If there’s anything I love, it’s a good shortcut. Want to learn some quick presentation skills hacks that are easy to do? Sure you do! By tweaking your self-awareness with these handy tips, you can make exceptional presentation skills part of your muscle memory.
Go on, give em a try!:
1. Elbows up!
Okay, okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit. But we all know that big, expansive gestures are better than small ones close to our bodies. The problem is small feels comfortable and safe. Start your presentation by immediately pulling your elbows out from your sides – just at waist level. With your elbows away from your body, it no longer feels natural to keep your gestures small and contained. Remember: as long as they are connected to meaning and purpose, when it comes to gestures, bigger is better, more is merrier!
2. Stop praying to the presentation gods!
True, MC Hammer told us “you’ve got to pray just to make it today!” And while that may be good from a spiritual standpoint, it doesn't hold water during a presentation. Keeping your hands in that oh-so-comfortable prayer position may communicate to your audience something you don’t intend, like insecurity, nervousness, etc. When you practice your presentation, wear a glove on one hand. The moment your hands come together, the physical sensation will remind you to choose a big, impactful gesture or return to neutral position.
3. Story time!
Want to infuse your presentation with more interest? Use your pitch! Pitch is all the music in your voice, the highs and lows. We learn from a very young age that a variety of pitch is very interesting, and that lack of it, or monotone, is not (think Charlie Brown’s teacher). Want a way to practice varying your pitch? Rehearse your presentation as though you’re having story time with a bunch of 3-year-olds. You’ll feel pretty silly, for sure, but you will drive that musicality into your muscle memory. You may even find ways to use pitch to punctuate the meaning of a particular segment of your presentation.
Got some of your own essential presentation skills hacks? Let us know in the comments below!
And here are some more tips to really make those creative presentation ideas soar: