November 3, 2009

5 ways to improve your presentation skills

Improving your presentation skills from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

JD LasicaIf you give presentations or speeches in public — ranging from a workshop panel appearance to a keynote lecture — chances are that you could benefit from sharpening your presentation skills.

I met Danielle Daly, co-founder of Rexi Media, at Blogworld Expo last month and was immediately impressed with how she and the Rexi Media team are helping to enhance the communication and presentation skills of executives and managers at Fortune 500 companies. In this 6-minute video interview, Danielle discusses 5 ways to make your presentation skills more effective.

Presenter ProThis week Rexi Media is releasing an update to its already popular iPhone app, Presenter Pro, which lets you bone up on your presentation skills during your spare time (cost: $1.99). Presenter Pro focuses on 5 areas for enhancing presentation skills:

1) Body language: This covers areas such as effective gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, cultural gestures, use of passion, visualization, descriptive gestures, and others.

2) Vocal variety: How to add interest to your speaking style, how to sound more confident, how to add ingredients such as articulation, inflection, rate, pauses, changes in inflection and volume, and so on.

3) Structure: How to plan and structure your talk, how to hook listeners with an effective opening, how to manage time and enlist participation, how to end on a high note.

4) Visuals: How to think in pictures, how to marshal facts visually, how to use visual aids, use of color, balance and contrast, use of repetition, and so on.

5) The words you use: Think carefully about the contents of your talk — be human and accessible, know your stuff, relate real experiences, be persuasive, be economical and descriptive, avoid condescension and apologies.

Danielle emphasizes the importance of a strong beginning. “In the first 30 seconds of any presentation, people decide whether they’re going to tune you out,” she says. “It’s not about you, it’s about the audience,” and all too often presenters start out weakly by talking about themselves.

Watch, embed or download the video on Vimeo

Rexi Media coaches on the delivery of presentations but also coaches on how to make the content of your presentation more effective. The Bay Area-based firm typically works with Fortune 500 companies, helping managers in large sales and service business divisions with an on-site visit followed by coaching them on virtual presentations and finally offering guidance through its mobile app, Presenter Pro.


Presentation Secrets for Social Communicators (

Own the Crowd With Better Speaking (

A Guide to Public Speaking (

Two important speaking tips (

The 3 Keys to Good Public Speaking (CenterNetworks)

How to Give a Great Speech, Part 1: Preparation (

More effective presentations (Ontech)

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JD Lasica, founder of, is now co-founder of the cruise discovery engine Cruiseable. See his About page, contact JD or follow him on Twitter or Google Plus.

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2 thoughts on “5 ways to improve your presentation skills

  1. This is great stuff! It's great that they've made it available mobile. Will definitely send this out to some of my travelling friends. Thanks for the info!

  2. I think we must use some technical stuff along with some basic skills so
    that we can have great effect in our presentation and it will memorable