Phil, Annie and Tim – The Tale of Three Presenters

Research repeatedly has shown that image, not content, is king in presentations. Clip art and bad animation are guaranteed to project the wrong image whether you are presenting your findings to a supervisor or pitching that new account.
Large corporation employees or small company owners can unleash the power of good presentations to kick-start their careers and boost their acquisition of new business, or ignore the basics of presentation and spiral down into oblivion.

Let’s learn a few key elements of good presentation by watching three different presenters from three companies.

The first presenter, Phil Aslide, uses his slides to display every word he intends to say to his audience. In fact, the slides often have many more words than he intends to say. Sometimes it is hard for him to even read the words on the screen, but he knows what they mean, so that’s OK. Right?

Do you know Phil or someone like him?

And maybe you know someone like the second presenter, Annie Mate. Every item on the slide is animated whether it is discussed or not. Each bullet and piece of clipart flies, swirls or spins onto the screen accompanied by screeching tire sounds from the laptop speakers. Annie feels that this displays her commanding knowledge of PowerPoint’s many rich features. Sounds reasonable… if you’re Annie.

The third presenter, Tim Topnotch, has a different approach than Phil or Annie. Before he creates any slides, he assesses the needs of his audience. Then he organizes his content into a succinct outline of his speaking points. From there, he creates slides that support those points. His slides use a clean, simple design that is easily understood by the audience. He animates only the items that need animation to make a point.

All things being equal, which person would you choose? Who made the best impression? Which person will you remember as knowledgeable and buttoned up? We’ve all seen these presenter types. After all, presenting to an audience can be unnerving. It helps us personally to put more words on the slide as a guide.

Unfortunately, many of us have a dash of Phil and a sprinkle of Annie in our presentations. If you’re a small business, your presentation is, in many cases, your only image-generating medium beyond your web site. You don’t do glitzy ad campaigns to promote your company, so a bad presentation ruins your attempts at creating a positive image.

Phil and Annie should have followed these 4 rules of thumb when they developed their presentations:

  1. Understand your audience – Learn as much as you can about your audience before presenting to them. What is their general function within the company? What goals do they need to fulfill by hiring you or your company? What is it about your product or service that will appeal to them?
  2. Outline your thoughts – Pulling together a swirl of information into a concise presentation is not an easy job. It is important that you outline key areas you need to discuss, and if at all possible, arrange that outline around the key needs of your audience.
  3. Use a consistent visual template – Your image is paramount to making the sale. A well-done visual template can give you the professional look you need. PowerPoint offers many canned templates, but your competitor may be using the same template… talk about audience confusion!
  4. Slides support your speech; the speech doesn’t support your slides – Slides are meant to be visual aids that help the audience more clearly understand your point. By all means, do not put every word of your speech on your slides. This distracts your audience and generally creates unreadable slides. Slides should create a meaningful picture of your key points. When possible, use simple charts, succinct bullet points or pointed images to support your talking points.

So, unleash the power of good presentation skills and reach your career or business goals.

10 Presentation Skills Training Tips to Help You Deliver the Best Speech of Your Life!

Public speaking is the act of speaking in front of a group of individuals in an open forum, private conference or in a well-defined manner for the intention of informing, teaching, influencing, advising or entertaining the audience.

In this article, I’ll be sharing with you the ten (10) public speaking tips you’ll want to keep in mind on how to overcome your fear of public speaking as well as deliver an impactful and powerful speech and presentation.

The first thing to take into consideration will be, knowing that the people want you to succeed. The audience does not want you to let them down, listeners want you to be appealing, inspiring, educative, and entertaining, meaning they are on your side.

Second, familiarize yourself with the place; meaning know the place in which you will speak in. Reach the place early enough, stroll around the speaking arena at the same time exercise using the microphone as well as any visual items.

Third, familiarize yourself with the audience. Acknowledge some of the audience as they turn up to the place, in that it is easier to have a word to a crowd of pals than to a group of unfamiliar persons.

Fourth, create in your mind yourself giving yourself a speech. That is to say operate from your individual brand, visualize yourself communicating, your tone of voice deafening, audible, and confident, when imaging yourself as victorious, you will be automatically successful.

Fifth, understand your material; put into practice your speech and rework as much as possible. If you have not recognize your material or you are unsure with them, it increases apprehension which is bad for public forum.

Sixth, give attention to the message – not the medium. Move your concentration away from your own nervousness and externally towards your own points and your audience, thus uneasiness will fritter away.

Seventh point, relax; ease worrying by doing workouts.

Eighth, gain experience. Fluency creates self-assurance, which every one knows is the key to successful speaking, for instance, clubs can make available the practice you need.

Ninth point, revolve tenseness into optimistic energy. Strap up your nervous force and convert it into strength and passion for talking to the public.

The tenth and final point for delivering a successful speech is – DO NOT apologize. If you talking about your uneasiness or asking for forgiveness for any tribulations of speaking you think you got with your speech, you might be bringing the listeners’ attention to a point they were not aware of.

In conclusion, for you to overcome your fear of public speaking you need to be the boss, the head, the entertainer as well as the listener to succeed.

Again, we found out that audience does not want you to let them down, listeners want you to be appealing, inspiring, educative and with all this you got to use oratory in your speech, the use of gestures in a speech, be in command of your voice (inflection), nice use of vocabulary, register good command of grammar, word choice speaking notes, pitches of using humor and the last one in public speaking workshop is to develop a rapport with the listeners

You Want Me to Do What? – 5 Tips For Presenting a Successful Lunch & Learn

Management recognizes that there is brilliance that resides in the cubicles of your organization. They want to tap into that experience and help others grow. And they’ve chosen you to share your expertise with the rest of the organization. You know your topic well, but are not accustomed to making presentations in a group setting. What you need now is…

5 tips for presenting your next lunch and learn.

Tip 1 – Handling Stage Fright

If you’re not accustomed to speaking in front of a group or are nervous about the prospect, then remember the following.

o Preparation

Being prepared is the best thing you can do for yourself if you’re nervous about being in front of a group. Review your material thoroughly. Use spell check but recognize that spell check won’t catch if you type “you” instead of “your” or “he” instead of “the.” Make your copies of “take-aways” at least one day before the presentation. If possible, check out the room a day or more before the presentation. Test the equipment, get a feel for the room. If you’re doing a software demonstration, actually practice using the computer in the conference room to make sure you can make all the necessary network connections, find all the right files, etc. On the day of the presentation, get to the room at least a half-hour early to make sure everything is in place and the equipment is ready.

o Practice

Rehearse what you’re going to say out loud. You can do this in the empty room where you’ll be doing the presentation, in front of a mirror at home, or in front of a couple of trusted colleagues. It’s different talking through your presentation than thinking through it. Take the time to speak the material aloud and you’ll be much more polished and comfortable during your presentation.

o You’ve Been Where They Are

You’ve been an audience member before so you know from your own experience that your audience wants you to be successful. Don’t apologize a million times, even if you feel like “I’m dying up here!” It’s OK to make a quick apology if there is a problem out of your control, but don’t feel like you need to apologize for the manner in which you are presenting the material. When you start apologizing, you undermine your message. Remember, the audience is rooting for you. Repeatedly apologizing because you’re not presenting the material well is a self-fulfilling prophesy. Believe it or not, you’re not doing that badly. But if you keep apologizing, your audience will start believing you are.

Tip 2 – Provide Information Ahead of Time

Prior to the lunch & learn, provide the members of your organization with an outline of what you’re going to cover. The outline should provide a list of subjects you’ll be covering, the depth at which you’ll be covering the material and the intended audience. Armed with this information, your co-workers will be able to see that your presentation is a good investment of their time.

Tip 3 – Content

There will only be so much material that you can cover during the allotted time. This is another reason to rehearse so you have an estimate of how long it will take to cover your material. Deliver the material in a logical manner and at the appropriate level for the audience. If you are discussing a process, the use of a software application or programming language, consider using examples in your presentation. This allows the audience to take the material from an academic thought to a more practical application of the theory. Better yet, if you have a relevant story related to the topic of your presentation share that. Stories help your audience both understand the material better and help them retain what they’ve learned. Try to remember back to the time when you weren’t the subject matter expert on the topic of your presentation. Explain those things you once found confusing so the audience can learn from your experience. Plan for and provide time in your presentation for questions.

Tip 4 – Provide your Audience a “Take-Away”

A “take-away” is tangible material that the audience can take with them when they leave. The take-away should either support the content of the presentation or provide additional information on the subject. Examples of take-aways are:

o White paper or article – Write a white paper or an article on your content that either reiterates the material covered in your presentation or which goes into more depth than what you were able to provide in the time allotted. This form of take-away can be extraordinarily valuable your audience.

o A list of reference materials – List the reference materials – industry articles, workshops, books, people, websites – you have used in growing your knowledge and skills. This will give your audience the means to further their education as well.

o Notes taking sheet – This could be an outline on which the participant can take notes, a sheet with key words missing that the participants fill in the blanks or a copy of the PowerPoint slides.

o Blended the take-aways above – Blend one or more of the ideas already listed to give the audience the tools and the information they need to grow their knowledge.

Tip 5 – Know the expectations

If you’re not crystal clear about any of the details of the lunch and learn, ask the person who requested you what his or her expectations are. Make sure you know the time frame (date and time, duration), understand the target audience (current knowledge level and desired level of detail), and comprehend what the requestor hopes the audience will walk away with from the presentation. Knowing and understanding the expectations will help ensure a more successful experience for all concerned.

Increasing Value

Sharing your knowledge with fellow employees is a great service to them and to management. Your presentation will increase the value of your co-workers as they learn and it will increase your value as you help the organization meet its mission. While it’s an honor and a privilege to be asked, remember the bigger win is for the organization. So go out there and make the most of the lunch and learn experience!