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Presentation Skills 101: A Guide to Presentation Success

Getting the perfect presentation design is just a step toward a successful presentation. For the experienced user, building presentation skills is the answer to elevating the power of your message and showing expertise on any subject. Still, one can ask: is it the same set of skills, or are they dependable on the type of presentation?

In this article, we will introduce the different types of presentations accompanied by the skillset required to master them. The purpose, as always, is to retain the audience’s interest for a long-lasting and convincing message.

cover for presentation skills guide

Table of Contents

The Importance of Presentation Skills

Persuasive presentations, instructional presentations, informative presentations, inspirational presentations, basic presentation skills, what are the main difficulties when giving a presentation, recommendations to improve your presentation skills, closing statement.

Effective communication is the answer to reaching business and academic goals. The scenarios in which we can be required to deliver a presentation are as diverse as one can imagine. Still, some core concepts apply to all presentations.

 We define presentation skills as a compendium of soft skills that directly affect your presentation performance and contribute to creating a great presentation. These are not qualities acquired by birth but skills you ought to train and master to delve into professional environments.

You may ask: is it really that evident when a presenter is not prepared? Here are some common signs people can experience during presentations:

  • Evasive body language: Not making eye contact with the audience, arms closed tightly to the body, hands in pockets all the time.
  • Lack of interest in the presenter’s voice: dull tone, not putting an effort to articulate the topics.
  • Doubting when asked to answer a question
  • Irksome mood

The list can go on about common presenter mistakes , and most certainly, it will affect the performance of any presented data if the lack of interest by the presenter is blatantly obvious.  Another element to consider is anxiety, and according to research by the National Institute of Mental Health, 73% of the population in the USA is affected by glossophobia , which is the fear of public speaking, judgment, or negative evaluation by other people.

Therefore, presentation skills training is essential for any business professional who wants to achieve effective communication . It will remove the anxiety from presentation performance and help users effectively deliver their message and connect with the audience.

Archetypes of presentations

Persuasive presentations aim to convince the audience – often in short periods – to acquire a product or service, adhere to a cause, or invest in a company. For business entrepreneurs or politicians, persuasive presentations are their tool for the trade.

Unless you aim to be perceived as an imposter, a proper persuasive presentation has the elements of facts, empathy, and logic, balanced under a well-crafted narrative. The central pillar of these presentations is to identify the single factor that gathered your audience: it could be a market need, a social cause, or a revolutionary concept for today’s society. It has to be something with enough power to gather critiques – both good and bad.

That single factor has to be backed up by facts. Research that builds your hypothesis on how to solve that problem. A deep understanding of the target audience’s needs , concerns, and social position regarding the solution your means can offer. When those elements are in place, building a pitch becomes an easy task. 

Graphics can help you introduce information in a compelling format, lowering the need for lengthy presentations. Good presentation skills for persuasive presentations go by the hand of filtering relevant data and creating the visual cues that resonate with what your audience demands.

One powerful example of a persuasive presentation is the technique known as the elevator pitch . You must introduce your idea or product convincingly to the audience in a timeframe between 30 seconds and less than 2 minutes. You have to expose:

  • What do you do 
  • What’s the problem to solve
  • Why is your solution different from others 
  • Why should the audience care about your expertise

presentation skills an elevator pitch slide

For that very purpose, using engaging graphics with contrasting colors elevates the potential power of your message. It speaks professionalism, care for details, and out-of-the-box thinking. Knowing how to end a presentation is also critical, as your CTAs should be placed with care.

Therefore, let’s resume the requirements of persuasive presentations in terms of good presentation skills:

  • Identifying problems and needs
  • Elaborating “the hook” (the element that grabs the audience’s attention)
  • Knowing how to “tie” your audience (introducing a piece of information related to the hook that causes an emotional impact)
  • Broad knowledge of body language and hand gestures to quickly convey your message
  • Being prepared to argue a defense of your point of view
  • Handling rejection
  • Having a proactive attitude to convert opportunities into new projects
  • Using humor, surprise, or personal anecdotes as elements to sympathize with the audience
  • Having confidence
  • Be able to summarize facts and information in visually appealing ways

skills required for persuasive presentations

You can learn more about persuasive presentation techniques by clicking here .

In the case of instructional presentations, we ought to differentiate two distinctive types:

  • Lecture Presentations : Presentations being held at universities or any other educative institution. Those presentations cover, topic by topic, and the contents of a syllabus and are created by the team of teachers in charge of the course.
  • Training Presentations : These presentations take place during in-company training sessions and usually comprise a good amount of content that is resumed into easy-to-take solutions. They are aimed to coach employees over certain topics relevant to their work performance. The 70-20-10 Model is frequently used to address these training situations.

Lecture presentations appeal to the gradual introduction of complex concepts, following a structure set in the course’s syllabus. These presentations often have a similar aesthetic as a group of professors or researchers created to share their knowledge about a topic. Personal experience does tell that course presentations often rely on factual data, adequately documented, and on the theoretical side.

An example of a presentation that lies under this concept is a Syllabus Presentation, used by the teaching team to introduce the subject to new students, evaluation methods, concepts to be learned, and expectations to pass the course.

using a course syllabus presentation to boost your instructional presentation skills

On the other hand, training presentations are slide decks designed to meet an organization’s specific needs in the formal education of their personnel. Commonly known as “continuous education,” plenty of companies invest resources in coaching their employees to achieve higher performance results. These presentations have the trademark of being concise since their idea is to introduce the concepts that shall be applied in practice sessions. 

Ideally, the training presentations are introduced with little text and easy-to-recognize visual cues. Since the idea is to summarize as much as possible, these are visually appealing for the audience. They must be dynamic enough to allow the presenter to convey the message.

presentation skills example of a training presentation

Those key takeaways remind employees when they revisit their learning resources and allow them to ruminate on questions that fellow workers raise. 

To sum up this point, building presentation skills for instructional presentations requires:

  • Ability to put complex concepts into simpler words
  • Patience and a constant learning mindset
  • Voice training to deliver lengthy speeches without being too dense
  • Ability to summarize points and note the key takeaways
  • Empathizing with the audience to understand their challenges in the learning process

skill requirements for instructional presentations

The informative presentations take place in business situations, such as when to present project reports from different departments to the management. Another potential usage of these presentations is in SCRUM or other Agile methodologies, when a sprint is completed, to discuss the advance of the project with the Product Owner.

As they are presentations heavily dependent on data insights, it’s common to see the usage of infographics and charts to express usually dense data in simpler terms and easy to remember. 

a SCRUM process being shown in an informative slide

Informative presentations don’t just fall into the business category. Ph.D. Dissertation and Thesis presentations are topics that belong to the informative presentations category as they condense countless research hours into manageable reports for the academic jury. 

an example of a thesis dissertation template

Since these informational presentations can be perceived as lengthy and data-filled, it is important to learn the following professional presentation skills:

  • Attention to detail
  • Be able to explain complex information in simpler terms
  • Creative thinking
  • Powerful diction
  • Working on pauses and transitions
  • Pacing the presentation, so not too much information is divulged per slide

skill requirements for informational presentations

The leading inspirational platform, TEDx, comes to mind when talking about inspirational presentations. This presentation format has the peculiarity of maximizing the engagement with the audience to divulge a message, and due to that, it has specific requirements any presenter must meet.

This presentation format usually involves a speaker on a stage, either sitting or better standing, in which the presenter engages with the audience with a storytelling format about a life experience, a job done that provided a remarkable improvement for society, etc.

using a quote slide to boost inspirational presentation skills

Empathizing with the audience is the key ingredient for these inspirational presentations. Still, creativity is what shapes the outcome of your performance as people are constantly looking for different experiences – not the same recipe rephrased with personal touches. The human factor is what matters here, way above data and research. What has your experience to offer to others? How can it motivate another human being to pursue a similar path or discover their true calling?

To achieve success in terms of communication skills presentation, these inspirational presentations have the following requirements:

  • Focus on the audience (engage, consider their interests, and make them a part of your story)
  • Putting ego aside
  • Creative communication skills
  • Storytelling skills
  • Body language knowledge to apply the correct gestures to accompany your story
  • Voice training
  • Using powerful words

skills required for inspirational presentations

After discussing the different kinds of presentations we can come across at any stage of our lives, a group of presentation skills is standard in any type of presentation. See below what makes a good presentation and which skills you must count on to succeed as a presenter.


Punctuality is a crucial aspect of giving an effective presentation. Nothing says more about respect for your audience and the organization you represent than delivering the presentation on time . Arriving last minute puts pressure on the tech team behind audiovisuals, as they don’t have enough preparation to test microphones, stage lights, and projector settings, which can lead to a less powerful presentation Even when discussing presentations hosted in small rooms for a reduced audience, testing the equipment becomes essential for an effective presentation.

A solution for this is to arrive at least 30 minutes early. Ideally, one hour is a sweet spot since the AV crew has time to check the gear and requirements for your presentation. Another benefit of this, for example, in inspirational presentations, is measuring the previous presenter’s impact on the audience. This gives insights about how to resonate with the public, and their interest, and how to accommodate your presentation for maximum impact.

Body Language

Our bodies can make emotions transparent for others, even when we are unaware of such a fact. Proper training for body language skills reduces performance anxiety, giving the audience a sense of expertise about the presented topic. 

Give your presentation and the audience the respect they deserve by watching over these potential mistakes:

  • Turning your back to the audience for extended periods : It’s okay to do so when introducing an important piece of information or explaining a graph, but it is considered rude to give your back to the audience constantly.
  • Fidgeting : We are all nervous in the presence of strangers, even more, if we are the center of attention for that moment. Instead of playing with your hair or making weird hand gestures, take a deep breath to center yourself before the presentation and remember that everything you could do to prepare is already done. Trust your instincts and give your best.
  • Intense eye contact : Have you watched a video where the presenter stared at the camera the entire time? That’s the feeling you transmit to spectators through intense eye contact. It’s a practice often used by politicians to persuade.
  • Swearing : This is a no-brainer. Even when you see influencers swearing on camera or in podcasts or live presentations, it is considered an informal and lousy practice for business and academic situations. If you have a habit to break when it comes to this point, find the humor in these situations and replace your swear words with funny alternatives (if the presentation allows for it). 

Voice Tone plays a crucial role in delivering effective presentations and knowing how to give a good presentation. Your voice is a powerful tool for exposing your ideas and feelings . Your voice can articulate the message you are telling, briefing the audience if you feel excited about what you are sharing or, in contrast, if you feel the presentation is a burden you ought to complete.

Remember, passion is a primary ingredient in convincing people. Therefore, transmitting such passion with a vibrant voice may help gather potential business partners’ interest.  

But what if you feel sick prior to the presentation? If, by chance, your throat is sore minutes before setting foot on the stage, try this: when introducing yourself, mention that you are feeling a bit under the weather. This resonates with the audience to pay more attention to your efforts. In case you don’t feel comfortable about that, ask the organizers for a cup of tea, as it will settle your throat and relax your nerves.

Tech Skills

Believe it or not, people still feel challenged by technology these days. Maybe that’s the reason why presentation giants like Tony Robbins opt not to use PowerPoint presentations . The reality is that there are plenty of elements involved in a presentation that can go wrong from the tech side:

  • A PDF not opening
  • Saving your presentation in a too-recent PowerPoint version
  • A computer not booting up
  • Mac laptops and their never-ending compatibility nightmare
  • Not knowing how to change between slides
  • Not knowing how to use a laser pointer
  • Internet not working
  • Audio not working

We can come up with a pretty long list of potential tech pitfalls, and yet more than half of them fall in presenters not being knowledgeable about technology.

If computers aren’t your thing, let the organization know about this beforehand. There is always a crew member available to help presenters switch between slides or configure the presentation for streaming. This takes the pressure off your shoulders, allowing you to concentrate on the content to present. Remember, even Bill Gates can get a BSOD during a presentation .

Presentations, while valuable for conveying information and ideas, can be daunting for many individuals. Here are some common difficulties people encounter when giving presentations:

Public Speaking Anxiety

Glossophobia, the fear of public speaking, affects a significant portion of the population. This anxiety can lead to nervousness, trembling, and forgetfulness during a presentation.

Lack of Confidence

Many presenters struggle with self-doubt, fearing that they may not be knowledgeable or skilled enough to engage their audience effectively.

Content Organization

Organizing information in a coherent and engaging manner can be challenging. Presenters often grapple with how to structure their content to make it easily digestible for the audience. Artificial Intelligence can help us significantly reduce the content arrangement time when you work with tools like our AI Presentation Maker (made for presenters by experts in presentation design). 

Audience Engagement

Keeping the audience’s attention and interest throughout the presentation can be difficult. Distractions, disengaged attendees, or lack of interaction can pose challenges.

Technical Issues

Technology glitches, such as malfunctioning equipment, incompatible file formats, or poor internet connectivity, can disrupt presentations and increase stress.

Time Management

Striking the right balance between providing enough information and staying within time limits is a common challenge. Going over or under the allotted time can affect the effectiveness of the presentation.

Handling Questions and Challenges

Responding to unexpected questions, criticism, or challenges from the audience can be difficult, especially when presenters are unprepared or lack confidence in their subject matter.

Visual Aids and Technology

Creating and effectively using visual aids like slides or multimedia can be a struggle for some presenters. Technical competence is essential in this aspect.

Language and Articulation

Poor language skills or unclear articulation can hinder effective communication. Presenters may worry about stumbling over words or failing to convey their message clearly.

Maintaining appropriate and confident body language can be challenging. Avoiding nervous habits, maintaining eye contact, and using gestures effectively requires practice.

Overcoming Impersonal Delivery

In virtual presentations, maintaining a personal connection with the audience can be difficult. The absence of face-to-face interaction can make it challenging to engage and read the audience.

Cultural and Diversity Awareness

Presenting to diverse audiences requires sensitivity to cultural differences and varying levels of familiarity with the topic.

In this section, we gathered some tips on how to improve presentation skills that can certainly make an impact if applied to your presentation skills. We believe these skills can be cultivated to transform into habits for your work routine.

Tip #1: Build a narrative

One memorable way to guarantee presentation success is by writing a story of all the points you desire to cover. This statement is based on the logic behind storytelling and its power to connect with people .

Don’t waste time memorizing slides or reading your presentation to the audience. It feels unnatural, and any question that diverts from the topic in discussion certainly puts you in jeopardy or, worse, exposes you as a fraud in the eyes of the audience. And before you ask, it is really evident when a presenter has a memorized speech. 

Build and rehearse the presentation as if telling a story to a group of interested people. Lower the language barrier by avoiding complex terms that maybe even you aren’t fully aware of their meaning. Consider the ramifications of that story, what it could lead to, and which are the opportunities to explore. Then, visualize yourself giving the presentation in a natural way.

Applying this technique makes the presentation feel like second nature to you. It broadens the spectrum in which you can show expertise over a topic or even build the basis for new interesting points of view about the project.

Tip #2: Don’t talk for more than 3 minutes per slide

It is a common practice of presenters to bombard the audience with facts and information whilst retaining the same slide on the screen. Why can this happen? It could be because the presenter condensed the talk into very few slides and preferred to talk. The reality is that your spectators won’t retain the information you are giving unless you give visual cues to help that process. 

Opt to prepare more slides and pace your speech to match the topics shown on each slide. Don’t spend more than 3 minutes per slide unless you have to introduce a complex piece of data. Use visual cues to direct the spectators about what you talk about, and summarize the principal concepts discussed at the end of each section.

Tip #3: Practice meditation daily

Anxiety is the number one enemy of professional presenters. It slowly builds without you being aware of your doubts and can hinder your performance in multiple ways: making you feel paralyzed, fidgeting, making you forget language skills or concepts, affecting your health, etc.

Meditation is an ancient practice taken from Buddhist teachings that train your mind to be here in the present. We often see the concepts of meditation and mindfulness as synonyms, whereas you should be aware that meditation is a practice that sets the blocks to reach a state of mindfulness. For presenters, being in the here and now is essential to retain focus, but meditation techniques also teach us to control our breathing and be in touch with our body signals when stress builds up. 

The customary practice of meditation has an impact on imagination and creativity but also helps to build patience – a skill much needed for connecting with your audience in instructional presentations.

Having the proper set of presentation skills can be quite subjective. It goes beyond presentation tips and deepens into how flexible we can be in our ability to communicate ideas.

Different presentations and different audiences shape the outcome of our efforts. Therefore, having a basic understanding of how to connect, raise awareness, and empathize with people can be key ingredients for your career as a presenter. A word of advice: success doesn’t happen overnight. It takes dedication and patience to build communication skills . Don’t condition your work to believe you will be ready “someday”; it’s best to practice and experience failure as part of the learning process.

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define presentation as a skill



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Presentation Skills:

  • A - Z List of Presentation Skills
  • Top Tips for Effective Presentations
  • General Presentation Skills
  • What is a Presentation?
  • Preparing for a Presentation
  • Organising the Material
  • Writing Your Presentation
  • Deciding the Presentation Method
  • Managing your Presentation Notes
  • Working with Visual Aids
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Presentation Skills

Presenting information clearly and effectively is a key skill in getting your message across. Today, presentation skills are required in almost every field, and most of us are required to give presentations on occasions. While some people take this in their stride, others find it much more challenging.

It is, however, possible to improve your presentation skills with a bit of work. This section of SkillsYouNeed is designed to help.

Many people feel terrified when asked to talk in public, especially to bigger groups. However, these fears can be reduced by good preparation, which will also lay the groundwork for making an effective presentation.

There are Different Types of Presentations, but They’re All Presentations

There are any number of occasions when you may be asked to speak in public or to a group of people. They include:

  • Presenting or making a speech at a conference or event.
  • Objecting to a planning proposal at a council meeting.
  • Making a speech at a wedding.
  • Proposing a vote of thanks to someone at a club or society.
  • On behalf of a team, saying goodbye and presenting a gift to a colleague who is leaving.
  • Seeking investment or a loan to help you set up a new business.

These can all be considered presentations.

They do not, however, all require the same approach. You would not, for example, use PowerPoint to thank a colleague who was leaving. It would be unusual (though it has been done) to use it in a speech at a wedding. However, a conference audience would be somewhat surprised NOT to see slides projected onto a screen.

It follows, therefore, that there is no single set of rules that apply to all presentations. There are, however, some things that every presentation opportunity has in common. These include:

You will present better if you have prepared effectively . This does NOT necessarily mean that you have written out your speech verbatim and rehearsed it until you know it off by heart—although that might work for some people. It does, however, mean that you have to be confident that you are saying the right thing, in the right way, to the right people.

You need to be clear about your audience and your message . Every presentation will be better if you have clearly considered the message that you want or need to convey, and how best to convey it to your audience. These two pieces of information drive your style, structure, content, and use of visual aids.

You must never overrun your allocated time .  In other words, don’t outstay your welcome. Almost every speech or presentation is better if it is shorter. Nobody minds going for coffee early or finishing before they expected to do so. Everybody minds being held up.

Generally speaking, your audience starts on your side. As a rule, your audience is there (more or less) voluntarily. They have chosen to listen to you, and they want to enjoy your presentation. The occasion is yours to lose.

An Important Point

There is one very important point to remember: if what you’re doing or saying is not working, do something else.

One of the worst feelings as a presenter is that you have lost your audience. You know that’s happened, but you continue to stumble through your remaining PowerPoint slides for the next 15 minutes, as your audience checks their phones and wishes it was coffee time. You think you have no choice, but that’s not actually true.

When you present, you are in charge of the room . The audience has effectively handed you control and is sitting back waiting for you to do something. You may have prepared a specific talk, but if you see that isn’t working, you can always change it. You are, after all, the expert.

You can, for example:

  • Skip through some slides to a section that they may find more interesting;
  • Ask your audience whether there is particular information that they were expecting that you are not providing;
  • Suggest that everyone looks a bit sleepy, and maybe it would be better to start questions early, or have a discussion; or
  • Ask the audience at the start of the presentation what they are expecting and what they want you to cover. That way, you can tailor the presentation to fit their expectations.

Just as when you are facilitating, you want to help your audience get the most out of your presentation. The best way to do that is to accept feedback—which may include smiles, nods of interest, or people getting their phones out.

Quick Guide to Effective Presentations

If you need to improve your presentation skills quickly, then a really good place to start is with our Top Tips for Effective Presentations .

This will give you some ‘quick wins’ that will help you improve your presentations. If you’re already an experienced presenter, this page should be a useful refresher, or even take your skills from good to great.

Our tips include general ideas about connecting with your audience, information about the importance of voice and body language, and detailed tips about preparing slide-shows.

The most important tip of all, however, is to remember that it's all about your audience.

Keep that in mind, and your presentation skills will almost instantly improve.

If you have more time to develop your presentation skills…

…then the Presentation Skills section of SkillsYouNeed is designed to help.

Our Presentation Skills section is split into two parts.

  • The first gives you a step-by-step guide to putting together and delivering a professional and effective presentation .
  • The second provides more detailed information about presenting and communicating in particular circumstances .

You can either use our step-by-step guide to walk you through the presentation preparation and delivery process, or you can focus on particular areas that are an issue for you.

Preparing for Your Presentation

The guide starts by explaining What is a Presentation?

We define a presentation as a means of communication that can be adapted to various speaking situations, such as talking to a group, addressing a meeting or briefing a team. Effective presentations usually require careful thought and preparation—although this preparation need not take very long.

Preparation is the most important part of making a successful presentation.  Our page on Preparing For A Presentation explains what information you need before you can really start to plan your presentation and decide what you are going to say. The most important aspects include the objective of the presentation, the subject, and the audience.

Irrespective of whether the occasion is formal or informal, you should always aim to give a clear, well-structured delivery. To do so, you need to organise your presentation material . You can either do this in your head, or use a technique like mind-mapping to help you identify links and good flow.

By the time you come to write your presentation , you should know exactly what you want to say and the order in which you want to say it. You may want to use one of the standard presentation structures, such as ‘What, Why, How?’. You will also find it helpful to consider how to tell your story most effectively, and to use stories in your presentation to illustrate points. There is more about this in our page on writing your presentation .

You also need to decide on your presentation method . Presentations range from the formal to the informal. Your choice of presentation method will depend on many factors, including the audience, the venue, the facilities, and your own preferences.

Visual aids can add another dimension to your presentation, helping to hold your audience’s attention, and also act as a reminder of what you wanted to say. However, they need handling with care. Only use visual aids if they are necessary to maintain interest and assist comprehension . If visual aids are not used well, they can ruin a presentation.

See Working with Visual Aids to avoid falling into the trap of the dreaded ‘ Death by PowerPoint’ .

A particular case of visual aids is the use of data in a presentation.

There are times when using data in a presentation can really help you to tell the story better. It is, however, important not to blind your audience with statistics. You also need to remember that many people find numbers difficult to understand. Our page on Presenting Data gives some hints and tips about using data effectively in a presentation situation.

On the Day of the Presentation

There are a number of aspects to delivering your presentation on the day.

The practicalities of how you manage your presentation can make a significant difference to its success, and to your nerves! For example, turning up early means that you have will have a chance to see the room, and ensure that you can operate all the necessary equipment. There is more about how to cope, including managing sound systems, audio-visual equipment and lecterns in our page on Managing the Presentation Event .

Many people also feel very nervous before and during a presentation. This is entirely normal, and can even be helpful if you can channel it in the right way. There are some tried and tested strategies and techniques to manage your nerves so that you can concentrate on delivering an effective and engaging presentation.

See Coping with Presentation Nerves for some ideas that will help.

How you present yourself can also affect how your audience responds to your presentation.

You need to fit with your audience's expectations if they are not going to spend quite a large chunk of your presentation dealing with the differences between expectations and reality.

For more about aspects of self-presentation, see our page on Self-Presentation in Presentations .

You also need to consider how to manage your presentation notes .

Few people are able to give a presentation without notes. You will need to know your own abilities and decide how best to make the presentation. You might manage your talk by using full text, notes on cue cards, keywords on cue cards, or mind maps. There is more about this in our page on Managing your Presentation Notes .

After the presentation, you may be faced with a question-and-answer session. For many people, this is the worst part of the event.

Decide in advance how and when you wish to handle questions. Some speakers prefer questions to be raised as they arise during the presentation whilst others prefer to deal with questions at the end. At the start of your presentation, you should make clear your preferences to the audience. See our page on Dealing with Questions for more ideas about how to make the question session pleasant and productive, rather than something to dread.

Presenting Under Particular Circumstances

You may find that you need to give a presentation under certain circumstances, where your previous experience is less helpful.

Circumstances that may be new to you include:

  • Giving a Speech , for example, at a wedding.

One particular special case is attending public consultation meetings.

Our pages on Attending Public Consultation Meetings , and Managing Public Consultation Meetings provide information to help whether you are a concerned member of the public, or responsible for organising a public meeting.

You may also find yourself required to organise or manage a press conference.

Although this may not strictly be what you would describe as a ‘presentation’, it is nonetheless an event at which you are required to present your organisation in a particular light.

Our page on Managing a Press Conference gives some ideas about how best to do that.

Finally, should you be unlucky enough to be involved in a serious crisis or disaster that affects your organisation, our page on Crisis Communications gives some ideas about how to manage press and public relations on these occasions.

Start with: What is a Presentation? Top Tips for Effective Presentations

See also: Personal Appearance Interpersonal Communication Skills


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define presentation as a skill

Five tips to set yourself apart.

Never underestimate the power of great communication. It can help you land the job of your dreams, attract investors to back your idea, or elevate your stature within your organization. But while there are plenty of good speakers in the world, you can set yourself apart out by being the person who can deliver something great over and over. Here are a few tips for business professionals who want to move from being good speakers to great ones: be concise (the fewer words, the better); never use bullet points (photos and images paired together are more memorable); don’t underestimate the power of your voice (raise and lower it for emphasis); give your audience something extra (unexpected moments will grab their attention); rehearse (the best speakers are the best because they practice — a lot).

I was sitting across the table from a Silicon Valley CEO who had pioneered a technology that touches many of our lives — the flash memory that stores data on smartphones, digital cameras, and computers. He was a frequent guest on CNBC and had been delivering business presentations for at least 20 years before we met. And yet, the CEO wanted to sharpen his public speaking skills.

define presentation as a skill

  • Carmine Gallo is a Harvard University instructor, keynote speaker, and author of 10 books translated into 40 languages. Gallo is the author of The Bezos Blueprint: Communication Secrets of the World’s Greatest Salesman  (St. Martin’s Press).

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Powerful and Effective Presentation Skills: More in Demand Now Than Ever

define presentation as a skill

When we talk with our L&D colleagues from around the globe, we often hear that presentation skills training is one of the top opportunities they’re looking to provide their learners. And this holds true whether their learners are individual contributors, people managers, or senior leaders. This is not surprising.

Effective communications skills are a powerful career activator, and most of us are called upon to communicate in some type of formal presentation mode at some point along the way.

For instance, you might be asked to brief management on market research results, walk your team through a new process, lay out the new budget, or explain a new product to a client or prospect. Or you may want to build support for a new idea, bring a new employee into the fold, or even just present your achievements to your manager during your performance review.

And now, with so many employees working from home or in hybrid mode, and business travel in decline, there’s a growing need to find new ways to make effective presentations when the audience may be fully virtual or a combination of in person and remote attendees.

Whether you’re making a standup presentation to a large live audience, or a sit-down one-on-one, whether you’re delivering your presentation face to face or virtually, solid presentation skills matter.

Even the most seasoned and accomplished presenters may need to fine-tune or update their skills. Expectations have changed over the last decade or so. Yesterday’s PowerPoint which primarily relied on bulleted points, broken up by the occasional clip-art image, won’t cut it with today’s audience.

The digital revolution has revolutionized the way people want to receive information. People expect presentations that are more visually interesting. They expect to see data, metrics that support assertions. And now, with so many previously in-person meetings occurring virtually, there’s an entirely new level of technical preparedness required.

The leadership development tools and the individual learning opportunities you’re providing should include presentation skills training that covers both the evergreen fundamentals and the up-to-date capabilities that can make or break a presentation.

So, just what should be included in solid presentation skills training? Here’s what I think.

The fundamentals will always apply When it comes to making a powerful and effective presentation, the fundamentals will always apply. You need to understand your objective. Is it strictly to convey information, so that your audience’s knowledge is increased? Is it to persuade your audience to take some action? Is it to convince people to support your idea? Once you understand what your objective is, you need to define your central message. There may be a lot of things you want to share with your audience during your presentation, but find – and stick with – the core, the most important point you want them to walk away with. And make sure that your message is clear and compelling.

You also need to tailor your presentation to your audience. Who are they and what might they be expecting? Say you’re giving a product pitch to a client. A technical team may be interested in a lot of nitty-gritty product detail. The business side will no doubt be more interested in what returns they can expect on their investment.

Another consideration is the setting: is this a formal presentation to a large audience with questions reserved for the end, or a presentation in a smaller setting where there’s the possibility for conversation throughout? Is your presentation virtual or in-person? To be delivered individually or as a group? What time of the day will you be speaking? Will there be others speaking before you and might that impact how your message will be received?

Once these fundamentals are established, you’re in building mode. What are the specific points you want to share that will help you best meet your objective and get across your core message? Now figure out how to convey those points in the clearest, most straightforward, and succinct way. This doesn’t mean that your presentation has to be a series of clipped bullet points. No one wants to sit through a presentation in which the presenter reads through what’s on the slide. You can get your points across using stories, fact, diagrams, videos, props, and other types of media.

Visual design matters While you don’t want to clutter up your presentation with too many visual elements that don’t serve your objective and can be distracting, using a variety of visual formats to convey your core message will make your presentation more memorable than slides filled with text. A couple of tips: avoid images that are cliched and overdone. Be careful not to mix up too many different types of images. If you’re using photos, stick with photos. If you’re using drawn images, keep the style consistent. When data are presented, stay consistent with colors and fonts from one type of chart to the next. Keep things clear and simple, using data to support key points without overwhelming your audience with too much information. And don’t assume that your audience is composed of statisticians (unless, of course, it is).

When presenting qualitative data, brief videos provide a way to engage your audience and create emotional connection and impact. Word clouds are another way to get qualitative data across.

Practice makes perfect You’ve pulled together a perfect presentation. But it likely won’t be perfect unless it’s well delivered. So don’t forget to practice your presentation ahead of time. Pro tip: record yourself as you practice out loud. This will force you to think through what you’re going to say for each element of your presentation. And watching your recording will help you identify your mistakes—such as fidgeting, using too many fillers (such as “umm,” or “like”), or speaking too fast.

A key element of your preparation should involve anticipating any technical difficulties. If you’ve embedded videos, make sure they work. If you’re presenting virtually, make sure that the lighting is good, and that your speaker and camera are working. Whether presenting in person or virtually, get there early enough to work out any technical glitches before your presentation is scheduled to begin. Few things are a bigger audience turn-off than sitting there watching the presenter struggle with the delivery mechanisms!

Finally, be kind to yourself. Despite thorough preparation and practice, sometimes, things go wrong, and you need to recover in the moment, adapt, and carry on. It’s unlikely that you’ll have caused any lasting damage and the important thing is to learn from your experience, so your next presentation is stronger.

How are you providing presentation skills training for your learners?

Manika Gandhi is Senior Learning Design Manager at Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning. Email her at [email protected] .

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What are Presentation Skills and How to Improve Them?

Discover this blog to learn all about Presentation Skills and their vital significance in the professional realm and also learn how to improve them. This blog will also explore the importance of Presentation Skills, and how you conquer any presentation challenge. Read more to learn!


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Presentation Skills are not only crucial in the professional world but are also valuable in personal and academic settings. Regardless of whether you are a student, a business professional, or someone looking to improve your communication abilities, mastering these skills can be a game-changer. In this blog, we will dive into the world of Presentation Skills, how you can improve them and understand their significance in various aspects of life.  

Table of Contents  

1) What are Presentation Skills?  

2) Why are Presentation Skills important?  

3) Top 25  Presentation Skills

4) How to enhance your Presentation Skills?  

5) Conclusion 

What are Presentation Skills?  

Presentation Skills refer to a set of abilities that enable individuals to effectively convey information, ideas, or messages to an audience. It goes beyond simply speaking in front of people, involving a combination of verbal and non-verbal communication techniques that captivate and engage listeners. These skills are essential in various aspects of life, from professional settings to academic environments and even in personal interactions. 

At its core, Presentation Skills involve the art of delivering a message in a clear, concise, and compelling manner, guided by the fundamental principles of presentation skills . A skillful presenter considers all the advantages and disadvantages of presentations. They can capture the attention of their audience, hold their interest throughout the Presentation, and leave a lasting impact. These skills are priceless in a wide range of scenarios, such as delivering sales pitches, training sessions, public speeches, academic Presentations, or even social gatherings. Now that you know the definition of Presentation Skills, let's move on to learning their importance and the key elements of a Presentation .  

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Why are Presentation Skills important?  

Presentation Skills are of paramount importance in the modern interconnected world. Let's have a look at the  Importance of Presentation Skills :  

1) Career advancement : In the professional realm, Presentation Skills are essential for career growth. Whether seeking a promotion, new job opportunities, or aiming for leadership roles, the ability to deliver compelling Presentations sets individuals apart from their peers. Employers value employees who can confidently articulate ideas, pitch proposals, and represent their organisations with poise and charisma. 

2) Building credibility: A skilled presenter exudes confidence and expertise, which enhances their credibility. When conveying information convincingly and concisely, they gain the trust of their audience. Credibility is vital in winning over clients, investors, and stakeholders, as well as in establishing oneself as a thought leader in a particular field. 

3) Effective leadership : Great leaders are often excellent communicators. Presentations Skills enable leaders to inspire and motivate their teams, promoting a sense of unity and purpose. Leaders who can articulate their visions clearly can rally their followers and drive their organisations towards success. 

4) Influencing decisions: Whether in business or academia, the ability to influence decisions through persuasive Presentations is invaluable. A well-crafted Presentation can sway opinions, secure funding for projects, or convince others to take specific actions. 

5) Enhancing teaching and learning: In educational settings, teachers and professors rely on effective Presentations Skills to engage and educate their students. Presenting complex concepts in an accessible and engaging manner promotes better understanding and retention of information. 

6) Confident public speaking: For many people, public speaking is a daunting task. However developing advanced Presentation Skills can help individuals overcome their fear of speaking in front of large audiences, boosting their confidence and self-assurance. 

7) Establishing personal brand: Presentations offer an opportunity to showcase one's personality, expertise, and unique perspective. By mastering Presentations Skills, individuals can establish a distinct personal brand that resonates with their audience and sets them apart from competitors. 

8) Networking and communication: Advanced Presentation Skills enhance networking abilities. Engaging presentations can leave a lasting impression on potential clients, collaborators, or partners. Strong communication skills foster better relationships in both personal and professional spheres. 

9) Successful pitching: Entrepreneurs and startups rely on compelling Presentations to attract investors and secure funding for their ventures. A persuasive pitch can mark the difference between launching a successful business and remaining stagnant. 

10) Personal growth: Learning and honing Presentations Skills promote personal development. It encourages individuals to refine their communication abilities, think critically about their messages, and continuously seek ways to improve their Presentations. 

Take your Presentations to the next level with our Effective Presentation Skills & Techniques Course   - s ign up today!  

Top 25 Presentation Skills

In the realm of presentations, certain key skills can make a significant difference in delivering a compelling and impactful message. One can explore these skills by going through various presentation skills interview questions and answers . It will also aid you in preparing your best to ace in giving a presentation.Here are some essential Types of Presentation Skills that every presenter should strive to master:  

Some important Presentation Skills

Clarity of expression  

The ability to portray ideas clearly and concisely is fundamental in a presentation. A skilled presenter organises thoughts effectively, avoiding jargon or convoluted language that might confuse the audience. They convey complex concepts in a simple manner, ensuring that their message is easily understood. 

Confident body language  

Non-verbal communication plays a vital role in presentations. A confident presenter uses positive body language, standing tall and maintaining an open posture. They use purposeful hand gestures to emphasise key points, and their facial expressions reflect their emotions and enthusiasm for the topic. 

Eye contact  

Establishing eye contact with the audience builds a connection and instils trust. A skilled presenter looks at different sections of the audience, they make everyone feel engaged and involved in the presentation. 

Voice modulation  

A monotonous voice can quickly lose the audience's attention. Effective presenters use voice modulation, varying their tone, pitch, and pace to add interest and emphasis to their speech. They adjust their voice according to the content and the emotions they want to convey. 

Confidence and poise  

Confidence is the backbone of a successful Presentation. Even if a presenter feels nervous, projecting confidence and poise can reassure the audience and create a positive impression. 

Using engaging openings  

A powerful opening captures the audience's attention from the beginning of the presentation. Skilled presenters use compelling stories, shocking statistics, thought-provoking questions, or intriguing facts to hook the audience and draw them into the presentation. 

Using well-structured content  

Organising the Presentation in a logical and coherent manner is essential. Presenters create a clear introduction that introduces the topic, a well-developed Structure that presents key points, and a concise conclusion that reinforces the main message. 

Using visual aids  

Effective use of visual aids, like slides, charts, and videos, can enhance the audience's understanding and retention of information. Presenters ensure that their visual aids are visually appealing, relevant and support the spoken content rather than overwhelm it. 

Audience engagement  

Skilled presenters actively involve their audience throughout the presentation. They ask questions, seek opinions, and incorporate interactive activities to keep the audience engaged and interested. 

Handling Q&A sessions  

Anticipating and preparing for potential questions demonstrates expertise and readiness. A skilled presenter confidently responds to audience's questions. They provide insightful answers and address any concerns. 

Time management  

Presenters respect their audience's time by adhering to the allocated time frame. They manage their time wisely, ensuring that they cover all essential points without rushing or going overtime. 


Presenters need to be adaptable, ready to adjust their approach based on the audience's reactions and engagement levels. They can switch strategies if something is not working or if they need to address unexpected challenges. 

Active listening  

Active listening is a crucial skill for presenters, not just for the audience. While presenting, it's essential to pay attention to the audience's reactions and feedback. Doing this enables presenters to adapt their delivery and content in real-time, ensuring that the presentation remains relevant and resonates with the audience.  


Storytelling is a powerful tool to make Presentations memorable and relatable. Influential presenters weave relevant anecdotes, case studies, or personal experiences into their Presentations to connect emotionally with the audience. 

Preparation and rehearsal  

Proper preparation is crucial for a successful presentation. Skilled presenters thoroughly research their topic, practice their delivery, and rehearse in front of a mirror or with friends to gain feedback and build confidence. 

Closing with impact  

An impactful conclusion leaves a lasting impression on the audience. Skilled presenters summarise the main points, reiterate their key message, and may end with a call to action or a thought-provoking statement. 


Self-awareness involves monitoring one's own emotions and reactions, which enables individuals to respond effectively in various situations. During Presentations, self-awareness can help one remain personable and handle feedback well. It can also soothe nervousness, allowing individuals to perform better. 

Take your Presentations to the next level with our Effective Presentation Skills & Techniques Course – sign up today!   

How to enhance your Presentation Skills? 

Presentation Skills are essential for individuals in various professional fields. While presenting a project proposal, giving a sales pitch or delivering a keynote speech, the way you present your ideas can significantly impact your message's effectiveness. To help you improve your presentation skills, here are some pointers to consider when you prepare a presentation :

Master presentation tools 

Utilising Presentation tools like PowerPoint or Prezi can enhance the visual appeal of your Presentation. Take the time to learn these software programs' features and experiment with different templates, fonts, and colours. Additionally, practice using the software so that you can smoothly navigate through your slides during your Presentation. 

Practice breathing exercises 

Deep breathing exercises can help your mind relax and release tension before and during your Presentation. Try slowly inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth, which will help regulate your breathing and calm your nerves. Practice deep breathing exercises daily to develop a habit of relaxation. 

Stay hydrated 

Speaking for an extended period can strain your vocal cords and lead to a dry throat. Stay hydrated by drinking enough water before and during your presentation. Avoid excessive caffeine or sugary drinks, as they can dehydrate you or impact your energy levels. 

Incorporate exercise 

Regular exercise can improve your well-being and boost your energy levels. Engage in physical activity, such as exercising, walking, running, or yoga, to reduce stress and increase endorphin production. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can contribute to your overall confidence and ability to deliver engaging Presentations. 

Arrive early for a smooth start 

Arriving early at the venue is crucial. Not only does it alleviate travel stress, but it also provides you with essential preparation time. Considering potential traffic delays and unforeseen events ensures that you reach your destination well ahead of your Presentation slot. By doing so, you'll have time to meet with on-site technicians, test your equipment, and establish a connection with fellow attendees before stepping onto the stage. 

Familiarise yourself with the room 

Early arrival allows you to explore the Presentation room thoroughly. Take note of its layout, acoustics, and lighting. Where will you stand during your talk? Experiment with different spots to find the optimal position for projecting your voice effectively. Familiarity with the room enhances your confidence and stage presence. 

Learn from other presenters 

While waiting for your turn, observe other presenters. Listen attentively to their speeches—note their tone, pacing, and engagement level. Pay attention to any relevant data or insights they share. This not only helps you understand the room dynamics but also provides an opportunity to incorporate relevant points into your own Presentation. By referencing what you've heard from previous speakers, you can create a more engaging and interactive experience for your audience. 

Use notes cards wisely 

Rather than relying on a full script, consider using note cards with key talking points. These cards serve as prompts to keep your presentation organised without making you sound overly rehearsed or robotic. Remember that authenticity matters; use the note cards as a guide while allowing yourself the flexibility to connect naturally with your audience. Remember, when you step onto that stage, it's not about you—it's about delivering valuable content and connecting with your listeners. 


All in all, Presentation Skills are a vital aspect of effective communication and can greatly impact personal, academic, and professional success. By understanding the key elements of a compelling Presentation and incorporating various techniques, individuals can hone their abilities and leave a lasting impression on their audiences. 

Want to master the art of impactful Presentations? Explore our Presentation Skills Courses and elevate your communication prowess!  

Frequently Asked Questions

The 5 Ps of Presentation Skills are Planning (structuring your message and objectives), Preparation (researching and organising content), Practice (rehearsing to enhance delivery), Performance (engaging the audience with effective communication techniques), and Post-Presentation (evaluating feedback to improve future presentations).

The four types of Presentation Skills include verbal communication, non-verbal communication, visual aids, and audience engagement.

The Knowledge Academy’s Knowledge Pass , a prepaid voucher, adds another layer of flexibility, allowing course bookings over a 12-month period. Join us on a journey where education knows no bounds.

The Knowledge Academy offers various Presentation Skills courses , including Business Writing Course, Data Analysis Skills, and Presenting with Impact Training. These courses cater to different skill levels, providing comprehensive insights into Key Elements of Presentation .  

Our Business Skills blogs covers a range of topics related to Presentation Skills Training, offering valuable resources, best practices, and industry insights. Whether you are a beginner or looking to advance your Presentation skills, The Knowledge Academy's diverse courses and informative blogs have you covered.  

The Knowledge Academy takes global learning to new heights, offering over 30,000 online courses across 490+ locations in 220 countries. This expansive reach ensures accessibility and convenience for learners worldwide.  

Alongside our diverse Online Course Catalogue, encompassing 17 major categories, we go the extra mile by providing a plethora of free educational Online Resources like News updates, Blogs , videos, webinars, and interview questions. Tailoring learning experiences further, professionals can maximise value with customisable Course Bundles of TKA .  

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Top 9 Presentation Skills to Help Level Up Your Resume

presentation skills

By Sheila Kravitz

Picture this: you find yourself in a room filled with potential employers, armed with nothing but your competence, resume, and ambition. How do you stand out from the crowd of other applicants with similar qualifications? The answer is: with your presentation skills.

But what are presentation skills exactly? Why are they so important that you should add them to your resume in the first place? And, while we’re at it, how do you even showcase them on a piece of paper?

Fret not, for we’re about to delve deep into the specifics with this article. Before you know it, you’ll be owning the stage, taking the spotlight away from other candidates, and impressing recruiters with your impeccable presentation skills!

Key Takeaways

Up to 70% of successful professionals have strong presentation skills , meaning these abilities are one of the key ingredients to a good resume.

Presentation skills refer to a set of abilities to help you communicate concepts and ideas and persuade others .

Knowing different types of presentations and methods of delivery can help you understand which skills are important for specific presentations.

Notable presentation skills you can add to your resume include research, software knowledge, verbal communication, body language, writing skills, and more.

There are many ways to improve your presentation skills , including practicing, taking courses, working on understanding your audience, paying attention to body language, and using storytelling techniques.

What Are Presentation Skills & Why Are They Important?

A survey conducted on presentation skills found that 20% of respondents would avoid giving presentations at all costs. At the same time, 70% of those who give presentations say that these abilities are vital for their professional success. This alone speaks volumes about the importance of presentation skills.

By definition, presentation skills represent a range of talents and qualifications that allow individuals to effectively communicate ideas, persuade others, and leave a lasting impression on the audience .

In the business world, first impressions can often make or break valuable opportunities. In those situations, delivering information in a compelling and engaging manner is of utmost importance for professionals across various industries.

Whether you’re attending a critical boardroom meeting or having a business lunch with colleagues or clients, you’ll likely use one or more presentation skills. The person who can articulate their ideas with finesse and engage with the audience can present information in a memorable manner.

These skills can easily set you apart from the competition in a highly competitive business environment. Individuals with presentation skills can drive change, secure funds, ignite enthusiasm within their team, and more. Not only that, but you likely use some of the presentation skills in daily communication as well.

On the flip side, being able to give great presentations means that you have strong control over the subject and are confident in your knowledge. As a result, adding presentation skills to your resume can transform an otherwise ordinary document into a professional attention-grabber.

How to Showcase Presentation Skills on Your Resume

skills for resume

The content of a presentation is only important when the presenter knows how to deliver it properly. The same principle applies when you’re adding presentation skills to your resume. It’s not enough that you’re skilled in the art of presenting; you also need to know how to demonstrate that on your resume.

Firstly, it’s important to determine which presentation skills recruiters are looking for . For instance, if the role that you’re applying for requires you to do live presentations, you’ll likely want to emphasize body language and active listening. However, if you’re doing pre-recorded presentations, you might want to put more focus on your research and writing skills.

To remove all guesswork from the process of showcasing presentation skills on your resume, you can simply read the job ad and research the company to find out the requirements. That way, you’ll have a strong collection of relevant presentation skills to add to the skills section of your resume in no time.

The final step involves proving your abilities and separating yourself from other candidates who merely wrote them down. The best way to do it is to connect the most important skill with relevant achievements in your resume summary and work experience section .

Let’s take a look at some examples:

Good Examples

Here’s how you can demonstrate your verbal communication skills :

Delivered persuasive presentations to clients, resulting in a 33% increase in customer acquisition.

Let’s see an example of a candidate highlighting proficiency in relevant software :

Utilized Microsoft PowerPoint to create engaging and visually compelling presentations for diverse audiences.

Lastly, here’s an example involving writing skills :

Authored sales pitches and proposals, resulting in a 45% increase in lead conversion rates.

Types of Presentations and Delivery Methods

Not every presentation is the same. Different types of presentations and delivery methods require different sets of skills, which is why it’s important to familiarize yourself with the most prevalent ones, which include:

Informative presentations have the goal of providing information regarding a specific topic or educating the audience. The focus of these presentations should be on facts and data, and they should be clear and concise.

Demonstration presentations are similar to informative ones, except their focus is on showcasing how a product or a service works. These presentations often involve the use of multimedia elements and various visual aids to enhance the audience’s understanding.

Instructional (training) presentations are designed to teach or train the audience on a particular skill or procedure. They often include interactive elements, demonstrations, or step-by-step instructions.

Persuasive presentations influence the audience and convince them to adopt a specific viewpoint or take certain actions. This is best done through the use of compelling arguments and reasoning or emotional appeals.

Inspirational (motivational) presentations are similar to persuasive presentations, except their goal is to inspire or motivate the audience. These presentations often feature personal stories and experiences or tales of success.

As for delivery methods, you can deliver presentations with or without preparation.

Delivery methods that don’t involve preparation are:

Impromptu presentations , delivered on the spot without prior planning.

Extemporaneous presentations are also given without rehearsing, though they are outlined beforehand.

On the flip side, there are:

Manuscript presentations , for which you’ll have written scripts.

Memorized presentations , which you should know by heart. They are usually the hardest to pull off, but they are also the most impactful.

Top 9 Presentation Skills to Highlight on Your Resume

skills to put on a resume

Let’s examine some of the most prominent presentation skills you can add to your resume.

#1. Research Skills

The ability to do research is crucial for ensuring that the information in the presentations you give is accurate and credible . Effective presentations rely on well-researched content that is backed up by relevant sources and data.

By doing research before giving a presentation, you’ll be able to substantiate each claim with evidence. Moreover, you’ll be able to provide detailed examples or statistics, further increasing the trustworthiness of the information that you’re conveying.

Lastly, research skills help you prepare for possible questions and counter arguments brought up by the audience. You’ll be able to answer their concerns professionally, increase their engagement, or persuade them.

#2. Proficiency in Relevant Software

In today’s digital age, many presentations rely on software and applications that can be used to create engaging slideshows and various multimedia elements. Being adept at using these software programs means being able to boost the visual appeal of your presentation. That can increase its interactivity, immersiveness, and overall effectiveness .

Knowledge of presentation software such as Google Slides and Microsoft PowerPoint allows you to harness the full power of these solutions. They allow you to use ready-made templates, stunning graphics, appealing multimedia options, and many other features. Smart usage of those elements can reinforce the message that you’re trying to convey.

#3. Verbal Communication

Verbal communication is the main method of expressing yourself and engaging with the audience while giving a presentation. It’s an essential presentation skill that ensures you can give clear and impactful speeches.

Individuals with strong verbal communication skills can efficiently organize their thoughts to articulate their messages with precision and clarity. That way, they can help the audience understand the key points, especially if the topic is complex.

Furthermore, effective communicators can maintain the audience’s attention and leave them with a memorable experience. They can also effortlessly respond to any questions or concerns, allowing for fluid, real-time interaction.

#4. Body Language

Body language plays a significant role in enhancing the impact and effectiveness of a presentation. It refers to various non-verbal cues , such as eye contact, posture, and facial expression, that send subliminal messages to the audience.

Through effective use of body language, you can show confidence and enthusiasm while also boosting your credibility. Simply maintaining an upright posture, establishing eye contact, and using purposeful gestures is enough to project determination and portray you as a professional.

Body language can also help you illustrate certain points and enhance visual interest. It can be a handy tool for clarifying particular ideas, establishing rapport with the audience, and overall facilitating effective communication.

#5. Writing Skills

While the majority of presentations involve verbal communication, a lot of them require preparation in the form of writing. Writing skills allow you to craft a solid foundation in the form of scripts or outlines that can guide you (or someone else) while delivering a presentation.

Strong writing skills allow presenters to structure the presentation beforehand and organize their thoughts in a logical manner. That can help deliver messages concisely and impactfully. Finally, writing skills play a role in creating the visuals for presentations through the formatting of text and graphics to create engaging elements.

#6. Storytelling

Storytelling refers to an individual’s ability to keep everyone engaged and interested through an enticing narrative. That involves going beyond just presenting facts and data; it’s about using real-life examples and anecdotes to turn complex ideas into understandable points. Introducing human elements to the presentation makes it more personal and relatable.

#7. Active Listening

The benefits of active listening skills for presenters are twofold:

Before delivering a presentation , the presenter can utilize active listening to gain more information and understand the concerns of the audience.

During and after delivering a presentation , active listening helps individuals measure the audience’s interest and better respond to their questions and inquiries.

#8. Adaptability

Adaptability allows individuals to optimally respond to unexpected circumstances . For instance, adaptable presenters can quickly identify and solve potential problems or technical difficulties. They can adjust their presentation to cater to diverse audiences, taking into account their preferences, interests, and knowledge levels of the topic.

This skill is also vital when it comes to giving impromptu presentations . It helps individuals give unplanned speeches, hold conferences, perform at unrehearsed interviews, and more.

#9. Language Skills

Language barriers can hinder communication between the presenter and the audience. As a result, having a strong command of a specific language can help you bridge that gap and deliver impactful presentations .

Having a comprehensive knowledge of a particular language also enhances your cultural understanding and helps you connect with the audience. Lastly, if the job ad asks for proficiency in a specific language, highlighting language skills on your resume will likely be mandatory to be able to apply in the first place. 

5 Tips to Help You Improve Your Presentation Skills

Here’s a list of five tips that can help you start improving your presentation skills right now:

Prepare your presentation in advance by thoroughly researching the topic and creating an outline. Then, practice to gain confidence and improve your delivery.

Try to understand the needs of your audience to find the best way to approach them and address their concerns.

There are plenty of courses on presentation skills and public speaking that you can take both online and in person.

Pay attention to your body language. Work on maintaining good posture with eye contact and modest gestures. You can record yourself or practice in front of a mirror to spot areas where you can improve.

Use storytelling techniques by incorporating anecdotes, personal experiences, and stories from real life to connect with the audience.

Closing Thoughts

And just like that, we reach the final act of our presentation skills spectacle. With all the secrets uncovered and wisdom shared, you now possess the knowledge to put your abilities into action and make your resume reach new heights.

As you work on your resume, keep in mind that presentation skills aren’t just words on paper or bullet points on a list. They represent illustrations of your prowess and the tools under your belt that help you take center stage.

Instead of merely listing them in your document, prove them through your experience. Lastly, remember that interviews are also forms of presentation, so keep these guidelines in mind when you talk with recruiters, and the results will come!

Sheila Kravitz

Create your resume once, use it everywhere

What is Good Friday? What the holy day means for Christians around the world

define presentation as a skill

Christians around the world observe Good Friday two days before Easter, but what is it, and why do they commemorate the holy day?

The holiday is part of Holy Week, which leads up to Easter Sunday. Palm Sunday kicks off the series of Christian holy days that commemorate the Crucifixion and celebrate Jesus Christ's resurrection.

"Good Friday has been, for centuries now, the heart of the Christian message because it is through the death of Jesus Christ that Christians believe that we have been forgiven of our sins," Daniel Alvarez, an associate teaching professor of religious studies at Florida International University, told USA TODAY.

What is Holy Saturday? What the day before Easter means for Christians around the world

When is Good Friday?

Good Friday is always the Friday before Easter. It's the second-to-last day of Holy Week.

In 2024, Good Friday will fall on March 29.

What is Good Friday?

Good Friday is the day Christ was sacrificed on the cross. According to Britannica , it is a day for "sorrow, penance, and fasting."

"Good Friday is part of something else," Gabriel Radle, an assistant professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame, previously told USA TODAY. "It's its own thing, but it's also part of something bigger."

Are Good Friday and Passover related?

Alvarez says that Good Friday is directly related to the Jewish holiday, Passover.

Passover , or Pesach, is a major Jewish holiday that celebrates the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt.

"The whole Christian idea of atoning for sin, that Jesus is our atonement, is strictly derived from the Jewish Passover tradition," said Alvarez.

How is that possible?

According to the professor, Passover celebrates the day the "Angel of Death" passed over the homes of Israelites who were enslaved by the Egyptians. He said that the Bible states when the exodus happened, families were told to paint their doors with lamb's blood so that God would spare the lives of their firstborn sons.

Alvarez says this is why Christians call Jesus the "lamb of God." He adds that the symbolism of the "blood of the lamb" ties the two stories together and is why Christians believe God sacrificed his firstborn son. Because, through his blood, humanity is protected from the "wrath of a righteous God that cannot tolerate sin."

He adds that the stories of the exodus and the Crucifixion not only further tie the stories together but also emphasize just how powerful the sacrifice of the firstborn and the shedding of blood are in religion.

"Jesus is the firstborn, so the whole idea of the death of the firstborn is crucial," said Alvarez.

He adds that the sacrifice of the firstborn, specifically a firstborn son, comes from an ancient and "primitive" idea that the sacrifice unleashes "tremendous power that is able to fend off any kind of force, including the wrath of God."

Why Is Good Friday so somber?

Alavarez says people might think this holiday is more depressing or sad than others because of how Catholics commemorate the Crucifixion.

"I think [it's] to a level that some people might think is morbid," said Alvarez.

He said Catholics not only meditate on Jesus' death, but primarily focus on the suffering he faced in the events that led up to his Crucifixion. That's what makes it such a mournful day for people.

But, the professor says that Jesus' suffering in crucial to Christianity as a whole.

"The suffering of Christ is central to the four Gospels," said Alvarez. "Everything else is incidental."

According to the professor, statues that use blood to emphasize the way Jesus and Catholic saints suffered is very common in Spanish and Hispanic Countries, but not as prevalent in American churches.

Do you fast on Good Friday?

Father Dustin Dought, the executive director of the Secretariat of Divine Worship of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, previously told USA TODAY that Good Friday and Ash Wednesday are the two days in the year that Roman Catholics are obliged to fast.

"This practice is a way of emptying ourselves so that we can be filled with God," said Dought.

What do you eat on Good Friday?

Many Catholics do not eat meat on any Friday during Lent. Anything with flesh is off-limits. Dought says this practice is to honor the way Jesus sacrificed his flesh on Good Friday.

Meat that is off limits includes:

Instead, many Catholics will eat fish. According to the Marine Stewardship Council , this is allowed because fish is considered to be a different type of flesh.

Contributing: Jordan Mendoza ; USA TODAY


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