How to Improve Presentation Skills and Become a Great Teacher

In-person seminars, workshops are now slowly diminishing because of the digital transformation happening around us. It has paved the path for online presentations, webinars, and web conferences. All these things are now becoming the new norm. For teachers/trainers, it’s time to talent up their presentation skills.

Technology is changing day by day but creating an amazing training experience still relies on us. In order to lead a great online session or a webinar for students or employees, you need to know good presentation skills.

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For many people, speaking in public is hard and speaking during an online presentation is surprisingly hard too. Is presenting an ability you have to be born with?

Simply: No. Presenting is like any other skill that can be taught. If you are one of those who want to improve their presentation skills, read on.

In this article, we will try to cover all the challenges faced during online presentations and try to give a few tips to keep your audience hanging on to your every word during the presentation.

The challenges of online presentations

Online presentations come with their own set of challenges. Without the physical presence of an instructor in the same room with learners, it’s really hard to keep the engagement levels high.

For learners, long online sessions in which the presenter just goes through slide after slide without even asking for any feedback or queries is a very bad experience. For a presenter, it’s just like talking to the void especially if participants have their cameras off.

As physical presence is absent thus communication and active participation is the key to engaging learners in an online session. But if the presenter is unaware of the format of delivering presentations in general, it would be tough to pull it off.

Building your presentation skills

If you don’t have experience with online presentations and you want to improve your presentation skills, these are a few of the things you can do.

Take courses

You are good at your subject (definitely, that’s why you are teaching it otherwise you wouldn’t be). But just being a great teacher is not sufficient when it comes to online presentation, these two are very different skills.

So if you are thinking of how to be a good presenter, you can begin by taking a relevant course. Various online platforms offer you a variety of courses in which they guide you about the importance of presentation in product selling and will guide you through the art of storytelling.

Attend online presentations

If you want to be a writer, you need to read a lot of books in your genre similarly, if you want to be a good presenter, you need to watch other presenters. Join webinars and online sessions even on different subjects.

Being on the side of the audience, you can note the things that bother you and you can try to avoid them when your time comes. Also, you can identify the things that you liked, try to incorporate them into your own presentation.

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Do mock drills

Preparing your material and doing a couple of practice runs are always recommended. If your presentation is online, try practicing in front of a camera too. Firstly, it will help you to test out whether your system is working fine or not. Secondly, recording your session will help you in the below things.

It will allow you to see what your learners see.

Are you going through the slides very fast or very slow?

Is your talking tone fine?

Should you speak louder?

You can get your answers through the recording and then you can adjust your way of presenting accordingly.

How to deliver an engaging online presentation

A big part of any good presentation is how well you can speak in front of your audience. But during an online presentation there are several other factors through which you can create engagement with your audience. Below are some of the presentation tips that will help you get started:

Let your personality shine

Neither your learners nor your clients are here to listen to you read a manual out loud with slides in the background. You don’t need to turn into a comedian but you can add a comedic tone to your language. Adding a personal touch is a great way to get people to pay attention to what’s you’re saying.

Encourage audience engagement

To keep your audience engaged you should try questions and conversions with your listeners throughout the session so that they will be more than just listeners. Having a QnA session at the end is also a good idea.

Whenever you finish a part of your presentation, pause and ask if there are any questions. If you are presenting through an online platform like Zoom or MeritHub, try the chat feature of the app.

Keep your slides visually appealing and informative

People mostly treat slides likes pages of a book and often get bored with them. Since you will be probably using slides mostly, your slides should be visually pleasant. Use interesting or funny images to illustrate a point. Also don’t stay on one slide for too long: about 3-4 minutes per slide will be enough.

Use multimedia elements

No matter how appealing you make your presentation, slides alone are not going to do the task. A fresh way to do this is with an online poll. Many software allows you to run real-time polls where you can ask your audience’s opinion about a subject and have their responses showcased on your shared screen. You can also include some short videos or images related to the subject of your presentation.

Record them

Don’t forget to hit “record”. Offering recorded session to those who missed it or wants to rewatch it is the best thing about an online seminar/webinar. If you are live then do not forget to take permission of everyone present before recording.

Contributed by:
Edmund Hinkel