Slidegenius, Inc.

3 Facts You Didn’t Know About Professional Presentations

Don’t stress yourself out by overthinking what’ll happen during your next presentation. Soothe yourself by recalling positive experiences instead of pondering over negative and heartbreaking ones. Remember that your audience sees you as a professional speaker. They believe in you and they understand how you feel whenever you stand and speak in front of a crowd.

While some presenters spend too much time preparing great pitches and interactive PowerPoint decks, they barely notice how simple things such as their body language, facial expression, tone of voice, and eye contact matter.

Since these elements contribute to your entire presentation’s success, you need to be more aware of how you can use these effectively. Here are three unexpected truths which most presenters overlook:

1. Treating Your Audience as an Ally Reduces Your Anxiety

Though not all your audience members will like you or be pleased with you, a majority of them want you to succeed. Don’t be afraid of what others will think of you.

The main reason why they decided to attend your presentation is because they’re interested in learning from you, not to judge how you look or how you speak. In fact, according to public speaking coach Laurent Duperval, as long as you can engage them and give your product’s benefits, the audience is on your side.

2. Having the Right Motive Allows You to Win and Be the Best

Competition is common to all individuals, especially in today’s business. However, winning is not about looking down on others or treating them as your enemy. Making fun of those who fail isn’t how you’ll be viewed as the best.

True professionals know how to treat their competition well. Remember that when you present, there are people who might oppose you, yet still want you to perform well and not degrade you, especially when you overcome challenges while presenting.

Since it’s about them, treat your audience as your partners. This will help you connect with them personally and allow yourself to calm down. The best way to do this is to focus on your audience’s desires more than your own.

3. Keeping Up the Momentum Results in a Better Performance

Whether you like it or not, some of your performance won’t be perfect. You can only do your best and move on from any mistakes you may encounter in your presentation.

Even failures help you become better and more effective next time. The best way to do this is to be open about your disappointments and see how you can use this to your advantage for next time.

While it’s true that these little things affect your performance, your goal is to meet your audience’s expectations and satisfy their needs. If ever you fail or make a mistake, they want you to get going and not give up. Don’t think about the negative effects of failure. Instead, consider it as your stepping stone to improve and excel.

Conclusion

Most presenters are more concerned about crafting great pitches and PowerPoint decks, but aren’t paying attention to simple facts that can also benefit their professional presentations. Your audience doesn’t want you to fail. They want you to be the best as you deliver your message that will undoubtedly meet their needs.

To craft a more effective PowerPoint presentation, let SlideGenius experts help you out!

 

References

Body Language: Signify Intent with Movement.” SlideGenius, Inc. October 20, 2014. Accessed August 04, 2015.
The Audience Is On Your Side.” Duperval. Accessed August 04, 2015.

Presentation Ideas from Ancient Greece: Explaining Ethos

Whether it’s due to democracy, free speech, or delicious Mediterranean dishes, Ancient Greece was the center of human culture and thinking.

It’s no surprise that most models of interpersonal communication improve upon that era’s important building blocks.

SlideGenius Blog Module One

Get hundreds of PowerPoint slides for free.

Sign up for your free account today.

Sign Up now

The Building Blocks

In his book, On Rhetoric, famed Greek philosopher Aristotle laid down the three pillars of rhetoric: logos, pathos, and ethos.

Logos is persuading by means of reasoning. It’s an appeal to the audience’s logical side. Pathos is persuading by means of passion, appealing to the audience’s emotions.

Ethos is convincing by means of character, projecting an impression that you’re someone worth listening to. It’s regarded as the most important element of rhetoric.

What is Ethos?

Because it’s considered the most valuable pillar, let’s focus on Ethos for now. Andrew Dlugan of Six Minutes shares that audiences base a presenter’s trustworthiness based on their ethos.

The way they carry themselves and speak in front of a crowd reflects their credibility and truthfulness. While a person’s ethos can’t be measured, it’s very effective in terms of persuading people to listen to your points.

Just think of it as how much your audience feels that they should listen to you. This affects how much patience they’ll have as listeners, and how well you can get your message across.

However, don’t let people’s first impressions dictate your performance. Increase your perceived credibility by focusing on ethos’ important aspects.

Enhance Your Ethos

Stay Composed

Audiences are less engaged if you’re nervous or anxious.

People can easily detect obvious symptoms of anxiety such as stammering, unnecessary interjections (uh’s, um’s and er’s), fidgeting, shaking, and shuffling speech notes.

These signs of an unprepared or unqualified speaker distract your audience.

Sociability/Extroversion

Extroverted speakers—friendly, likable, and outgoing—hold more credibility. They command more attention and influence while listeners tend to be more skeptical of people who seem timid, less animated, and less talkative.

Engage your audience by looking warm, friendly, and approachable when taking the stage.

Look Good

The status generalization theory, which has been confirmed by scholars such as Linda Jackson, John Hunter, and Carole Hodge, suggests that more attractive people possess a higher level of competence.

This doesn’t mean that only beautiful people are believable. Anyone can be physically attractive, given the right strategy.

Improve your personal appearance with appropriate grooming, proper hygiene, and flattering wardrobe choices.

The Ancient Greeks didn’t have access to the important visual aids that we have now, but they honed their public speaking skills to freely express themselves and properly govern their city-states and colonies.

Build on their knowledge to get presentation ideas and improve general communication skills.

SlideGenius Blog Module One

Download free PowerPoint templates now.

Get professionally designed PowerPoint slides weekly.

Sign Up Now

References:

Avoid These Filler Words When Writing for Your Presentation.” SlideGenius, Inc. July 02, 2015. 
Jackson, Linda A., John E. Hunter, and Carole N. Hodge. “Physical Attractiveness and Intellectual Competence: A Meta-Analytic Review.”Social Psychology Quarterly 58, no. 2 (June 1995): 108-22.
Rapp, Christof. “Aristotle’s Rhetoric.” Stanford University. May 02, 2002. Accessed May 8, 2015.
What Is Ethos and Why Is It Critical for Speakers?Six Minutes. Accessed May 8, 2015
Presentation Ideas from Ancient Greece: Pitching With Pathos.” SlideGenius, Inc. September 4, 2015.