How to Improve Your Presentation Skills

July 27, 2015

Whether hosting a buyer or seller seminar or making a sales pitch at your next listing presentation, your speaking skills are vital to engage your audience and ignite confidence in you from those listening.

"Lack of preparation is the biggest cause of failure across the board," says Elisabeth Osmeloski, vice president of audience development for SearchMarketingExpo.com and MarTechConf.com, about the most common error with presentations. "Not having a clear message and actionable takeaways will leave the audience feeling like their time has been wasted."

On the other hand, "the perfect presentation has certain attributes, and will be engaging, entertaining, memorable, inspiring, and actionable – all at once," she says.

A company called AvalaunchMedia.com, a digital marketing and PR company based in the Salt Lake City area, helps companies craft better presentations and strengthen their skills. Among their tips:

  • Tell a story. A presentation should be a narrative about something with a beginning, middle, and conclusion. It should not just be a list of facts and statistics.
  • Edit. A presentation with too many bullet points can overwhelm an audience. Most people recall best in 20-25 minute increments. Keep your presentation brief to have a more lasting impact with the audience.
  • Add images. Graphics and visually appealing presentations tend to be more engaging. Visuals are 6.5 times more likely to be remembered, says David Mink, co-founder and CEO of AvalaunchMedia.com.

Source: "The Value of a Great Presentation … And Cost of a Bad One," Forbes.com (March 18, 2015)