Public speaking is difficult and personally I don't feel I am good at presentations, though I am great at education, training and audience interaction. After attending a few events recently I would like to share a few presentation styles that seem to be counter productive.
Don't let this be the response to your presentations (image from Pixbay)
I tend to see the motormouth at technology related presentations. Usually they are done by non-technical staff. I think the logic is that if they were to pause for a breath someone will call them out on a technical flaw.
Yes, speaking quickly shows enthusiasm, passion and that you believe in what you are saying is correct, however it is effectively just a socially acceptable alternative to shouting over people.
Everything is awesome
If you saw the LEGO movie you will remember the song that goes "Everything is awesome, everything is cool....". Some presenters are like that. Everything is awesome, everything is amazing, everything is so cool. Most of these presentations are conducted by people who are unable to follow up with any detailed information about why it is awesome.
Everything is awesome (image from Pixbay)
It works if you pull one or two things out and say that they are awesome, but if everything is awesome it makes it sound like you just need something to cover that you don't really understand what you are talking about. Remember if everything is special then nothing is.
I read this, so I will repeat it
In this presentation they will give you a list of things that they read in a book or heard in a presentation. There are times when this is useful and I appreciate it when they are summarising a conference that they attended.
No matter how many books you have read, I prefer to hear about what you have done (image from pixbay)
However I don't want to hear about what you learnt studying your MBA, and I don't want to hear about what you read in some pop psychology book, and I don't care that someone else said this or that. Back it up with your own life experiences. Show me that you can apply what you have learnt.
If you read a book and then changed the way your company does things, if you met someone famous and followed their advice or studied a course and used the principles that you learnt, then I would love to hear about what you did and what you learnt from experience.
What makes a great presentation
You have to present in your own style and if your own voice, which means, if you talk quickly or slowly you have to do your presentation in that way. However make a few adjustments. If you talk quickly, then pause to let people catch up. If you talk slowly, have exciting images and slides to keep people entertained while you gather your thoughts.
Present well (image from Pixbay)
Interact with the audience. Even just pausing is enough to change the dynamic. Pauses usually means people have time to ask questions. But why not ask your audience to do things and actively be a part of the presentation. I personally love doing mastermind presentations where the majority of the knowledge comes from the audience my role is to facilitate and organise that information.
I love the advice given by Dale Carnegie. If you are going to do a presentation, ask yourself the question, why should anyone listen to you about it. Following my own advice, my experience of this is that I use lots of different examples and the ones that people seem to find the most interesting, are the ones from my own life, even if the other ones that I have seen are less interesting and relevant to me than the ones I have read.
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