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Bring Your Presentations To Life and Get A Standing Ovation

Giving a successful presentation depends on more than just writing down your words and delivering them. In this article you’ll learn 7 important techniques that will raise your delivery well above the ordinary.

Presentation techniques are the tools that help us to bring a page of written text to spoken life. They are the means by which we animate words, inject interest and build audience rapport. Learn the following 7 techniques and you’ll have your audience clinging to every word you say.

<b>1. Speak To Their Ears. </b>Remember that your audience receives your words through their ears. They aren’t reading it. That’s why you should continually ask yourself, ‘how will this sound to my audience?î. In particular, you should check forÖ
– the use of jargon, technical and bureaucratic language, long phrases and gobbledeegook. Avoid them.
– specific meanings: “next Friday” is better than “soon”.
– concrete words rather than abstract words: “microphone” is better than “sound amplification facilities”.
– Anglo-Saxon rather than Latinised words: “talk” is better than “communicate”.

<b>2. Use Conversational English. </b>Speakers who lack the confidence to speak directly to their audience tend to lean heavily on their prepared texts. This creates the risk of speaking the written word which can sound artificial and stilted. Conversational English on the other hand is natural and flowing. By creating the feeling of a personal chat, the conversational style helps to build audience rapport.

Idiomatic, conversational English is distinctly different from written English. It allows for occasional ungrammatical and incorrect use of words and sentences, as long as the meaning is clear and sounds right. You would not, for example, say the grammatically-correct “For whom is it?” in place of the colloquial “Who’s it for?”

<b>3. Make Everything Make Sense. </b>One of the most important points to remember about a presentation is that written English does not always make the same sense to a listener as spoken English. When we read written English we go at our speed and can pause, go back or jump ahead. When we are listening, we rely on the speaker to make sense for us. Notice the difference between these two ways of expressing the same sentence.

Not: “The user will no doubt be familiar with the consequences of a machine failure at difficult moments.”

But: “I expect you know the sort of thing I mean. You’re right in the middle of something worth saving when, Phut!, the whole damn thing goes up in smoke. Before your very eyes…”

<b>4. Signpost Where You Are Going. </b>The technique of Signposting, or Labelling, can be used throughout a presentation. Signposting, like the signs on a street, is a way of letting the audience know in advance what is coming next in your talk. It is used to tell the audience what you want them to understand from it.

– we can signpost the whole talk when we start: “I’d like to do three things this morning. First, I’d like to look at our current position; then our plans and finally, the costs.”
– we can signpost a sub-point: “My second area is to look at plans. First, this year’s; then next year’s…”
– we can signpost any issue: “Let me give you an example of what I mean…”
– we can signpost the end: “Just one more point before I finish…”

Audiences appreciate signposting because it helps them know where they are.

<b>5. Use Jokes To Build Rapport. </b>Jokes are a way of amusing an audience while at the same time sharing something with them. The point of contact is the shared laughter. If a joke works it brings you together; conversely, if the joke doesn’t work, it pushes you apart. Jokes need to be appropriate, well-presented and, of course, funny. A blue joke from the Rugby club dinner speech probably won’t work well at the annual conference of the Women’s Institute. Equally a joke told badly where you miss your timing, tell it too quickly or forget the punchline is worse than no joke at all.

This joke told by Patrick Forsyth seems to catch the mood of a farewell speech:
“I remember the day after Nigel joined us and overhearing the impression he’d made on two young ladies from Accounts.
“Doesn’t that Mr Green dress well,” said one.
“Yes,” replied the other. “And so quickly.”

<b>6. Pause For Maximum Effect. </b>Some of the best moments in a speech are, surprisingly, those moments when you stop. Knowing when to stop is the art of the creative pause. It can work for you in a number of ways:

– to tease the audience, perhaps after a provocative question: “I bet you’d like to know how you could make a million…”
– to pause before the punchline of a joke
– to wait for an audience to settle after laughter or a general discussion
– to give the audience time to think (for example, when looking at a new overhead)
– to show you’re in total control by holding the pause just slightly longer than you need to.

<b>7. Show Don’t Just Tell. </b>Turning a simple presentation point into a narrative or story can entertain and involve the audience on a different level. It is a way of showing them not just telling them.

Not: “Our personal computer has three kinds of memory storage: the random access memory, the hard drive and the floppy drive.”

But: “Designing the storage memory for this particular computer was always going to be a tricky problem. The first team to look at it was Rob James and Ellen Smith. After several experiments they discovered that they could build in a huge RAM but their problem was what to do with the hard drive. This was new territory. Neither of them had worked on anything like that before. First, they tried a separate box. No good. Then a new casing. Still no good. They were about to give up when news came from Japan about an amazing new microchip…”

Master these simple techniques and you’ll raise your presentation expertise to heights you will only just dreamed of before!

Please fill in the The Complete Speaking Business Assessment for free assessment

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A world of presentations without PowerPoint

Most of the presentations made nowadays are made with the help of PowerPoint. There are also class teachers and lecturers who use PowerPoint to make the teaching and learning process more interesting. However, it is the professional who makes presentations without the use of PowerPoint, while following some of their age-old beliefs for presentations.

Presentations without PowerPoint prove to be quite boring. This is because the presentation will be monotonous, with no music background or visual aids to help in the presentation. PowerPoint presentations usually provide a change for the audience in the presentation, and also give the crowd some visual explanations to the points that are being told in the presentation. So without PowerPoint in the presentation, it is very important that the presenter use some creativity in the presentation. This is because it is only this creativity that will keep the audience interested and motivated in the presentation!

The most important thing that has to be remembered to give a successful presentation without PowerPoint is to exactly know what you are talking about. If you are well versed with the matter you intend to present, you can very well present it without the help of PowerPoint. However, make sure to make your presentation only after learning about the temperament and nature of your audience. Remember that it is of no use talking to the audience as a group of employees. Instead, make it a point to tailor your presentation to meet the intellectual of the audience you are facing.

When beginning the presentation, you have to present it while keeping the end of the presentation in mind. You have to know what the purpose of your presentation is, as without PowerPoint you might lose the interest of the audience! Make sure you see, hear and feel what exactly it is that you want people to respond to in whatever it is that you say. Make a strong start to your presentation. Without PowerPoint, it is very much important that the first words and your appearance set the right tone for the audience to listen to you throughout the presentation. One of the best ways of making a connection with the audience without the help of PowerPoint is to tell a story, or an anecdote that has universal appeal.

One of the main things that has to be done when giving a presentation is to practice on the speech as much as possible. This is the only way of looking polished while speaking. It is indeed a false notion that using PowerPoint slides in a presentation will make a person a dynamic speaker. The process of becoming a dynamic speaker lies in the hand of the speaker. Only practice can make one a successful speaker, and this is one skill that cannot be delegated to anyone else. One of the best techniques to implement for practice is called bits. Here one practices a short piece of material over and over again till perfect. It is not that you practice it for word for word, one just has to talk one&#8217;s way through the presentation! In this way, one can easily continue a presentation, even if there is a distraction while onstage.

If PowerPoint is not used in a presentation, it is important that props be used instead. This is because a prop is basically worth a thousand words. With props, people tend to anchor thoughts in their minds to these props. It is no difference if the prop is large, small, funny or serious, as long as it relates to the point that you are trying to make and that the audience sees it! Another way of making sure that the audience loves you despite the fact that you don&#8217;t use PowerPoint in your presentation is to bring solutions to the problems they have. With your research of the audience, you would already have an idea to what their problems are; it is only up to you to bring new ideas to them to try.

Remember that when you are not using PowerPoint, you are the visual aid of the presentation. People will then gain more interest in whatever it is that you say, instead of visuals or fancy slides or overheads. So basically, without PowerPoint, it is important that the speaker be more self-confident and well versed in his speech. Without this, it may be quite impossible to imagine giving a presentation without PowerPoint!

Please fill in the The Complete Speaking Business Assessment for free assessment

More info’s and free registrations (restricted to pros), please join our live seminar


5 Surefire Tips To Better Public Speaking

If you search in Google for the term ‘public speaking tips’ you get roughly 2.6 million responses. That seems like a lot, but when you have to be the one standing in front of the group there isn’t enough information in the world that could get you over that fear.

Believe it or not, most of those fears are self imposed. What do I mean? The people listening to you don’t really care how the information is disseminated, they just want at the information. It’s the speaker that puts themselves through the ringer weeks before the event. Here are some tips that may seem obvious, but once completed, will really put your mind at ease, trust me.

Public Speaking Tip #1

KNOW YOUR TOPIC! I don’t mean know your topic, I mean inside and out, upside down, what ever question someone could throw at you, you know the answer. You really need to be prepared to reach this level. You need to know your speech almost by heart; you need to know the products you will be discussing. Do your homework, you will know you have reached public speaking Nirvana when you get that ‘feeling’, it will come with knowledge. Believe!

Public Speaking Tip #2

Greet as many of the attendees prior to your speech as possible. Familiarity promotes confidence. Besides, think of the benefit you provide the topic you are to speak on when you take the time to meet people before you go on.
This strategy also prevents you from pacing back and forth and worrying yourself to death until you go on. There is no point in cramming now, if you don’t know it, you wont, and it will show.

Public Speaking Tip #3

DON’T think everyone in the audience is naked, this in fact will hurt your chances of a successful public speaking outing.

Public Speaking Tip # 4

When you find yourself with only a mouthful of uhs and ums, stop yourself, repeat the sentence as if to add importance, and replace the uhs and ums with silence to allow your points to hit home.

Public Speaking Tip # 5

Animate your speech. Most people think that good communication is mouth-centric. Nothing could be farther from the truth! To be a powerful communicator, you have to use your entire body. Gestures and body language add energy and enthusiasm to your speech.
These are tips can really help you take your next step in public speaking. Do you realize that people pass up promotions because they will be required to speak publicly?

Do you realize people fear speaking in public more than they fear dying? Maybe because dying is abstract and appears far away while the podium is right in front of them. Either way, you really can come to grips with your fear and maybe you won’t enjoy it, but you’ll be able to get through it easier. I can’t emphasize enough that half of your battle will be just knowing what you are going to say, and anticipating what others are going to ask. It can be easy!

Please fill in the The Complete Speaking Business Assessment for free assessment

More info’s and free registrations (restricted to pros), please join our live seminar

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