Archive for the ‘presentation skills’ Category
Are you ready to enhance your leadership skills and help drive greater performance? One of the fastest ways to make a positive impression at work is by being inspiring when you deliver your business speeches. Want to know how to deliver inspiring speeches at work? This article uncovers a few tightly held secrets that great leaders know about being inspirational and motivational in the workplace. There are four elements of speech delivery that can help us inspire others. So, to deliver inspiring speeches, offer more energy, use a viewpoint that is future focused and positive, connect your speech to a higher purpose, and choose powerful words.
Let’s look at how to utilize these four secrets to Deliver Inspiring Speeches
Offer more energy.
Research has found that emotions and the energy associated with them are contagious. Think of the people you work with. Who brings you energy? Who drains you? Do you drain or offer energy to others? To be inspirational you will need to show your energy. Think of times when you’ve been animated. Maybe you were involved in a favorite sport or hobby. Are you willing to bring that kind of passion to your workplace?
In exercises during Fearless Presentation classes my participants were often surprised to see how attractive they were when they were more enthusiastic. Time after time, participants who were willing to inject more zeal were judged to be more inspiring and charismatic. When the group experimented with exaggerated gestures and vocal projection, participants discovered more of their potential. They realized the gap between their habitual energy levels and their greater capabilities.
But having more energy doesn’t mean that we have to jump around. Vitality can also have impact when it is suppressed, as though we were a tight spring, capable of sudden lively shifts of tone, tempo, and movement. If we think of people who have inspired us, they probably had lots of dynamism. If we want to inspire others, we will need to have find our unique ways of expressing energy .
Use a viewpoint that is future focused and positive.
To be inspiring we need to be positive, build a vision, and be future focused.
If we use a positive frame we don’t ignore bad news but we concentrate on growth through challenges. A manager tried to inspire his team saying, “Our merger may mean that we lose parts of our small team culture, but if we do, be assured we will never lose the mission and values at the core of our business.”
When we build a vision we contribute more than ‘necessary’. This means that we paint a picture using the small details which help our audience visualize and connect to our goal. We are future focused when we build a vision. We can help our audience understand that the current struggles will lead to important gains.
Connect your speech to a higher purpose
In order to deliver inspiring speeches, we need to have a purpose or objective. It is sometimes difficult to think of a larger purpose that can galvanize others. One useful tool is a set of questions which can help us uncover our purpose. These questions can also give us more specific details to use in our message.
The questions are:
- What are my personal reasons for wanting to take this action?
- If I succeed, who will benefit and how?
- What higher purpose could this contribute to?
Purpose or the bigger picture can be used to make emotional connections with an audience. When combined with the other tactics – language, positive framing and enthusiasm, the impact can be great.
Choose powerful words
In addition to these other elements, our word choice is very important. We want to avoid generic or cliché phrases and use words that are decisive, engaging, and unexpected. (JFK: “We will have a man on the moon by the end of the decade.”)
To be decisive means that we aren’t half-hearted but are full of conviction. We avoid hedging words like “perhaps, maybe, I guess…” To be unexpected we can offer more candor than our audience expects. A managing director who starts a presentation with ‘I am distraught to be here today’ gets our attention.
Finally, we must never forget the power of stories. Steve Jobs is famous for his use of stories to inspire. When speaking to the graduating class of Stanford University Jobs didn’t make generic statements like “seize the day.” Instead he described the day he received a cancer diagnosis and his choices after that. After his story Jobs used decisive, unexpected, and strong word choices to deliver his message.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
We don’t need to be famous to be inspiring. We can all use our energy, strong word choices and positive framing to help others tap into their own greatness. To continue to inspire we must remember to walk our talk. If we do, we won’t lose credibility and we’ll be able to use these tips to inspire our vendors, our boss, and our teams every day.
So if you want to deliver inspiring speeches at work, offer more energy, use a viewpoint that is future focused and positive, connect to a higher purpose, and choose powerful words.
For a list of all articles, you can always visit our Blog.
- Effective Public Speaking in Business Presentations
By: Doug Staneart
Right or wrong, people form a perception about how competent you are by how you present yourself when you stand and speak. They also form perceptions about the company you represent based on your performance. In fact, public speaking is an easy way to set yourself apart from your competition, because when you ...
- The Most Frightening Type of Public Speaking – Impromptu Speaking
By Rick Highsmith
Public speaking is recognized as the Number 1 fear of adults in The Book of Lists. Assuming that’s true where would impromptu public speaking rank? Even when we have prepared thoroughly, speaking to an audience provokes anxiety. So what is the factor of increase in anxiety when we have to speak with little ...
- Put Sizzle in Your Presentation With Unique Stories
By Connie Timpson/Sr. Instructor/The Leader’s Institute
What?! Snow in Florida? Inside the gates of one of America’s most visited attractions? Yes, Cinderella lost her slipper in the slush, and it is raining Iguanas in the sunshine state. I dressed most of our plants as blanket mummies hoping to keep freezing temperatures out and plant life in.
- Persuasive Public Speaking (Video from Rome)
Persuasive Public Speaking. One of the most effective ways to persuade your audience is to relay a personal story or an example that shows the benefits of your recommendation to your audience. Religious leaders have used this technique for over 2000 years with great success. This video explains how the persuasive public speaking technique works. Fearless Presentations is a ...
- Go Behind The Scenes With A Veteran Presentation Coach
By Connie Timpson/Sr. Instructor The Leader’s Institute
It looks so easy! Just put on a mic, talk to the camera, walk around, sit down, do a couple of interviews, be smart, funny, serious, relate to the viewer, and get more out of your guest than anyone ever has.
Above all else, do not sweat. No one ...
- Public Speaking Ideas – Audience Participation Adds Impact- Pt5
Public Speaking Ideas- Audience Participation Adds Impact
Have you ever been in a conversation, heard something and interrupted with, “What was that?”
Many would say that sound is one of the most important senses we have. It allows us to listen, of course, but it also serves as an alert, or warning system. It ...
By: Doug Staneart Right or wrong, people form a perception about how competent you are by how you present yourself when you stand and speak. They also form perceptions about the company you represent based on your performance. In fact, public speaking is an easy way to set yourself apart from your competition, because when you ...
By Rick Highsmith Public speaking is recognized as the Number 1 fear of adults in The Book of Lists. Assuming that’s true where would impromptu public speaking rank? Even when we have prepared thoroughly, speaking to an audience provokes anxiety. So what is the factor of increase in anxiety when we have to speak with little ...
By Connie Timpson/Sr. Instructor/The Leader’s Institute What?! Snow in Florida? Inside the gates of one of America’s most visited attractions? Yes, Cinderella lost her slipper in the slush, and it is raining Iguanas in the sunshine state. I dressed most of our plants as blanket mummies hoping to keep freezing temperatures out and plant life in. Our ...
Persuasive Public Speaking. One of the most effective ways to persuade your audience is to relay a personal story or an example that shows the benefits of your recommendation to your audience. Religious leaders have used this technique for over 2000 years with great success. This video explains how the persuasive public speaking technique works. Fearless Presentations is a ...
By Connie Timpson/Sr. Instructor The Leader’s Institute It looks so easy! Just put on a mic, talk to the camera, walk around, sit down, do a couple of interviews, be smart, funny, serious, relate to the viewer, and get more out of your guest than anyone ever has. Above all else, do not sweat. No one ...
Public Speaking Ideas- Audience Participation Adds Impact Part Two Sound Have you ever been in a conversation, heard something and interrupted with, “What was that?” Many would say that sound is one of the most important senses we have. It allows us to listen, of course, but it also serves as an alert, or warning system. It ...
The following is an excerpt from Chapter One of the public speaking training book Fearless Presentations published by The Leader’s Institute. You can purchase the entire public speaking training book from our website by clicking here.
10 Ways to Reduce Public Speaking Anxiety & Fear of Public Speaking
PART 2: (View Part 1)
The big day came, and as I walked into the room, trembling from the fear and pressure, I noticed that every single person had on a nicely pressed suit. I was wearing slacks with a shirt and tie, but no jacket. I didn’t even own a jacket. The pressure began to build even more.
As the first presenter was introduced, she walked to the front of the room, sat down a manila folder, turned on her overhead projector (this was in the days before PowerPoint,) and put up a beautiful, color-filled slide. Why in the world had I not thought of using an overhead! My palms began to sweat profusely.
The second presenter had the audience laughing and nodding their heads within minutes. He created a true rapport with the audience. I didn’t have any jokes in my presentation, and I couldn’t see how anyone would be nodding in agreement with me, because I was just prepared to recite some facts. My stomach churned.
It was now my turn. As the director called my name, I stood and moved my hands to pick up my notes. When I did, the napkin that my hand was resting on came with me—attached as a result of the sweat that now seemed to be pouring from my palms. As I peeled it off, I picked up my notes, and I could see the pages shaking in my hand. I just prayed that the people in the audience couldn’t see it.
As I spoke my first sentence, I could feel the beads of sweat on my forehead, so I pulled the sleeve of my white shirt across my brow. A few seconds later I used the other sleeve and continued alternating them throughout the presentation.
I talk pretty fast anyway, but when I get nervous, ITalkRealFast! SoFastThatItWouldMakeYourEyeballsSpin! I gave my entire 15-minute speech in less than five minutes and said every word.
As I looked into the audience, no one was nodding. Most people just had blank looks of confusion. When I sat down, there was utter silence in the room. The director called a break. I looked at my sleeves, and they were soaked to my skin. I was so embarrassed that I wanted to crawl under the table and die. If I could have walked out of that room and never laid eyes on any of those people again, I would have gladly done so.
About seven months later, when the board came back to my school, my adviser pulled me aside and told me that they had told him that they would not be extending an offer to have me back. I was crushed. I had never failed this badly at anything.
I learned a valuable lesson that day. Right or wrong, people form a perception about our competence based on how confidently we present ourselves. Let me give you an example.
Let’s say you went to the doctor for a pain that you’ve been having in your side. The surgeon who is examining you says the following, “Uhm… Well, uh you know? You might, uhm, have to have your uh appendix taken out.” How competent are you going to feel about this doctor’s ability to treat you? Or even worse—the doctor says all the right things, but as he looks over your chart, you notice his hand shaking. It doesn’t matter how many degrees this person has or how many initials the doctor has after his or her name. You will probably question the doctor’s competence.
That is exactly what happened to me during my presentation. I realized that even though I had been a respected and valued employee of the company, the negative perception that was formed about me during my presentation counteracted all of the goodwill I had previously developed. I vowed that the same thing would never happen to me again. I was going to do whatever I had to do to make sure that the next time I gave a presentation, I would give the audience a true representation of my abilities. I was willing to attend any public speaking training, any presentation seminar, and any type of program to eliminate my public speaking anxiety.
Over the last ten years of attending and teaching public speaking training, I have identified a number of simple, key things that anyone can do to overcome fear and nervousness in front of a group. I have used these things myself with great success. Over the last ten years in my public speaking classes, I’ve watched the confidence of thousands of people grow and develop in a matter of minutes as a result of using these few simple techniques.
On the following pages, you will find an outline of tips and techniques that successful speakers have used for centuries to create solid, polished first impressions and deliver dynamic, fearless presentations.
A number of years ago in an episode of Seinfeld, Jerry Seinfeld talked about a poll that had been conducted in which Americans said that their number one fear was public speaking, and that the fear of death was number five. He said, “…that would mean that at a funeral, people are five times more likely to want to be in the casket than giving the eulogy. “
Below are a few simple things you can do to ease some of your nervousness and anxiety from public speaking.
- Realize 90% of Nervousness doesn’t Show: Most of the symptoms of nervousness, butterflies, sweaty palms, faster heart beat, etc., never show to an audience. If you set your notes down on a lectern, the audience won’t be able to see even shaky hands.
- Written Material: Never, never, never, never, never write out a talk word for word unless absolute accuracy must be maintained as in legal situations. Otherwise, just make brief notes. A little spontaneity adds a tremendous amount of character to your talk. Written speeches are almost always boring, and when you read text, it is much more difficult to make a connection with your audience.
- Committing Your Talk to Memory: Never memorize a talk word for word. Memorizing a talk word for word can actually lead to more anxiety. If something out of the ordinary happens or if you ever lose your place, you will put an extreme amount of pressure on yourself to get back. A better way to memorize a talk is to narrow your talk down to just a few main ideas and commit those main ideas to memory. If during your presentation you have additional time, you can add additional details to the main ideas, and if time runs short (which it often does,) you can rest assured that your main points were delivered.
- Show up Early: Get an idea for the setting, mingle with your audience, and test any equipment that you will be using.
- Take a Few Deep Breaths: When many of us get nervous, we tend to take shallow breaths. This robs our brain of oxygen and can create a negative reinforcing cycle. What happens is that we originally take a shallow breath out of nervousness and try to speak. Somewhere along the way, we realize that we won’t be able to finish our sentence, so we speed up. That makes us more nervous, so we breathe even more shallow. When this cycle occurs, just pause, take a deep breath, and continue.
- Look for a Friendly Face: As you are approaching the front, make eye contact with a few friendly faces in the audience. Smile, and they will probably smile back. It will put you both at ease.
- Drop your Hands: Your hands and your gestures can add great impact to your delivery, but when you are not using your hands, just drop them to your side. It will feel awkward at first, but dropping your hands to your side is the most natural gesture you can use. For instance, when you walk down the hallway at your office, do you cup your hands in front as you walk? Is it more natural to lock your hands behind you when you walk? Probably not. In most situations, it is natural to just let your hands drop to your side. When you do this, it will allow you to make more purposeful gestures when you need to. (See Chapter 6 on Gestures and Movement.)
- Speak Only on Topics in which You are an Expert: One of the reasons that speech classes and toasting clubs can actually make people more nervous is that the topics we choose to present on during these activities are topics that we put together after just a little research. If someone were going to ask you to present about a business topic, the main reason would be because you are the most qualified person to speak about the topic. You are qualified because of your experience. Your delivery should be as casual as if your best friend came up to you and asked, “How is your project going?” This will allow you to deliver your topic is a way that makes the audience feel as if you are talking to each person directly.
- Be Excited about Your Topic: If you aren’t, no one else will be either. If you give your audience energy, they will give energy back to you.
- Practice: Rather than practicing your presentation in front of a mirror (when we do this, we tend to find things to nitpick that an audience would never notice,) try practicing your delivery by using it in a conversation with a friend or loved one. “Hey, have I told you about the project I’m working on…”
After training thousands of people to become better speakers, one thing that I know for sure is that EVERYONE gets nervous when they present. Exceptional speakers just don’t show it. In fact, in many cases, the great speaker will use that nervousness to his or her advantage. The next chapter will show you how.
Other Public Speaking Training Resources
You can purchase the entire Fearless Presentations public speaking training online class from our website by visiting our Online Store. Our High Impact Leaders class and Fearless Presentations public speaking training course are also great ways to conquer the fear of public speaking and eliminate public speaking anxiety.
Free Public Speaking Tips:
Eliminate Public Speaking Fear and Presentation Anxiety
Tips to Ease Public Speaking Anxiety and Presentation Fear.
The following is an excerpt from Chapter One of the book Fearless Presentations published by The Leader’s Institute®. In this chapter, Doug Staneart, CEO of The Leader’s Institute®, reveals 10 Free Public Speaking Tips about how to Eliminate Public Speaking Fear and Presentation Anxiety. You can purchase the entire book from our website by clicking here.
You can also purchase this session in an online seminar for just a very small investment. The online public speaking seminar covers the ten tips below in a video of Doug Staneart delivering them personally to a live audience as well as a different version of the content in an MP3 format so you can download the seminar to your iPad or music device. To order the seminar, visit our online seminar store.
Public Speaking Fear & Presentation Anxiety
When I was in college, I had an internship with a large oil and gas company. While I was working there, I felt like I really impressed the people around me with my work ethic, determination, resourcefulness, and productivity. Many of the projects that I worked on were finished weeks and even months ahead of schedule to everyone’s surprise.
But at the end of the internship, I, along with a half-dozen other interns, was asked to give a presentation to the executive committee who created the intern program. In this meeting were not only my boss, but my boss’s boss, three vice-presidents, all of my intern peers, and various observers.
In the beginning, I didn’t think much of this presentation, but as the day moved closer and closer, I began to get more and more nervous. I was the youngest person ever to be accepted to this program—just 19 years-old. The next youngest intern was 23 and was in her second year of law school. So, I felt a little out-classed to say the least.
My boss told me that this would be a great opportunity to shine. He said that if I could just get across to this group how productive I had been to the company, then I would have no problem getting a generous permanent offer from the company upon graduation. That just made me even more nervous.
I wrote, memorized, and practiced my speech over and over. I had a flawless delivery. I realized that I needed a few visuals, so I created a couple of black and white cut-outs of topics I’d be covering.
Regardless of what industry that you are in or what expertise that you have, you first have to realize that you are the expert at something, and the knowledge that you have is valuable to someone. When I was 14 years old, my dad owned a home remodeling company, and every winter, I crawled under houses helping him repair frozen pipes that had burst. After a couple of winters, I had so much experience doing this, that I could do it in my sleep. So as a teenager, I was an expert at repairing ruptured PVC pipes. After I graduated college, my first real job was working for an oil company doing title work for mineral rights. After a couple of years, I had not only gotten pretty good at it, but I had also trained a number of new people. My third year in the training industry, I generated a half-million dollars worth of sales for the first time, and that same year, I also received a couple of awards for outstanding instruction. It took me five years as an entrepreneur to attain my first million dollars, but it only took about eight more months to generate my second million. With each of these accomplishments, I became the expert, because I had information that the general public didn’t have (even when my expertise was repairing frozen pipes).
Don’t under estimate your knowledge. Your experience has made you the expert.
One of my friends in college was going to school to be an elementary school teacher, and she absolutely hated math. However, once she graduated, she found out that in the State of Texas, Math and Science teaches got paid an extra fee, because teachers with this expertise were in high demand. So, she decided to be a fourth grade math teacher. Those of us who knew her pretty well were laughing when we asked her about her career choice, because for the three or four years that we had known her, she complained over and over about the math, algebra, and trigonometry classes that she had to take in school. These classes were her nemesis. After a little teasing from us, she replied by saying, “In order to teach fourth grade math, I just have to be an expert at fifth grade math,” and one of those prophetic life lessons for me was learned. In order to be an expert at something, you just need to have a little more knowledge than your audience.
For instance, let’s say that you are a restaurant manager who turned around a struggling location. How many other managers are there in the world who would want to hear how you did it? You’d be the expert at restaurant turnarounds (especially if you were able to do it a second or third time). Or, if you are a dentist who is really good at getting your patients to show up for every sixth month check-up, then other dentists would pay dearly to figure out how you do it. Whatever you do on a day-to-day basis makes you the expert at that activity.
Because you are the expert, you have credibility in the marketplace.
I had been teaching presentation skills classes for about ten years, and I ended up getting a contract to teach presentation skills and leadership for members of the Associated General Contractors. After teaching classes for these member companies for a couple of years, the participants began to think of me as being an expert in the commercial construction industry. Keep in mind that I had never once built a big skyscraper. In fact, I knew very little about the day to day operations of general contractors. However, because I had worked with so many general contractors in that first couple of years, I had more expertise in the industry than other leadership and presentation coaches. I had developed a specialty.
A friend of mine decided that every sales trainer targets car dealerships as potential customers, so instead, he decided to specialize in conducting sales training for salespeople who sell trailer houses. Since he had very little competition in this industry, he quickly became the go-to expert.
One of my clients hired me to coach a few of his employees who were preparing for what he called a “short list” presentation, which was a presentation where a “short list” of qualified vendors were competing for a really big contract. Although everyone in the room knew more about building skyscrapers than I did, I knew way more about designing and delivering presentations than any of them did. So, with my coaching, they were able to borrow my expertise to deliver their presentation in a much more fluid and effective way.
After doing this kind of training a few times with some pretty remarkable success, I quickly became known as the “short list” presentation coach, and I had developed a brand new expertise.
Ask yourself, “What am I really, really good at?” and you will quickly find out what your expertise is. Once you realize that you are the expert, the rest is relatively easy…
Doug Staneart is the CEO of The Leader’s Institute® and creator of the Fearless Presentations® public speaking course. He is based in Dallas, Texas, but the class is taught in cities all over the world.
One of the easiest ways to reduce public speaking anxiety is to strengthen your speaking skills. The fear of standing up and giving a presentation to your peers is still of the biggest anxieties that plagues the business world, but it is a simple challenge to overcome by strengthening your public speaking. In fact, with a few simple tips, you can make those butterflies and sweaty palms go away.
- Most Speakers are Just as Nervous as You Are: Have you ever wondered why some speakers look so poised during their presentations but when you perform, you feel that your nervousness is radiating to the audience. I’ll give you a little clue or insight on how you are not as transparent as you think. The majority what you think others can see or detect is not visible to your audience no matter what you may perceive, it’s just that you are feeling all these forms of nervousness and think that others can see your butterflies, sweaty palms, can detect when you are miss-delivering some of the content that you may have left out. The truth is that the aforementioned never show to the audience. I remember delivering my first seminar and thinking that the participants will not take me as a credible speaker/presenter because I feel nervous, after panning around the room for a while I realized that they could not detect what I was feeling which in turn reduced my inner anxious feelings giving me the confidence to feel like a seasoned presenter.
- Preparation (or lack of it) will Either Cause Anxiety or Reduce It: If you had to give a speech on yourself or even a hobby, interest or subject that you were passionate about I would venture to say you would breeze right through it comfortably.This is why organizing yourself properly before giving a presentation on an topic that you are unfamiliar with. One of the biggest causes of anxiety before a presentation is lack of preparation. In addition to knowing your material, you may also want to do some research on your audience. This will give an understanding of the type of people you will be delivering to and create a sense familiarity with your audience. For example; I gave a Time Management Seminar to group of Social Service employees for the first time. I did some investigation that gave me one clue as to the personalities and industry that I would be delivering my presentation to. Social workers tend to be heavy multitaskers that have little time to deal with many issues. I also made contact with the faciliating manager and asked a few key questions on what they were trying to achieve with through the seminar. I would then have the proper ammo to anticipate any of their current situations which gave me the confidence going in that I could handle their questions adequately.
- Avoid Memorizing Your Entire Talk: When have you had your most effective presentation? It may have been an informal one, and it was probably very effective because you did not rely on any notes. This is how you should be delivering your presentations, speeches, seminars ect. When you are tethered to your content verbatim, which I admit I have done in the past, it kills the flow and authenticity. The tendency here is to not want to leave anything out of your delivery and therefore you cling to your act of memorization, but the magic begins when you let go. You can actually have a layout in your mind that starts with an introduction, main points, and of coarse a conclusion. Believe it or not if you follow a formula everything will fall into place the speech or presentation will build upon itself. You can even come up with an acronym to help guide your through your presentation.
- Speak on Topics where You have Real World Experience: As I mentioned above the most credible sounding speeches or presentations are the ones in which you have actual experience in, not to say that you cannot relate your previous experience to similar topics or expertise. You will also be perceived as an expert. Your approach should be confident and deliberate. Also when you speak on a topic that you have had a real world experience, chances are that you will have some stories to integrate through your presentation, why are stories so effective? It is because in every story there is some portion or persona that the audience can relate to.
So to reduce your nervousness and or anxiety, realize that your peers are also nervous and you are “normal”, prepare in advance, avoid memorizing your entire speech, and choose topics that you know very well. If you do this, you will deliver a great presentation. Also remember that your speeches should sound natural and credible and you should always be prepared for the unprepared.
How many times have you sat through a seemingly unending presentation that used slides, wishing you were in the dentist’s chair getting a root canal instead?
Many people in the working world where slide presentations are used seem to have forgotten one of the golden rules of making a good presentation:
Don’t make yourself obsolete!
Designing a great presentation requires that you are the central player in it. Any visual aid that you select to use to enhance your presentation is just that – an aid. Too often we find that people are designing their slides simultaneously with designing their presentation, or worse, designing the slides first. What you end up with is basically a script that the presenter is using to read from the screen.
Your presentation slides should NOT be able to stand alone without you as the presenter. If they do, then you have just removed yourself from the equation, and reduced your role in presenting the slides to one of an annoying commentator who reads what people can just as easily read themselves. On their laptops or other devices. In their offices.
They no longer need you.
Does anyone really want that?
If you as a presenter are obsolete, does that mean that you in your role or job are less vital? We wonder…
Design your presentation FIRST. You should evaluate many factors in doing this – your audience, your objectives, your desired outcomes, the amount of time you have, etc. Once you’ve designed your entire presentation, THEN come back and think about how slides could enhance your points – not make them for you. Here are three basic rules of thumb to go by when designing your slides:
- Less is more! Use pictures to make your points. Our minds like pictures and we’ll retain the information longer. When you do use words, make sure they are no more than six words across and six lines down on the slide. Anything more is too much.
- Stick to the point! When using words, choose them carefully. Create questions or short phrases that require explanation and elaboration from you. You are, after all, the presenter! Also, consider revealing them one at a time so that your audience stays with you.
- Try to incorporate other visuals! If you can use a prop or sample that your audience can see in three dimensions or even touch, it will support your presentation much more strongly than slides alone.
Above all else, remember to evaluate your presentation before you give it. If someone can read it and take what you want them to take from it without you saying a word, scrap all the slides and start again!
Ellen Patnaude is Vice President of Instruction for the Northeast region. She is based in Detroit, Michigan, but she also teaches in Chicago, Cincinnati, Columbus, Toronto, Baltimore and other Northeast cities.
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Quick Presentation Skills Tip
We all want to deliver presentations that will engage our audience from the moment a presentation begins, but there’s something you can do to capture your audience’s attention before the presentation even starts.
Have a great title.
The key to a great title is to include the result of the presentation in the title. For example, a title such as “2011 Financials” is not so great because for one thing, it’s not very interesting, and secondly, we don’t know what the result was. A title such as, “2011 Was a Year of Growth in X Industry and a Year of Challenge in Y Industry” is better for two reasons: it’s more interesting and gives the audience a clear idea of what the outcome was in 2011. In most cases, it’s better to give the result at the beginning so that the audience knows exactly where the presentation is going. It will make the presentation more memorable in the long run.
If you like this Public Speaking Tip, Check Out More Below:
- Public Speaking Ideas- Audience Participation Adds Impact- Part Six- Synergy Public Speaking Ideas– Audience Participation Adds Impact- Part Six- Synergy The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Here is a lesson we need to take to just about every part of our lives, including our presentations. Too often we prepare just wanting to get done. We don’t take time to really think of ...
- Eliminate Death by PowerPoint (Public Speaking Tip Video) New PowerPoint Tip Video Eliminate Death by PowerPoint is a new public speaking tip video in our PowerPoint Tip series. This is video #2. Too many PowerPoint slides cause the audience to be bored and lose interest, so remember that in public speaking visual aids, less is more. Reduce the number of slides in your slide deck ...
- You Are the Undisputed Expert, So Now Prove It Regardless of what industry that you are in or what expertise that you have, you first have to realize that you are the expert at something, and the knowledge that you have is valuable to someone. When I was 14 years old, my dad owned a home remodeling company, and every winter, I crawled ...
- Free Public Speaking Fear Tele-Seminar Click here to register for free 30 minute tele-seminar covering… An Overview of Fearless Presentations 10 Ways to reduce public speaking fear (today) Big preparation mistakes that actually cause nervousness (versus reducing it — Ex.: Having Notes in Front of You). This Tele-Seminar is absolutely free to our friends and fans, but we can only accept the first 25 ...
- Public Speaking Ideas- Audience Participation Adds Impact- Part One- Touch Public Speaking Ideas– Audience Participation Adds Impact Communication has changed. My dad grew up listening to radio. The family would gather around and sit attentively as the radio broadcast news, variety shows, and serials. I grew up with television. Not only did I have something to listen to, but my eyes were involved as well. My ...
Upcoming Public Speaking Classes
Below is a list of the upcoming Fearless Presentations ® presentation skills courses in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Fearless Presentations ® is a 2-Day public speaking course that is held in select cities all over the world, so if you don’t see your city below, just visit the seminar schedule webpage for all classes and an interactive map where you can access upcoming workshops by city.
If you want to reduce public speaking fear or develop presentation skills, there is no better way than with Fearless Presentations ®. In two-days, our certified instructors can help you get rid of the butterflies, think more clearly when you stand to speak, and deliver confident, professional presentations with a whole lot less preparation time. Participants receive all manuals and training materials, one-on-one presentation coaching from their instructor, and video taped feedback so they can easily see their progress as the class progresses.
Click any of the Links Below for Details about a Class or Seminar
|02/12/16||Advanced Presentation Skills||Dallas - III Lincoln Center||Register Add to Cart|
|02/12/16||Advanced Presentation Skills||Philadelphia - Market Street||Register Add to Cart|
|02/25/16||Fearless Presentations ®||San Francisco - Downtown Stevenson Street||Register Add to Cart|
|02/25/16||Fearless Presentations ®||Miami - Bayfront Park||Register Add to Cart|
|02/26/16||Advanced Presentation Skills||San Francisco - Downtown Stevenson Street||Register Add to Cart|
|02/26/16||Advanced Presentation Skills||Miami - Bayfront Park||Register Add to Cart|
|03/03/16||Fearless Presentations ®||Atlanta - Proscenium||Register Add to Cart|
|03/03/16||Fearless Presentations ®||Washington, DC - Capitol Riverfront||Register Add to Cart|
|03/03/16||Fearless Presentations ®||Houston - Two Allen Center||Register Add to Cart|
|03/04/16||Advanced Presentation Skills||Houston - Two Allen Center||Register Add to Cart|
|03/04/16||Advanced Presentation Skills||Atlanta - Proscenium||Register Add to Cart|
|03/04/16||Advanced Presentation Skills||Washington, DC - Capitol Riverfront||Register Add to Cart|
|03/10/16||Fearless Presentations ®||Columbus - Easton Way||Register Add to Cart|
|03/10/16||Fearless Presentations ®||New York - 77 Water Street||Register Add to Cart|
|03/10/16||Fearless Presentations ®||Los Angeles - City National Plaza||Register Add to Cart|
|03/11/16||Advanced Presentation Skills||Los Angeles - City National Plaza||Register Add to Cart|
|03/11/16||Advanced Presentation Skills||Columbus - Easton Way||Register Add to Cart|
|03/11/16||Advanced Presentation Skills||New York - 77 Water Street||Register Add to Cart|
|03/14/16||Fearless Presentations ®||St Louis - CityPlace||Register Add to Cart|
|03/15/16||Advanced Presentation Skills||St Louis - CityPlace||Register Add to Cart|
|03/17/16||Fearless Presentations ®||Detroit - Novi Crystal Glen||Register Add to Cart|
|03/17/16||Fearless Presentations ®||Phoenix - Tatum Office||Register Add to Cart|
|03/17/16||Fearless Presentations ®||Portland - Congress Center||Register Add to Cart|
|03/18/16||Advanced Presentation Skills||Portland - Congress Center||Register Add to Cart|
|03/18/16||Advanced Presentation Skills||Detroit - Novi Crystal Glen||Register Add to Cart|
|03/18/16||Advanced Presentation Skills||Phoenix - Tatum Office||Register Add to Cart|
|04/07/16||Fearless Presentations ®||Baltimore - Inner Harbor||Register Add to Cart|
|04/07/16||Fearless Presentations ®||San Francisco - Downtown Stevenson Street||Register Add to Cart|
|04/07/16||Fearless Presentations ®||Chicago - CBD- River North||Register Add to Cart|
|04/08/16||Advanced Presentation Skills||Baltimore - Inner Harbor||Register Add to Cart|
|04/08/16||Advanced Presentation Skills||San Francisco - Downtown Stevenson Street||Register Add to Cart|
|04/08/16||Advanced Presentation Skills||Chicago - CBD- River North||Register Add to Cart|
|04/12/16||Fearless Presentations ®||Seattle - Norton Building||Register Add to Cart|
|04/13/16||Advanced Presentation Skills||Seattle - Norton Building||Register Add to Cart|
|04/21/16||Fearless Presentations ®||Philadelphia - Market Street||Register Add to Cart|
|04/21/16||Fearless Presentations ®||Miami - Bayfront Park||Register Add to Cart|
|04/21/16||Fearless Presentations ®||Cincinnati - Kenwood||Register Add to Cart|
|04/22/16||Advanced Presentation Skills||Philadelphia - Market Street||Register Add to Cart|
|04/22/16||Advanced Presentation Skills||Cincinnati - Kenwood||Register Add to Cart|
|04/22/16||Advanced Presentation Skills||Miami - Bayfront Park||Register Add to Cart|
|04/28/16||Fearless Presentations ®||Charlotte - Southpark Tower||Register Add to Cart|
|04/28/16||Fearless Presentations ®||Dallas - III Lincoln Center||Register Add to Cart|
|04/28/16||Fearless Presentations ®||Boston - Independence Wharf||Register Add to Cart|
|04/29/16||Advanced Presentation Skills||Charlotte - Southpark Tower||Register Add to Cart|
|04/29/16||Advanced Presentation Skills||Boston - Independence Wharf||Register Add to Cart|
|04/29/16||Advanced Presentation Skills||Dallas - III Lincoln Center||Register Add to Cart|
|05/05/16||Fearless Presentations ®||St Louis - CityPlace||Register Add to Cart|
|05/05/16||Fearless Presentations ®||Atlanta - Proscenium||Register Add to Cart|
|05/06/16||Advanced Presentation Skills||Atlanta - Proscenium||Register Add to Cart|
|05/06/16||Advanced Presentation Skills||St Louis - CityPlace||Register Add to Cart|
Not sure yet or have questions? Complete the form below, and an instructor will contact you.
When folks go through our presentation skills classes, they are often surprised at how simple we make designing and delivering fairly complex presentations. In fact, one of the things that we cover in the Fearless Presentations class is how to design an entire presentation, from start to finish, complete with a slide deck in fifteen minutes or less. Class members are often shocked at how fast they can design presentations that would have typically taken hours (or weeks) to complete. Below is a simple checklist that you can use when you design PowerPoint presentations in order to speed up the preparation time and reduce your fear of public speaking.
Presentation Skills Checklist
- Step One: Start with the Presentation (what you want to say) and finish with the slideshow. Most people start with the visual aids and, eventually, realize they have too many slides or too many points and start cutting content. So they end up with a Swiss-Cheese presentation. Start with the presentation first, then choose slides that help you better explain the content.
- Step Two: Choose a Compelling Topic (Title). Pretend that you are an audience member, and ask yourself what you’d what to hear about related to the topic. This is more difficult than you might think, because, since we know so much about the topic, we tend to want to tell the audience EVERYTHING that we know. However, that is not practical, so you have to give the audience only what they need, right now. For instance, if you are giving a financial report to the board, they are going to want to know about profit, but if you are giving a report to the sales team, they will be more interested in revenue compared to prior years. think of your audience when you choose your topic.
- Step Three: Choose three to five key points to expand upon. Literally… three, four, or five points… TOTAL. Thinking about your topic, choose your key points by determining what are the three to five most important concepts related to the topic that the audience needs to know about. If you cover more points, the audience won’t remember them anyway, so focus on the most important points.
- Step Four: Insert Proof for each Point. Insert a few stories, examples, facts, analogies, demonstrations, or samples that prove that your key point is true. If you prove each point along the way, then the group will very easily agree with your conclusion at the end of the presentation.
- Step Five: Now Create Your Slides: Once you have the speech designed, now go back and choose visual aids to better explain your content.
Follow this checklist, and you will be able to create any presentation very quickly.