Involve the audience with you, ask them questions or let them do exercises. This would help the audience to use what they learnt from your presentation in application.

Step 8: Read in depth about your topic and answer the questions honestly to the best of your knowledge. If you don’t know the answer to the question then you can say “I’ll get back to you on that.” It’s not a weakness to not know an answer to the question!

Presentations are not as scary as they seem to be, and just because one presentation may have gone haywire does not mean can always improve and practice your presentation skills. And remember, you only get one shot per presentation, so make sure it’s the perfect shot.