22 Presentation Skills Tips for 2022

My School teacher’s all said the same thing in my end of year report.

He is shy. He needs to speak up in class. He will go a long way if learns to sell himself more.

For the first 18 years of my school life I received the same message.

My teachers knew that strong Presentation Skills was the foundation of much success.

It is little wonder that at the start of a new year, improving Presentation Skills always makes the list of New Year Goals. It certainly made my list year after year.

Here are my Top 22 tips to help you improve your Presentation Skills for 2022.

1. To be a great speaker, be a great person first!

Your message must be congruent with who you are as a human. Imagine a person who treats others poorly giving a talk about kindness or a person who lies and cheats taking about Integrity. Your audience will not tolerate a inconsistency like this. Remember nothing speaks as loud as who you are.

“Who you are speaks so loudly I can't hear what you're saying” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Your message but always be consistent with who you are as a person.

2. Focus on sharing an important message that you have knowledge on and believe in.

The message always comes before the delivery. Clearly define your message and speak about something you are passionate about and really believe in.

Your audience will know very quickly if you are committed to your message or not. The audience will forgive you for imperfections like too many um’s and ah’s, poor eye contact and weak gestures.

They matter but come second to your message, passion and belief.

3. Give the same talk again and again

Too few presenters practice and improve the same talk. The best talks like the best songs are given many times and improved each time. Imagine how many time the Beatles and Elvis Presley performed their hit songs.

Find different audiences to speak to. Your family, your friends, work colleagues, organisations like Toastmasters, Rotary Groups, Colleges, even record yourself and send it to others to watch.

Get feedback after each talk and refine your presentations to make them better. Few presenters give an incredible talk the very first time they deliver it.

4. Tell good Stories.

A well told story takes a listener on a roller-coaster of emotions.

Think about your favourite movie. One of mine was the “Karate Kid Series” and now the follow-up “Cobra Kai Series on NETFLIX”. Watching it makes me cry – sometimes I wonder why?

Good stories elicit emotion. A good story has relatable characters who go on a journey of learning. The character is faced with an obstacle that they must overcome and do so with the help of a teacher. The character changes for the better.

We all have obstacles, life lessons, business lessons, teachers and stories. Write them down and use them. It makes your presentation original, relatable and enjoyable. They will never remember what you said, they will only remember how you made them feel.

A good story makes you feel something.

5. Be natural, Be yourself

There is only one YOU and besides everyone else is already taken – so keep it simple and easy and just be yourself. Ideally the best version of yourself.

Too many speakers go into character when they are asked to give a presentation. They become “Speaker Man” or “Speaker Women”. Don’t make it hard. Learn from children just be yourself, express yourself, show your true colours. This is real, authentic, and genuine and audiences love this.

6. Learn how to present virtually.

Buy an external Video Camera and learn how to use it. Virtual Presentations are here to stay. Present standing up. Position yourself on camera like you would on a photograph. Learn how to use your eye contact and your virtual stage to enhance the impact of your message.

Presenting virtually has best practices just like presenting in person. Don't just sit down and talk to the computer screen. Remember real people are listening to you.

7. A good Start will set you apart.

Our audiences are more distracted than ever. Today, speakers are competing with Social Media like Tik Tok, Instagram and Facebook that are very engaging. Audiences are Working from Home with lots of opportunity for distraction.