If you’re like most people, just the thought of addressing a group is enough to send chills up your spine.
In 2014, public speaking was ranked America’s No. 1 fear, coming in ahead of heights, bugs, snakes, and needles.
But presenting in front of people is one of the core skills leaders need to master.
Skip Weisman, a workplace communication expert, offers advice to help businesses improve their communication. He says there are four fundamental characteristics of a great presenter.
1. A good presenter is focused.
It all starts with focus. A good presenter is focused on providing value to the audience and addressing the audience from their perspective, Weisman says. You shouldn’t just highlight your expertise or knowledge; offer examples or anecdotes to connect with the audience.
2. A good presenter has delivery skills.
Delivery skills are crucial in any form of communication, especially when talking to a large group. It’s important to use powerful body language, like maintaining eye contact and using open gestures, to engage with the audience and reinforce your points, Weisman says.
3. A good presenter is a storyteller.
Your audience doesn’t want to be lectured. It’s imperative that you speak to your audience, not at them. In this regard, a good presenter “is a great storyteller that takes the stories and connects them to learning points important to the audience based on the presentation content,” Weisman says.
4. A good presenter is patient.
As a speaker, it’s critical to give your audience a moment to reflect on key statements, Weisman says. It can be brief, but a skilled presenter “takes a few breaths and slows down after making a key point.” The speaker can also ask a reflective question to make the discussion more applicable and relatable for the audience.