Well you did it again, right Binky? You’ve got a presentation
coming up in a few days (or tomorrow!). All the information is
ready, the Power Point or the transparencies are pretty much done
but you still have that sinking feeling that your presentation
could put to sleep more people than a dump truck full of sleeping
pills. You’re probably right.
So you clicked this section hoping you’ll find something
that might rescue you
from presentation oblivion. Good choice. But I must say one thing
FREE HELP DOES NOT PAY FOR CAT FOOD
help you. But I sure hope you’ll remember me when you’ve
got some money in your budget for presentation training. OK. Enough
of my sniveling. Here are three ideas that will benefit your presentation
more than you now know.
1. Slash the Details like a Drunken Pirate.
When was the last time you heard a presentation that was too short?
Most audience members are bored most of the time in most presentations.
When you’re bored, you’re hearing too much information
that is irrelevant to you. You stop listening. Don’t do
this to your audiences!
Since you’ll never know exactly how much information to
include, you’ll probably deliver too much, just like everyone
else. Great presenters deliver too little information in an exciting
way. That leaves plenty of time for questions and answers.
A quick fix: Cut the time
of your presentation in half. If you’re scheduled to speak
for 20 minutes, deliver it in 10. Put the cut information in written
handouts and pass it out when your talk is done. Your presentation
is not going to be judged by the number of words you roll out
or how many visual aids you use. It’s going to be judged
by how well you achieve your objective and move your audience.
2. Memorize a strong 30 second Opening.
The first words out of your mouth are easily the most important.
That’s when audience attention is highest and people are
making an immediate value judgment on you and your presentation.
If you mumble a dull “Good morning” - like about 9
out of 10 presenters, what you’re really saying to audience
members is, “That’s right, I sound just like every
other dull presenter. And if you think they were boring, wait
until you hear me..........”
A quick fix: Use your imagination
and creativity! take the most dramatic statistic or idea in your
talk and craft it into a half minute masterpiece. Here’s
one of the best examples I’ve heard:
“In the time it took me to get up from that seat and walk
to this position before you, our company spent $1450 on research
and development. Over 300 of those dollars were wasted. In the
next few minutes, I’m going to give you two specific ways
we can cut that waste by 8 per cent.”
Do you think anyone wondered why he didn’t start with “Good
3. Speak Twice as Loud as You Think You Should.
I know you’re not going to believe this. My students never
do until they see themselves on videotape or hear the feedback
from their peers. People are usually awful judges of their own
voices because we hear ourselves almost twice as loudly as everyone
else. So chances are, in presentations, you are ‘politely’
quiet and almost certainly dull. In my workshops I push peoples’
volume until they think they’re shouting (in a focused manner).
Inevitably they’re shocked when their classmates describe
their voices as “confident”, “in-charge”,
When you speak loudly you sound more committed to your ideas.
enthusiastic! You sound like you should sound when making a great
A quick fix: You
must rehearse your presentation OUT LOUD at least five times before
you deliver it in front of an audience. At least one of those
times, bring someone into your rehearsal room and seat that person
farthest from you. Tell him you want him to compare two different
delivery styles. First deliver the first two minutes in your normal
style. Next, deliver the same material much louder than you think
you should. Really push it! Ask your practice audience member
which style sounded better. And when he agrees with me, ask him
to come to your real presentation and have him sit in the back
of the room. Have him signal you whenever your voice slips into
its natural polite, quiet dullness.
To make a great presentation which is distinctively different
in a professional way, you can’t sound like everyone else.
These three quick ideas will at least start you on the right track.
They don’t sound like things you normally would do? Good
- that’s why I’m paid for advice on presentations
and you’re not. My book goes
into detail and reveals my winning formula.