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Professional Presentations

Professional presentations can be a daunting task for many. Not only do you have to summarize the mass amount of information you have studied, collected data on, and compiled, but now you must piece it together in a captivating form that will engage your audience and adequately communicate the information you have found. There are many challenges associated with presentations, each challenge varying from person to person. One challenge I personally have is properly explaining without over explaining. This is an area that I need to work on because when I over explain, I lose the interest of my audience and I draw the presentation out longer than I need to. A strength that I have when it comes to presentations is the ability to remain calm and speak clearly. Even though this is a strength, I could still improve my speech skills during a presentation by speaking louder and annunciating my words better to help the audience understand me better. An important tip I picked up on improving my presentation skills is actually applicable to both my strength and weakness. Practicing. As simple as it sounds, it is easy to overlook adequate practice when there are so many other things to focus on. “The best way to be comfortable when delivering your presentation is to actually feel prepared! There is no substitute for practice. All of the good speakers you have ever seen have practiced the art of presenting many times” (Paradi, D., 2018, January 04). By practicing my presentation I can become comfortable with the information I am sharing and the order I am sharing it in. I can fine tune what I am saying, cutting out any extra or unnecessary parts. “Practice everything you plan to say, but do not memorize it because a memorized speech sounds “canned” and not like a conversation, the way a good presentation does” (Paradi, D., 2018, January 04).

One personal strength that I have regarding presentations is being organized. I always like having a plan in place and a set time to work on my projects. I don’t like getting things done last minute. Some may say I am an “overachiever” because I set high expectations for myself. I want to succeed and always try my hardest to achieve the projected outcome. I also do not like to fail and I am extremely hard on myself when I don’t do as well as I could have done. I have never really been a procrastinator due to anxiety and this probably leads me to my weakness. I think that anxiety is a big weakness for me because it causes me to unnecessarily stress about getting things done. Sometimes I can spend hours about an assignment just thinking about how I am going to start it. I even can do an assignment and then change it over and over again until I think it’s perfect. My anxiety only gets worse if my presentation involves presenting in a large group of people. One method to improve anxiety is practicing mindfulness. Spending time each day to focus on the present instead of worrying about the future will allow me to be calm and clear when presenting my presentation in a formal setting. It will allow me to be able to communicate and speak clearly when talking in front of others. I found a website that allows you to take a survey about how well your presentation skills are and see what areas you need to improve on (Mind Tools, 2019). Thank you.

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