Presentation skills: Make it simple, but significant

Vasiliki Kotzampasidou Soft Skills
2 min read
chef presenting a meal

You don’t have to be an extroverted or outspoken person to be good at presenting. Whatever your personality is, even if you’re an introvert, you can become a brilliant presenter.

But enough with the theory. Let’s get down to action. How can you deliver powerful presentations?

The first and most important thing that you should do before even writing your presentation is to identify your audience. Be careful! It sounds easy but it takes a lot of work to do your audience research. You may initially recognize a difficulty in adapting your content according to your audience. So, think of guiding questions that can make your presentation relevant: “Do I have to make formal slides, or can it remain casual?”. For instance, if you present your report to your colleagues, you may be comfortable enough to speak at a more casual tone.

Imagine a plate full of food decorated beautifully. Now imagine the same plate of food but with a sloppy decoration. Which one would you choose?

This is the reason why you should add in relevant content pictures, animation, and videos. In that way, you engage your audience and present your work report in a successful and aesthetic manner. Keep in mind that these visual cues allow your audience to retain a higher attention span.

When talking about your tech stack, do not just list the logos of frameworks and tools you used. Make your audience understand your choices and the flow between them to show your thought process when working on your project. Know the content of your slides by heart. Never read what’s on them. Instead, just take a quick glance if you need a reminder or cue.

If you were to present in person, don’t turn your back on your audience. Instead, point at the slides while facing the people you are presenting to. Pay attention to your movement – don’t put your hands in your pockets or cross your arms as it signals closed body language. If you are nervous, keep a pen in your hands! This way you will make your hands return to a natural position of holding it, and you can use it to point on your slides as well.

Even presenters who are seniors or CXOs can still face the fear of public speaking. So, practice, practice, practice. Don’t read the slides! People can read them by themselves.

Last but not the least, **keep up the energy**!

Use pitch and volume as if they were your brush strokes in a paint. Don’t be monotonous. Control the pace of your speech and maintain clarity and good volume at the end of your sentences. Don’t feel the urge to fill in every second of your speech with words either – use silence to spark attention when you speak. There’s nothing more impactful than a pause.

To summarize, presentation skills can boost your career on top, assist you in finding new potential leads, and allow you to communicate better with your existing relations.

*Remember*: presentation skills are about **people, passion** and **practice**.

What are the other soft skills needed in a developer? Check out the Soft Skills series here.