Presentation tips are everywhere. Put those two words into Google as I did this morning and you will get 1,190,000,000 results.
Make eye contact
Know your audience
‘Cut the fat’
Ditch the bullet points.
Following those 15 tips alone will serve you incredibly well each time you stand to speak. It’s all perfectly good advice which we here at Mindful Presenter share and encourage too.
That said, there is more, much more to high impact presenting and public speaking. If you set out with the pure intention of connecting with your audience instead of presenting to them they will be extremely grateful.
Here are 3 tips you won’t often here:
1. Don’t be yourself
I’m tired of hearing presentation coaches tell speakers to “just be yourself”. Being yourself is all well and good but for some people it may not be enough. If your normal self isn’t conducive to engaging, inspiring and connecting with an audience then why would they want to listen to you?
Often, adopting an “I’m just going to be myself” attitude stifles growth, creativity and can end up being an excuse for complacency.
You don’t have to lose your authenticity but if you have the attention of a room full of people who have given their valuable time to listen to you, then you owe it to them to be your very best self.
2. Embrace PowerPoint
The only reason PowerPoint and other visual aids are so often shunned is that people abuse them. PowerPoint was never intended as an aide-memoire for speakers to read from and yet that’s what even some of the most experienced presenters are doing every day.
Used correctly, PowerPoint can bring more energy and visual impact to your presentations helping your audience to use their imaginations and make your presentation more memorable.
The old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” is still true today. So don’t listen to the PowerPoint critics – just learn how to use it to help your audience.
3. Don’t be so serious
Prior to coaching presentation skills, I spent many years as an executive and what seems like a lifetime in the boardroom. During that time it often seemed to me a very large number of leaders and professionals carry the mistaken idea that being professional means that you have to be deadly serious all of the time.
Not only is it not true, it’s not a good look for most of us.
Unless you’re making people redundant, informing them of a death, the building is on fire or your £12m project has run horribly over budget you can still smile; especially in business presentations.
Our priority as presenters is to connect with our audience on an emotional as well as an intellectual level and it is hard to do that with a deadpan face.
We wouldn’t get very far at home with our partners and children if we were so stately all of the time; sometimes we need to relax, add a little humour, charm, grace and fun.
The world has changed
Cast your mind back to the last business presentation …read more
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