How do the very best presenters do it? That’s a question that we are asked many times on our presentation skills courses. What are the presenters best secrets? There’s no simple answer. But there are some common factors. Most good presenters note their hard work and preparation. That’s to be expected. But what else is involved?
So, to help us out we’ve condensed a top ten list of the presenters best secrets.
Here are ten presenters best secrets that should put you on course for a great presentation.
1. One Idea For Each Slide. Presenting with PowerPoint slides should make your job as a presenter that much easier. But too often the slides that you present are too detailed. Do you recognise that scenario? Yes?
Therefore it’s time to consider one big idea for each one of your slides. Thus, if you have two ideas, then make two slides. Because your task is to make it simple for your audience to understand the flow and logic of your argument. That’s so much easier when you present ideas in turn.
2. Visualise Everything. So, if your big ideas, concepts or explanations can be visualised, then do so. Create some images. Create icons. And create charts and graphics. Visualised ideas are so much easier to understand when you are sitting in the middle of row H of the conference hall. Because you want your audience to understand each of your points.
3. Don’t Use Bullet Points. Yes, they are quick and easy to prepare. But they are really notes for a document reader. Not a watching and listening audience member. So, be resolute. Aim to stop writing bullet points when you prepare your next slide deck.
4. Practise and Rehearse. It’s really inescapable. Practising and rehearsing your presentation always gets results. That’s why it’s a top secret of all the best presenters. So, if you have the opportunity of a dress rehearsal, snap it up. If a colleague asks if you want a critique of your presentation, take advantage. Because you owe it to your audience to be as well prepared as possible. Even David Cameron was known to snatch some speech practice before his big speeches.
5. Present as a Team. Presenting with fellow team members is worth a try. Some really successful presenters do it. It helps with the flow of a presentation and there’s the expectation of change within the running order. This Katarina Witt presentation did just that. And, of course, your audience will react equally. These team presentation tips should help.
6. 10 Minute Slots. Brevity is definitely a presentation virtue. One secret is to interchange your presentation with activities, events or videos. So, every ten minutes aim to introduce an activity, a new video or perhaps some questions. The logic is that your audience might drift after 10 minutes of your presentation. So, do something different every 10 minutes. And your audience remains alert. That’s the plan.
7. Be Passionate. Audiences appreciate logic and your status as an expert. But they also appreciate passion. You should be the most interested person in the room about your particular subject. If you aren’t…then your audience will know it. So, show your real interest and passion for your subject with your language, tone, amplitude and pace. Because when you are serious about a subject your audience will appreciate your message even more.
8. Use Headlines. We know that repetition works in a presentation. So why not think of that repetition as a headline? If your audience is to report on your presentation…what would be the headline? What would be the Twitter words describing your presentation? Once you have thought of the headline, then keep using it in your presentation.
9. Acknowledge your Team. Your audience expects you to be an expert. Someone with considerable knowledge or talent for the subject. But it’s unlikely that you alone can meet all their needs. So, when that’s the case, remember to acknowledge the roles played by the rest of your team: product development, procurement, construction, installation, service and so on. This recycled speech by Michael Gove makes this case perfectly.
This shouldn’t sound like a Christmas list. And nor should it take you much time. But it should be sincere.
10. Finally, Go Public. Most presentations never see the light of day after you’ve given your presentation. Yes, the conference organiser might have asked for a copy of your slides that are now in the take-home folders of each conference delegate. But we all know they won’t look at them again! So, could your slide deck appear on your web site? Perhaps as a flash file or a .pdf document. Or, could you promote it on slideshare? Because many businesses do just that as a key part of their marketing.
So, ten presenters best secrets behind the most successful presenters. You can replicate them as well.
You can learn more presentation skills and techniques with a Time to Market public presentation training course held at more than 40 training centres in the UK. Or, for a more intensive session, public speaking coaching. But, whatever your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to get in touch when the time is right.
“Sincerity–if you can fake that, you’ve got it made.”
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