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Perfect your presentations

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Knowing how to deliver a polished, effective presentation is an important skill, says Jonas Altman, a partner at Social Fabric. His tips:

•  Use body language. Make eye contact with people in the audience and try to move naturally.

•  Think like a storyteller. Telling a story to illustrate your point will help you connect with the audience.

•  Get technology that works. Using a clicker, for example, can bring you through your slideshow efficiently and without distractions.

•  Offer a preview. Starting out with a brief outline of what you’ll be covering in your presentation gives people an idea of what to expect. Sum it up at the end, too.

•  Incorporate images. Engaging images keeps the audience hooked and makes your points memorable.

•  Sell it. If your topic could be covered with a memo or an email, do it that way. If it’s complicated or detailed enough to deserve a presentation, then make it the best presentation you can.

•  Don’t fear silence. You can use silence to emphasize a point or make sure people are paying attention.

•  Make them laugh. When appropriate, humor is a great way to connect with your audience and put yourself at ease. Use it carefully, however, as one bad joke and you’ve lost your audience.

•  Rehearse—again and again. Prac­­tic­­ing your presentation will help you make it as strong as possible. Keep working on it so you’ll nail it.

— Adapted from “How to give a presentation: 10 tips to move your audience,” Jonas Altman, The Guardian.

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