It’s an often cited fact that when most people are asked what their greatest fear is, they list public speaking more often than anything else. Even though daily business life requires us to give presentations to coworkers, clients, and superiors, most of us will never really overcome our fear of public speaking. However, if we develop the right skills and practice the right techniques, we can become more comfortable and efficient at delivering our message. Following are some simple methods you can implement in order to communicate in a clear and concise manner, greatly increasing your credibility.

Creating Effective Power Point Slides

Before constructing your PowerPoint deck, know your audience: Who will be present? What are their needs? What is their relationship to you and to your topic?

You should focus your communication goals by stating the objective of your presentation: This means directly telling your audience what you want them to know, what you want them to do, and what outcomes you are seeking.

Your presentation should include the following:

· Open your presentation with a statement or statistic that will impact your audience.
· State your purpose and goal: What do you want the audience to do and know?
· Craft a point-of-view statement, telling your position and your assessment of the situation.
· Outline the three main points that support your position and point-of-view. Give evidence or data to support them.
· Design your closing statement, using a statement or statistic that will impact your particular audience.

Avoid Non-Words

Speakers often resort to using non-words when they are nervous, unable to think of what to say next, or through force of habit. Our daily conversations are peppered with non-words. These fillers— such as “Um,” “Like,” “You know,” and “Well—“ detract from our message and greatly diminish our credibility. Non-words give our audience the impression that we are unprepared and uncertain of our message.

Instead, train yourself to pause in silence. This silence can replace the non-words. How can this be achieved? Think in terms of verbal punctuation. Each sentence is typically one thought, and at the end of every sentence there is a period. As you come to the end of your thought, the period is your indication to pause in silence. If you implement this strategy in your presentations, you will effectively eliminate your use of non-words.

Establish Sustained Eye Contact

If a person does not look you directly in the eyes, do you believe what they are saying? In order to establish credibility with your audience, it is essential to make sustained eye contact with your audience. Sustained eye contact can be defined as eye contact that is maintained for more than three seconds at a time. Without sustained eye contact, you will have no credibility.


Many presenters make the mistake of thinking that if there are no questions at the end of their presentation, than they have in fact effectively communicated their message to the audience. Nothing could be further from the truth. If there are no questions at the end of your presentation, it is essential for the presenter to engage their audience in asking questions. How can you effectively accomplish this? It’s as simple as giving the audience a moment to think and directly asking for their participation. “Are there any questions regarding the materials that I have just covered?”

Often, audiences will be shy to begin participating. If there are still no questions from your audience, you should ask some pre-prepared questions. These questions should address issues that may in fact give your audience pause in asking them. Most people do not want to ask challenging or hostile questions— it is common practice to avoid the elephant in the room. However, if the presenter ignores the potentially difficult questions, important issues may not be address or resolved. Furthermore, it may be counterintuitive, but by asking these challenging questions of your audience, your credibility will greatly increase.

Here are some examples of questions that you can pose to your audience: “Is my department qualified to execute this project?” “How will I measure the effectiveness of this project?” “How can I justify the costs associated with this project?” “I have been given similar projects in the past and they have not been successful. What can I do differently this time?”

A word of warning: be careful to prepare a clear and concise answer that does not detract from your presentation and credibility. Remember, you are asking the question of the audience, so you should be prepared to address that question yourself.

Author's Bio: 

Josh Jenner is a writer of Illuminata Global provides excellent training Presentation Skills , and Executive Coaching Training for improving your communication, presentation and public speaking skills.