Expert opinion: 6 tips to become a master at presentations

You’re confident about your accountancy skills. But then you’re asked to give a presentation at work and you turn to jelly. What if you forget what you’re saying?

AAT has produced a video with invaluable tips on delivering a presentation which follows Jay Wilson AATQB in his quest to improve his presentation skills.

Jay is mentored by Presentation Skills Trainer Alexandra Bond Burnett. So what are Alex’s top presentation tips for becoming a presentation master?

1. Personality

You shouldn’t be afraid to let your personality shine through when you’re presenting, says Alex. You want to be professional but not dull – so let your audience see a bit of your character.

2. Body language

Even the way you stand can make a difference. Alex shows Jay how to maintain a relaxed stance while keeping eye contact and not standing stock still. It’s all about nailing non-verbal communication she says.

3. Don’t rush

The temptation when making a presentation is to start talking straight away. “People rush right in to speak,” says Alex. Instead for the first few seconds say nothing. Instead, gather your thoughts and it will calm you down. When you’re ready, start talking.

4. Only human

“Let your personality shine through,” says Alex. Not only will it endear you to your audience but because you’ve made a personal connection but “it will make the information more memorable,” says Alex. And remember to use your face for communication – make sure your face doesn’t “freeze”.

5. Pause

Don’t underestimate the power of the pause. It’s a break in the pattern and will give your audience the chance to absorb the information better than if you talk continuously.

6. Practice

Many of us will find the idea of making presentations daunting. But challenge yourself – and practice – says Alex. There are clubs and workshops you can attend in order to get practice and help you feel more confident about public speaking. “Get yourself out there and have a go,” says Alex.

In Summary

Learning to make a great presentation is a skill which will enhance your career. Follow Alex’s tips and you might soon actually enjoy it and become a star presenter!

Further reading:

Charlotte Beugge spent more than 20 years as the deputy personal finance editor on The Daily Telegraph and then The Daily Mail. A freelancer since 2010, her work has appeared in national newspapers, magazines and websites.

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