Imagine if Martin Luther King Jr. walked up on stage and said, ‘Hey guys. So, I kind of have a dream.’ His tone dull, voice shaky, making little to no eye-contact.
Do you think this would have packed a punch? What if he read his speech off a crumpled sheet of paper? Or, if he had a PowerPoint filled with text-heavy slides and transitions.
The analogy here is that your presentation will always have a critical message to deliver. But, what’s more important is the way you deliver it.
Here are five ways you can up your presentation game!
Presentations aren’t about ‘winging it’, they require preparation. To be able to deliver a clear, concise and engaging presentation, it is crucial to lay the groundwork. Start by asking yourself how you want your presentation to be perceived by others? Humorous? Meaningful? Educational?
Prepare for your presentation like you would for childbirth. Be afraid, plan ahead and then deliver something beautiful to the world.
2. Engage & Hook Your Audience
Now, I’m not asking you to perform cartwheels on stage. While your audience might find you falling over entertaining, the duration of the presentation might be awkward on crutches. However, you certainly want to engage your listeners (just without the falling over part).
Whether it’s asking questions throughout, including your audience or leveraging humour– don’t be afraid to be different.
We’ve all been on the receiving end of a mundane presentation– and let’s face it, you would prefer to have dinner with your in-laws. At least your mother in law’s outlandish comments would have more substance.
3. Know Your Topic
Knowledge is power. There’s nothing worse than a speaker rambling on for 20 minutes about an irrelevant topic, like how pineapple doesn’t go on pizza (sidenote: it DEFINITELY deserves a place on pizza).
As Grazina Fechner, Front and Centre’s Director says, “Knowing your presentation topic will enhance your confidence, and the audience will engage with that”.
4. Tell A Story
What did you beg your parents for before bedtime as a child? Chocolate, of course. But when you were denied chocolate, what did you ask for? Storytime!
Stories are apart of our DNA. They help us make sense of the world. Using your presentation to tell a story will create an emotional connection between you and your audience.
5. Body Language
Times it’s acceptable to roll your eyes and fold your arms:
1. When your children conveniently ‘forget’ to unstack the dishwasher.
2. When it’s winter and your colleague shares pictures on Instagram of her European-summer-getaway.
3. When someone asks if you’re pregnant and you aren’t (I CAN’T SAY NO TO BURRITOS OK!)
Times it isn’t:
PRESENTATIONS. PRESENTATIONS. PRESENTATIONS.
Repeat with me, PRESENTATIONS!
According to Psychologist Albert Mehrabian, an audience during a presentation absorbs 55% of the information presented through visuals.
So if you’re standing there with your arms folded, rolling your eyes, fidgeting– this will distract the audience. And ultimately, detract from the core message you want your audience to take away!
There ya have it folks– five ways to make your presentation stand out from the rest! Front and Centre is holding a one-stop presentation skills workshop in Perth, Australia on the 17th of June, 2019. Please check out our ‘Present With Impact’ event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/664411137323504/ or feel free to message me through LinkedIn!
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