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Improving your presentation skills

28 July 2016
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IET member Ga Lok Chung

Have you thought about working on your presentation skills as part of your Continuing Professional Development (CPD)?

If you are a confident public speaker, you can convey creativity, critical thinking and professionalism – qualities which are valuable for any engineer communicating their ideas.

 

Ga Lok Chung, IET member and CE and Technology Consultant at KPMG, joined the public speaking club Toastmasters in 2008, which introduced him to some powerful and effective methods of public speaking. He has since won the 2016 Speech Evaluation contest for the UK branch of Toastmasters, competing with 5,000 people in multiple rounds across the country. He has also developed a passion for helping peers with their public speaking skills. Here Ga Lok shares his top three tips for peers wishing to deliver effective presentations:

 

  • Reinforce your words using your body and voice
    I like to plan for my presentations by putting together a table with four columns. In the first column I enter the words I will be saying, splitting them up into sections of two to three sentences. In the second column, I enter the cumulative speaking time against each section. In the third column I describe body language corresponding to that section and in the fourth column, I describe how I will say it.  
  • Concise beginning and ending
    Set up your message and then conclude it. During the middle of your speech, you might tell anecdotes, statistics, jokes and show props to get your points across, but the beginning must be concise, as well as the ending.
  • Practice and seek feedback
    Most cities across the UK have a Toastmaster club, which is free to go along to as a guest to observe and find out more. Clubs are set up to provide a friendly and supportive environment where everyone gets feedback.


The IET also offers a number of services for those wishing to improve their presentation skills. Check out our Back to Basics with Presenting course, which is part of our Life Skills portfolio. If you are a young professional or student, you could also consider entering the IET Present Around The World competition.  

 

How are you reaching your Continuing Professional Development goals? If you are engaged in current CPD activity that you think other members might be interested in hearing about, contact us at membernews@theiet.org.