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Presentation Skills Definition & Glossary of Terms

Presentation Skills Definition

MBM Glossaries: Presentation Skills Definition

What does it mean to have good Presentation Skills? You can read our Presentation Skills definition in this glossary. You will also find a list of terms frequently used when discussing Presenting. For an in-depth guide to how you can develop your skills and improve your presentations, read our free Ultimate Guide to Presentation Skills.

5 P’s

The 5P’s in Presentation Skills refer to 5 aspects that the speaker can utilise to improve their voice:

  1. Project: Directing the speaker’s voice to the audience. To properly project, take a deep breath. This gives the voice more power and prevents it from sounding shaky or hoarse.
  2. Pause: A meaningful silence is great in captivating an audience’s attention and is a better alternative than using fillers such as ‘uhms’ when thinking.
  3. Pitch: The highs and lows that take out the monotony of a presenter’s voice. Frequently changing pitch keeps the audience engaged and avoids boredom.
  4. Pace: The rate at which the speaker delivers their words.
  5. Pronounce: Clarity and how crisp a speaker enunciates the words.

10/20/30 Rule

A presentation guideline famously advocated by Guy Kawasaki. It states that for a presentation to be successful it must not have more than 10 slides, does not exceed 20 minutes, and will not use a font size smaller than 30 point.

Art and Science of Delay

A concept by Frank Partnoy in his book of the same title. It argues that consciously delaying decision making can lead to better outcomes.

Apathetic Audience

A type of audience that feels indifferent about the subject being presented to them and does not want to be involved.

Audience

The people who are receiving the speaker’s message.

Coherence

How a group of ideas make sense.

Conciseness

Shortening an idea or message to as few words as possible without losing meaning.

Communication Skills

The ability to effectively convey thoughts and at the same time understand ideas by other people.

Comparison and Contrast

Presents two ideas and identifies qualities that are similar and different from each other. This tactic is especially effective in finding common ground with a hostile audience.

Compassion

The ability to share someone else’s suffering and become motivated to help relieve or help ease their situation.

Energy

During a presentation, a speaker’s energy fuels the message. It shows the passion and enthusiasm behind it.

Entertaining Speech

This kind of speech is the most difficult to pull off and only the most seasoned speakers or comedians are able to conduct this successfully. Done right, it captivates and engages the audience.

Eye Contact

Creating a connection with an audience by catching their gaze. Proper eye contact is understanding when to hold a connection while avoiding awkward staring.

Fluency

Mastery of a given language. This includes being able to deliver a native-like speech while utilising the proper intonation, stress, interjections that sound natural.

Gesture

Hand or head movements that are meant to emphasise the speaker’s presentation.

Hostile Audience

When the receivers of a message have negative thoughts on the topic being presented. They have enough prior knowledge to form a negative opinion.  They respond better to a speaker who has a friendly approach and tries to find similarities they can both agree on.

HBDI

The Hermann Brain Dominance Instrument is a psychometric test used to define preferences in thinking. Identifying these preferences helps the presenter fine-tune their speech to create a balance that speaks to the 4 areas: facts, feelings, concepts, and structure.

Humour

The ability to provoke laughter, lighten the mood or amuse an audience.

Impact

The effect the presenter and their speech impart on an audience.

Informative Speech

A kind of speech that invites an audience to learn something new. It contains useful information that is usually foreign or unfamiliar to the intended audience.

J. Dan Rothwell

Communication theorist and author of ‘Practically Speaking’ and a number of communication-related books.

Jargon

Specific technical words that a group of people uses often in a professional setting. These are words commonly uses in a field of speciality, for example, engineering, that may sound foreign to non-specialists or laypeople.

Language Barrier

Difficulties in communication brought about by differences in language, dialects, and jargon that affect how a group of people understand and convey the message.

Metaphor

Using a phrase that is used to describe one thing to describe something entirely different. This helps to add colour and sometimes humour to a speech when used appropriately.

Monotone

When a speaker does not change pitch, their voice takes on a single, unchanging tone that begins to sound disengaged and unenthusiastic.

Mixed Audience

The recipients of the message may include the apathetic, hostile, uninformed, and favourable audience. A speaker must carefully choose their words to help better create a connection with a diverse audience.

Nodding

Moving one’s head up and down to confirm or affirm an idea. It is a positive response from an audience that indicates they understand or are agreeing with what is presented to them. A speaker, on the other hand, can use nodding to establish rapport and acknowledge audience members.

Occasion

The time and cause for an event. It can be happy, solemn, serious, or relaxed. This will greatly determine the voice, approach, and the appropriateness of humour a speaker must use to captivate an audience.

Orator

Someone who delivers a speech in public. Some of the best public speakers in history include Aristotle, Charles Dickens, John F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, Jr. These speakers were able to persuade and change the beliefs and ideas of their listeners.

Persuasive Speech

A type of speech that aims to change or cause an audience to question beliefs and seek further information on the subject.

Pause

In presentations, it is more powerful to take a moment to breathe and regroup instead of stuttering or informing an audience of a mistake.

Posse

A group of individuals in the audience that assist the speaker in engaging the rest of the audience. These can be team members, family, or friends. They will likely nod, clap, make eye contact, and ask meaningful questions to influence the rest of the listeners.

Posture

How you position your spine while standing, sitting, or even lying down. Posture can convey confidence, uncertainty, power or even lack of it.

Power Stance

Utilising confident body language including proper posture and avoiding fiddling to exude an air of confidence. It demonstrates the speaker’s assertiveness and plays a part in convincing the audience that they are knowledgeable about the subject.

Power Words

These are short, simple, and clear words that resonate with an audience. They have more power in engaging an audience compared to long-winded sentences.

Presentation Skills

Presentation Skills have always been tied closely with communication skills. To be able to communicate ideas to a large crowd and create a change of heart or mind is a valuable skill. Public speaking was studied as early as 2500 years ago in Athens where men were required to deliver speeches as part of their public duties.

Today, Presentation Skills continue to be one of the strongest and most valuable of assets. They help communicate thoughts, motivate others, and disseminate information. In the workplace, effective Presentation Skills help personal career progression as well as contribute towards overall business productivity.

Purpose

The reason behind a presentation. It identifies how the speaker wants the listeners to think and feel after the event.

Questions

In the topic of Presentation Skills, asking meaningful questions allow speakers to establish a connection with their audience.

Rapport

Establishing a positive connection between the speaker and the audience.

Standing Ovation

A response from an audience where they stand while applauding to show strong approval of a presentation.

Stage Fright

Anxiety or nervousness felt by a speaker or performer when entering the stage and facing a crowd.

Storytelling

Adding stories to the speech. A speaker’s ability to breathe life into a story makes a presentation compelling and memorable.

Uninformed Audience

When the message recipients have very limited knowledge about the topic.

Visual Aids

These are items that help an audience better visualise what is being discussed. These can come in the form of PowerPoint slides, videos, photos, or even physical objects.

Voice

The sound that is formed when a person’s vocal cords vibrate. In Presentation Skills, voice can shape passion and how it will engage the audience.


For further tips and information, you can take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Presentation Skills and our Presentation Skills YouTube Channel. Also, check out our award-winning blog to see more Presentation Skills Tips and articles.

Interested in training? See how our Presentation Skills Training could be of help to you.

Aileen Artificio

About Aileen Artificio

Aileen has been working in Digital Marketing for the last 8 years, primarily focusing on planning and content creation for businesses and helping them find a voice in an ever-changing digital realm. She is entangled in a perpetual quest to discover tastes around the globe and the stories they offer.

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