There are two types of individuals on earth: Those people who are scared stiff of giving presentations and the ones who love them.
I fall in to the latter category. I’ve loved engaging an audience since I was a youngster acting in school plays. Throughout my professional career I’ve enjoyed delivering keynotes, taking part in panel discussions and doing broadcast interviews. I’ve been a tiny performer and, let’s face it, giving a presentation is a kind of performance.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Giving a Killer Presentation
Today, a big part of my job is coaching VMware executives on this content and delivery of their keynotes. An excellent stage presence and effective communication are fundamental. It’s important that people land our message while also keeping the audience engaged.
Listed below are my tips for preparing and delivering great talks by any presenter speaking on any topic.
Take into account the overall story you would like to tell and how you want visitors to react. What’s the big takeaway? How can you want the audience to believe and feel after your presentation? That is essential whether you’re presenting to 10 people or 1,000.
There’s a whole lot of science behind storytelling. People have a tendency to absorb information through crisp, compelling storytelling. An excellent story will connect to them and influence their behavior. There are many models for structuring a tale. The one I love, which my team helped develop when I was at Microsoft years back, is the 7 Components of Storytelling.
Think about the movie you like most (for me personally it’s always James Bond), and I bet you’ll find each one of these elements. The stories in your presentation should follow the same arc, like the “heroes”, the strain and the inciting incidents.
As you undertake your presentation, insert mini-stories to illustrate your overarching story. Start by stating the idea of a story and fill in the facts afterward. That way, the audience will understand the gist without getting lost in minutiae. Humor is good, as long as it’s not over-the-top and that the audience understands it.
When I worked at Microsoft in the U.K., Sean Malone, founder of a production company called Yellowspanner, helped transform just how we did internal presentations through visual PowerPoint storytelling. The main element thing to keep in mind: less is more. Aim for about 10 slides in a 30-minute presentation. That’s plenty.
Use slides with pictures rather than a whole lot of words. The more text you have on a slide, the more your audience will be distracted from what you’re saying. They’ll be too busy reading.
Slides with pictures to fit your words support your narrative. If done in a good way, they will improve the impact of your presentation a lot.
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Don’t wander around on stage. The more you walk around, the more your audience will observe you around instead of listening to everything you need to say.
For every of your messages, it’s better to stand still, decelerate and project. Walk around among key talking points even though describing less important details. Drop an anchor when you come to the next important message.
The ultimate way to reach a whole room is to take into account communicating to the trunk row. That way, you will naturally amplify your speech.
Alternate your vocal tone and use pauses and pacing. During key passages, decelerate and amplify your speech. Then pause and allow point resonate in the silence of the auditorium before moving back to a conversational style. Unless it’s an extremely serious topic, smile. Be yourself through the entire presentation. Become you’re having a conversation with a colleague.
Stay away from index cards as a prop. They often bring about presenters appearing stilted and less confident. You don’t have to remember just about every word. Memorize key talking points and the bits in the centre will need care of themselves.
Of course, the ultimate way to make your presentation perfect is to apply. Create a script. Talk out your presentation before a mirror or a smaller audience, like a band of trusted friends. Record a video of it and study how it looks and sounds.
Sometimes, things don’t go according plan. Years back, I was performing a demo with Bill Gates at a conference before 1,000 CIOs. I had to place a talking point on the overhead, but rather than pressing “print preview” using the pc, I hit “print.” The document was a couple hundred pages. The computer froze and wouldn’t i want to stop it. Obviously, it had been quite embarrassing.
When something similar to that occurs, smile and keep your composure. If an audience is fidgety and includes a short attention span, just adhere to your plan. There’s very little you can do to repair a presentation in as soon as. You’ll be fine if you have prepared well, understand your audience and thought carefully about the story you need to tell.
The end result is, enjoy being on that stage. That’s your moment in the spotlight. Embrace it.
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