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Development and Entrepreneurialism

Top Presentation Skills
Analytical Thought
The best presenters are constantly improving their skill. To get better, you must be able to look honestly at your performance and all the feedback you get and figure out from that what you need to do to improve. That takes analytical thinking.

You do not want to be that person spending half of your presentation time trying to find a cable to connect your laptop to the projector. Many things can go wrong just before a presentation, and they probably will, unless you are organized.

Nonverbal Communication
When speaking to an audience, the way you present yourself can be just as important as how you present your information. You want to appear confident and engaging. You can do this through good posture, through the use of hand gestures, and through eye contact with the audience. Practice your nonverbal communication by filming yourself doing a practice presentation, and observing your body language carefully.

PowerPoint is the dominant software used to create visual aids for presentations. Learn to use it well, including the special features outside of basic templates that can really bring a presentation to life. Even if someone else is preparing your slideshow for you, it will help to know how to use the software in case of last minute changes.

Public Speaking
You need to appear to be comfortable and engaging when speaking before a live audience, even if you’re not. This can take years of practice, and sometimes public speaking just isn’t for certain people. An uncomfortable presenter is a challenge for everyone. Fortunately, public speaking skills can improve with practice.

Research is the first step in preparing most presentations and could range from a multi-year process to spending 20 minutes online, depending on context and subject matter. At the very least, you must be able to clearly frame research questions, identify appropriate information sources, and organize your results.

Verbal Communication
Public speaking is one form of verbal communication, but you will need other forms to give a good presentation. Specifically, you must know how to answer questions. You should be able to understand questions asked by your audience (even if they’re strange or poorly worded) and provide respectful, honest, correct answers without getting off-topic.

You may or may not need a written script, but you do need to pre-plan what you are going to say, in what order, and at what level of detail. If you can write a cohesive essay, you can plan a presentation.