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Tips for effective communication

To be able to communicate effectively and engage your audience can be a challenging task and requires practice. Even politicians and public figures have practiced speaking many times to develop this skill. The more you practice in front of a trial audience and ask for feedback the better you will be on the day of your presentation.

From my own experience, speaking in front of an audience can be daunting. People pay as much attention to what you say as to how you say it.. So it is just as important to work on the way you deliver your message as the content.

The key components of effective communication are content, structure and delivery.

Content
Ask yourself what you expect the audience to take away after your presentation and do not assume that your audience has previous knowledge about what you are  going to talk about.

Concise and simple content is more digestible than when it’s lengthy and detailed. Think about 3-5 main bullet points or headlines that best summarise your content.

Structure
To structure your presentation it would be useful to ask yourself the below questions:

- Who is your audience?
- What is the problem?
- What is your solution/idea?
- What is your product?
- What are the key features and how do they solve the problem?
- Key takeaways

Delivery
Your presentation should be engaging to the audience – one person reading from a powerpoint isnot very memorable. Some ways to make your presentation more engaging could be by asking questions, telling a personal story they can relate to or using puzzles and analogies.

Body language, eye contact and tone of voice can also influence the impact of your message.Try using your arms when emphasising a strong point or modulate your voice.

Planning  ahead  and practicing will give you confidence in  communicating to an audience, not only when trying to pitch, but in any situation where you need present in front of a group of people..

Finally, try to have fun and see your presentation as a chance to let people know about your unique idea!

Written by Ha Dinh, Treasury - Deutsche Bank