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Psychological Biases: The Bandwagon in Sales Presentations

We’ve already discussed the psychology of decision-making and examined the use of anchoring in sales presentations. In this post, we’ll focus on another psychological bias: the bandwagon effect.

If you have high regard for group thinking and conformity, then this brain quirk can help you sell more. Let’s see what makes this technique suitable for your pitch.

Defining the ‘Bandwagon’ Effect

Coined after the political term “jump on the bandwagon”, this refers to voters’ tendencies of choosing the most successful campaign to support. The bandwagon effect implies hopping onto a trend, joining a movement, or supporting something that everyone else has been doing.

According to Hubspot’s Emma Snider, social proof can be a powerfully persuasive tool. People have this natural tendency of following another’s actions regardless of their own beliefs. The likelihood of this increases when more of them begin adopting the idea or behavior.

Why Use This in Presentations?

All marketers aim to increase a product or service’s popularity, so they create marketing efforts for higher product demand at a faster rate. Using the bandwagon effect in presentations gives you the advantage in persuading your audience. It relates to your prospects’ emotions, which in turn increases the popularity of your product and consumer demand.

The idea of popularity introduces your product into the market, which makes people jump onto the bandwagon. It appeals to the human emotions of wanting what others already have, and of fitting in with the majority. Customers will take the word of their fellow consumers for it because they’re sure they aren’t out to sell them anything. Making it appear that there are more users tuned into your product or service reassures them of your quality.

How to Make The Bandwagon Effect Your Ally

You have to adapt to your audience’s needs like how chameleons adapt to their environment. With a handful of product innovations coming, the consumer society is now yearning for transparency, info-bites, and greater customer experiences with the products they use. Cater to these needs by using the bandwagon as social proof.

Introduce your product in a way that strengthens your credibility. Include testimonials from your valued clients or present a statistic that shows how many people have been using your offering.

Giving them quantifiable proof of your product standing and market value is the best way to turn them into buying customers.

Are You In or Out?

The bandwagon effect is one useful psychological bias that relates to consumer decision making.

Use the power of this phenomenon in influencing purchases and experience a breakthrough success in your business.

References

Kay, Magda. “How to Use Cognitive Biases for Effective Marketing.Psychology for Marketers. n.d. Accessed August 3, 2015.
Snider, Emma. “How to Use Psychological Biases to Sell Better and Faster.” Hubspot Blogs. January 31, 2015. Accessed August 3, 2015.

Featured Image: “Dueling Bandwagons” by Eric Kilby from flickr.com

5 Effective PowerPoint Delivery Methods for Presentations

Most presenters barely notice what particular presentation technique they’re using whenever they take the stage. This is because they’re not fully aware of how it could influence both their performance and their audience. When you prepare your pitch, decide whether you want to use a fast-paced approach or spend more time discussing your main points.

This provides a guide for organizing your ideas and translating them to your slides. While there are many presentation styles which work best for different speakers, there are also PowerPoint delivery methods that they can use to optimize their slides. Here, we’ll define some techniques introduced and practiced by popular presenters:

The Takahashi Method

Named after Masoyoshi Takahashi, this approach relies heavily on keywords with one main point placed per slide. Instead of using images, bullet points, or other visual elements, words are used as visuals.

This method requires many slides (depending on your content) since each one only has a few words displayed. Applying this method encourages your audience to pay more attention to you as the speaker, since you are the one explaining what’s projected on-screen.

The Kawasaki Method

Named after Guy Kawasaki, and also known as the “10-20-30” method (10 slides, 20 minutes, 30 font size). This approach is commonly used for investor presentations where a short yet impactful approach is needed to stand out among the competition.

This allows you to give brief but understandable messages within a limited time.

The Lessig Method

Used by Lawrence Lessig, this style has a limited use of images, relying more on words, similar to Takahashi’s style. Concise words or statements are used and slides are changed around, depending on the words the presenter delivers.

This focuses more on telling a story and injects a more synchronized approach, generating interest and allowing audiences to be more attentive.

The Godin Method

Seth Godin’s technique is a combination of texts and images, where the speaker uses striking photos to let the pictures speak for themselves. This lets him explain what he’s trying to point out and reiterate his main ideas through images.

This approach differs from Takahashi and Lessig’s, since they’re more focused on conveying their message primarily with text. The advantage? Using this appeals to the audience’s passions and establishes an emotional connection with them.

The Steve Jobs Method

Steve Jobs’ style concentrates on large images and texts, focusing on one statement per slide and combining it with visual elements. This gives the presenter the chance to offer demonstrations and allow a more interactive way of communicating his ideas.

This method enables your performance to be more interesting and powerful, allowing the audience to get the message easily for maximum impact.

In Conclusion

Let your objectives dictate your manner of presenting. Situations requiring brevity and conciseness might require the Kawasaki Method. The Takahashi and Lessig methods favor a confident presenting style to better focus attention on the speaker. The Godin and Jobs methods use strong images that create strong emotional connections.

The key is to understand and identify your objective as a presenter. Once you know this, you can then decide on what presentation style to use. Choose which one of the delivery methods suits you the most. Let SlideGenius experts help you out!

3 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Images for Your Slide Design

A picture can tell a complete story without a single glyph of text. When making your slide design, push your deck to the next level with smart and appropriate use of stock photos. Use images for PowerPoint the right way to enhance your deck.

It might seem overwhelming at first to fit images into a visually appealing deck, but don’t worry. Nobody is expected to rely on pictures alone to get their message across. What we’ll be talking about is how to find the most suitable ones that best communicate your ideas to achieve your goals.

1. Search for the Good Ones

The first step is to find visually striking images, ones which are clearly for commercial use. Google is likely your first choice when looking for appropriate photos. More often than not, however, you’ll end up with common and visually unappealing results.

A good place to start when looking for images is Flickr, which has a practical search function. Flickr allows you to limit the results to ones you can edit or use for commercial purposes. One thing, though: make sure to give credit to the artists in your own work.

If you’re willing to pay a premium for amazing photos, use Shutterstock, or DepositPhotos for royalty-free images. This gives your PowerPoint an extra dose of uniqueness. With your search term, use specific keywords instead of broad ones. This will discount search results that are too common.

To circumvent problems with some monitors or projectors, avoid photos with intricate details and fine dots or lines.

2. Decide Which Images Fit

Design your slides in a way that best fits your brand. Your image choice is most effective when it conveys or complements your message without straying from your brand persona – all while still maintaining unity with each other.

Try to choose images with a color temperature or palette that fits your own company colors. They should also meld with your brand identity. For example, you don’t want to use images of young people on skateboards when you’re presenting about elderly care. Putting thought into your selection and layout saves you from presenting to a confused audience.

Your images should only be there to help your presentation. If they hinder, take them out for a simpler layout.

3. Edit Them to Your Needs

The supremacy of Adobe programs is undeniable, as evidenced by Photoshop being an industry standard in photo-manipulation and graphic design. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that it’s only for experts in graphic design.

You can easily use Photoshop to crop your images to the proper size, or even change the brightness levels and color temperature. If you find striking images that have unnecessary elements or don’t have the right color, use Photoshop to correct and adjust them to your needs.

In Conclusion

The right choice of stock images can make your PowerPoint layout an aesthetic advantage. Getting the right ones with the proper copyright permissions will be your first priority. Ensure that you won’t be infringing on anyone’s rights for your own purposes.

Your next priority is making sure your choices are appropriate for your branding and your message individually, while ensuring that your branding and message complement each other. Every design decision should enhance your presentation, not distract from it.

If you must, use Photoshop to make edits such as cropping, brightening, or other forms of tweaking. Need more help with designing your slides? Our Presentation Experts are ready to take your call and provide a free quote!

References

Apply the Color Balance Adjustment.” Photoshop Help. Accessed September 14, 2015.
Images for PowerPoint: 5 Practical Tips to Improve Your Design.” SlideGenius, Inc. August 26, 2014. Accessed September 14, 2015.
Levels Adjustment.” Photoshop Help. Accessed September 14, 2015.

3 Ways to Combat Noise in Your Business Presentation

Have you wondered why it seems difficult to deliver your message clearly and effectively? Things such as noise can negatively affect your business presentation, making it impossible to get your message across since they can’t easily understand what you’re trying to say. According to eHow contributor, Damon Verial, noise also acts as a communication barrier that stumps your overall performance.

Learn how noise disrupts your success as a presenter, preventing you from conveying your point clearly.

Two Types of Noise

Your job doesn’t end after preparing your PowerPoint slides and crafting your pitch. In fact, your actual performance begins when you might experience unexpected slip-ups. One of those is noise. There are two kinds of noise which presenters often face:

1. External Noise

This includes distracting sounds such as:

  • audiences laughing
  • background noise
  • any accidents that affect your overall performance

This type of noise is sometimes unavoidable, since these are outside factors beyond your control.

2. Internal Noise

This kind of noise involves your own thinking and that of your audience’s. It includes being uncomfortable about your topic, worrying about how your audiences perceive you, or failing to recognize their needs. While these can be controlled with careful practice before you present, mistakes are still possible even with the strictest rehearsal.

There are three ways to combat this kind of noise and effectively communicate with your audience:

a. Determine the Cause of Noise

Internal and even external noise can be controlled to a certain extent. Identify its source to find an immediate solution. If the problem is in the venue, you can adjust by politely telling the organizer to resolve the particular distraction.

For example, if it’s technical problems or any physical noise, ask them to fix it so you can proceed with your message. You might not be able to remove it entirely, but you can prevent further distractions that may affect your performance.

b. Enhance Your Listening Skills

As a speaker, you need to understand that speaking isn’t your only job. Since your objective is to make your audience understand your message, listening is part of the process. Keep them engaged by asking them to participate and giving them a chance to speak up.

It also prevents any misunderstandings, which are also considered as noise.

c. Use Repetition for Emphasis

This reminds your audience of significant ideas from your pitch, especially if they were unable to understand your point. Reiterating your thoughts enables you to highlight what you want them to learn and to focus on providing them with memorable information.

This shows that you respect the time they spent listening to your pitch, and you want to give them something in return.

Conclusion

Noise prevents you from giving your message clearly. While it’s true that it can be controlled to a certain extent, learning how to fight this distraction will help you communicate effectively with your audience. By identifying the source of noise, you’ll be able to solve that particular problem and lessen any negative effects.

Listening also helps you to easily understand your audience and avoid being misunderstood. Repeating your points allows you to emphasize what you want them to learn. It also shows that you care about your audience.

Applying these will give you a more effective and successful presentation. To help you with your PowerPoint presentation needs, let SlideGenius experts assist you!

 

References

Check Out The Room Before You Speak.” Total Communicator. Accessed September 11, 2015.
Overcome Anxiety Like Presentation Expert Warren Buffett.” SlideGenius, Inc. May 04, 2015. Accessed September 11, 2015.
Verial, Damon. “How to Overcome Noise Barriers in Communication.” eHow. Accessed September 11, 2015.

 

5 Warm-Up Exercises for Professional Presentations

Utilizing your whole body is a must when presenting in front of a crowd.

Non-verbal communication makes a difference in getting your message across effectively and concisely. What you do physically should match what you’re saying, as any inconsistency between visual and verbal delivery could make your audience doubt the authenticity of your claims.

After all, audiences don’t only have ears – they have eyes, too.

To make the most out of your body language skills and look more professional, do some warm-up exercises before you step up and deliver your presentation.

1. Take Deep Breaths

As with any warm-up, you have to do some breathing exercises first. This calms you down and prepares your body for the stretching you’ll be doing.

To get yourself at peak alertness, we recommend the Bellows Method. This entails breathing rapidly through your nose, keeping your mouth closed but relaxed. Doing this also invigorates and primes you for that important pitch ahead.

2. Relax Your Neck

While standing up straight, rest your head forward, and slowly rotate your neck around your shoulders. Do this both clockwise and counter-clockwise. Make sure not to overdo it. Rotate as gently and as naturally as possible.

This frees your neck from tension and relaxes you.

3. Wiggle Your Hands

Hand gestures are the easiest tools for conveying your message in a simple and effective manner. Wiggling your hands not only improves blood flow, but also loosens your muscles.

Properly using hand gestures can have a dramatic effect on how your audience listens. Make sure to prepare your hands well to get the best out of them.

4. Stretch Your Legs

Moving around is as important as waving your hands around, especially with a large crowd. Therefore, ensure that your legs are in top shape before you step up. You can achieve this by doing your basic lunges, alternating each leg.

To avoid missteps or trips, stretch your legs before your pitch.

5. Exercise Your Face Muscles

Don’t worry. Your parents were wrong when they said your face would stay that way forever. Your facial expressions are important for emphasizing emotions that you wish to invoke in your audience. Contort your face in every possible way to stretch your facial muscles.

Doing this in front of a mirror also lets you be more comfortable with your appearance, and allows you to pick out the expressions and angles that show you at your best.

Summing It Up

Public speaking isn’t all about using only your mouth. Your body language matters, too. Enhance and complement your pitch by preparing yourself physically and mentally. To avoid cramping up and embarrassing yourself, don’t forget to do preparatory exercises. Make sure to stretch and loosen up your whole body.

Start with some deep breathing to calm yourself down. Breathing exercises prepare you not only for more stretching, but for the coming presentation. Then, work on releasing the tension in every part of your body, starting with your neck. Shake your hands to loosen them up, then do some quick lunges to stretches your legs.

Finally, don’t forget that you face has muscles, too, so make all sorts of expressions to warm them up. Warming up your body helps you warm up your mind, making you more alert and efficient during your presentation.

Need a well-designed PowerPoint deck for more professional presentations? Contact SlideGenius for a free consultation.

References

Breathing: Three Exercises.Weil. Accessed September 10, 2015.
How to Use Body Language Like a Presentation Expert.” SlideGenius, Inc. June 02, 2015. Accessed September 10, 2015.
Presentation Warm-up Exercises.” Syntaxis. Accessed September 10, 2015.

3 Reasons to Single-Task: Learning the Art of Mindfulness

While multitasking helps your productivity in some aspects, it does more harm than good for presenters. Though always being prepared for the unexpected lets you stay on top of any situation, being mindful of your audience makes you an effective presenter, increasing your chances of successfully engaging them and delivering your message.

Public speaking trainer, Gary Genard, presents mindfulness as a key skill in crafting an effective pitch. Mindfulness means paying attention to what happens in the present. For Genard, this skill lets you achieve total audience engagement in your professional presentations, letting you focus on connecting with them and meeting their needs.

Here’s our own take on the benefits of single-tasking:

1. Single-Tasking Lets You Focus

Some people believe that single-tasking isn’t as productive. However, focusing on one thing at a time allows the speaker to concentrate on a particular task at hand, improving your stage presence and connecting you with your audience. Aside from your interactive PowerPoint slides or speech, single-tasking enables you to speak to the crowd without being distracted.

While distractions are unavoidable, remaining focused strengthens your message’s impact. It also boosts your confidence and reduces your anxiety, knowing that you’re in full control of the situation. Consider these ways to help you attain mindfulness and become a more effective presenter:

2. Single-Tasking Keeps You Mentally Present

Multitasking won’t be helpful especially when you begin worrying about what your audience thinks of you on the stage. Allowing yourself to be distracted might lose your audience’s attention and prevent them from getting interested.

Since your audience is your main priority, your mind should be set on achieving their needs and wants to show that you care about them. Being mentally present also allows you to convey your topic’s most significant points as you involve your audience in your presentation.

3. Single-Tasking Helps You Develop a Single Objective

Knowing your main purpose lets you limit your ideas to an amount you can control, and lets you organize your thoughts for crafting your pitch. Once you have your topic, list down all the information you’ll include and come up with a simple objective for your pitch.

Do you want them to take action? Do you want them to form small groups to discuss your topic with each other? This lets you fulfill your main goal, preventing clients from being overwhelmed with complex details.

Conclusion

Learning this discipline helps you to set your mind on what you’re presently doing. Instead of overthinking things that might negatively affect your performance, focus on the most important element of your presentation – your audience.

Focus on one thing at a time without trying to juggle multiple tasks at once. Being focused means you’re more directly engaged with your audience, not distracted by a million little things you feel like you have to address all at the same time. Single-tasking also means you can condense your presentation with a single objective in mind. With less to worry about, you can direct all your resources to achieving that one goal in the most effective way.

Stay focused and see how your audience does the same thing for you.

To help you with your presentation needs, let SlideGenius experts assist you!

 

References

Genard, Gary. “Mindfulness: A Key Skill in Effective Public Speaking.The Genard Method. October 13, 2013. Accessed August 19, 2015.
Presentation Tips: 5 Quick Steps to Audience Engagement.” SlideGenius, Inc. December 16, 2014. Accessed August 19, 2015.

 

Featured Image: “Intel Engineers Meditating” by Intel Free Press on flickr.com

Twitter: Lessons from Social Media

If there is one social media platform that has changed the way we connect with the world around us, in only 140 characters or less, only one network comes to mind.

Twitter was founded all the way back in 2006, when social media started to take the tech world by storm. Like many young startups, Twitter’s popularity didn’t start growing until a few years later. It’s now one of the ten most visited sites on the Internet.

With over 500 million users and with over 400 million tweets sent daily, the platform has been noted as the “SMS” of the Internet. The application is simply designed to engage and connect users with hashtags and trending topics that spike during notable world events such as The Olympics
twitter follow me logo

Social media strategists now use Twitter to reinforce their client’s (or own brands) marketing efforts. They take advantage of the platform to boost their presence on the Internet. To successfully use Twitter there are a few rules and regulations one must follow. Some of these guidelines are also applicable in creating an effective PowerPoint presentation

If you pay attention, there are a few similarities between creating a well-rounded “tweet” and a successful presentation.

Step 1: Simplify Your Thoughts

A tweet can only be 140 characters or less. This means your information has to be condensed and minimized to fit this requirement. A great presentation is one that is simplified. It only has minimal bullets, text, images, and animation.

Overloading your audience with too much of these will distract them from understanding your content. Before you go ahead and add extreme fonts or a fancy template, think about how less is more and how this can positively affect your presentation.

Step 2: Get With What’s Trending

Twitter is known for staying on top of prominent world topics with phrases or words that are “trending” or being tweeted by many users. Try to apply this concept to your presentation ideas. Utilize culturally in tune twitter trendsgraphics, stories or videos within your presentation to better speak to your audience. Stay on top of the news and understand what’s going on in your audience’s culture. What do they know? What do they believe in? Knowing this ahead of time will allow you to connect with your audience at a higher level.

Step 3: Get Your Audience to Follow

Within the Twitter world, your “followers” are the equivalent to your friends on Facebook or connections on LinkedIn. You have to constantly engage and entertain your audience or followers if you want them to keep following. The same can be said for presentations.

You want to be constantly interacting with your audience the entire time. Ask them questions. Pause at the end of presentations to get feedback from them. You have to appeal to your audience over everything, if not you are basically speaking to an empty room.

 

References

“Keeping Your Audience in Mind : The 4 Essential Questions.” SlideGenius, Inc. December 11, 2013. Accessed January 23, 2014.
“Study Shows Simplicity Is Key When Creating a PowerPoint Presentation.” SlideGenius, Inc. July 24, 2013. Accessed January 23, 2014.
Twitter. Accessed January 23, 2014.

Oscar Speech Sounds A Lot Like…..

Cue the famed actresses in overly expensive ball gowns. Cue the undeniably sarcastic and quirky host. Cue the applauses. It’s awards season in Hollywood.

The most prestigious, of the film awards, is of course the much anticipated Oscars. Every year The Academy nominates a few fortunate actors and actresses who are praised for their works in major motion pictures. It is a special award that every actor dreams of receiving. Only a few, however, are lucky enough to actually walk on stage and accept the gold statue themselves. After the nerve-wracking tearing of the envelope the winners are then presented on stage to deliver a speech. This speech defines their Oscar moments even as it is only done in less than two minutes.

So what can we compare an Oscar speech to?

 

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An Elevator Pitch

Short. Simple. Sweet. And most of all, straight to the point. An elevator pitch presents a product or service in as less time as possible – usually under two minutes.

An Oscar speech follows the similar concept. It delivered quickly, with the winner wrapping up his speech of gratitude and thanks in a very small amount of time. There are a few similar adjectives that we can use to compare a successful elevator pitch (which is usually paired with a PowerPoint presentation and a well rounded Oscar speech:

1. Short

An elevator pitch, just like an Oscar speech, should be between 30 seconds to two minutes. You should impose a strict time limit to your pitches. Drawing out your pitch will make your audience become disinterested in your points and, worse, stop paying attention.

As much as possible, get your points across swiftly and avoid using fillers. Condense your content into the simplest form possible within your pitch. Your goal is to allow audience to understand and learn.

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2. Memorable

Like many elevator pitches that investors and or potential clients hear daily, there are dozens of Oscar speeches going on throughout the night of the Academy Awards. A good pitch is one that is unique and becomes memorable over the other various pitches, one that stands out.

If your idea gets lost in a blur with the rest, it wasn’t a very successful one. You always remember the most unique speech of the night when you watch The Academy Awards. The same can be said for the most unique and successful pitch.

 85th Annual Academy Awards - Show

3. Passionate

An effective acceptance speech is one that is delivered with passion and pride. It simply draws you in. You can apply the same principles to an elevator pitch.

While a well-rounded Oscar speech ends with a riveting and memorable closing line, your pitch should end with a passionate power statement. When delivering a pitch, you want to present yourself to your audience as being as credible as possible. You can earn your credibility by pitching with plenty of passion.

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References

Argetsinger, Amy. “Nine Oscar Speeches That Changed the World.” Washington Post. February 22, 2013. Accessed January 20, 2014.
Ums, Likes and You Knows: Avoiding Fillers in Your Presentation.” SlideGenius, Inc. August 21, 2013. Accessed January 20, 2014.

Olympians Can Teach Presenters a Thing or Two

Olympians are no ordinary athletes. They embody the qualities of an essential role model; an individual who represents their country and values in a positive and inspirational light. Not only are these characters unbelievably talented, but they are also a true description of a genuine champion.

With Sochi 2014 quickly approaching, Olympians from all corners of the globe will join together in Russia competing in various winter sports such as skiing, figure skating, snowboarding, and hockey. These athletes have devoted their months, and even years, to rigorous training and practice. Their hard work and dedication will soon pay off as the XXII Olympic Winter Games becomes their time to present.
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Embracing the qualities that are associated with hardworking, well-respected Olympians will allow you to become a more effective presenter in the long run. Whether you’re speaking in front of a board of investors or pitching a sale to potential clients, perseverance and dedication will set you apart from the rest and allow your presentation to become effective and memorable.

There are a few questions to ask yourself before you step out on the ice or snow and present. These are the vital traits and questions Olympians from all backgrounds share in order to become gold medalists. Prior to your next PowerPoint presentation give yourself a few minutes to ask yourself these winning questions.

Have you trained adequately?

Olympians dedicate their entire lives in preparation for the big games. Long hours of training, dieting and exercise become their daily routine. A question to always ask yourself prior to your presentation is: How well prepared are you? Here are a few other guiding questions:

  • Will my audience be able to understand my main points?
  • Is this presentation marketable?
  • Does my pitch flow accordingly with my slides?

Do you have a strong will to win?

Olympians must have a passionate desire to go for the gold and win; take this mentality and apply it to your presentations. Though you may not necessarily, “win”, a gold medal you should have an aspiration to be the best, and be

Though you may not necessarily, “win”, a gold medal you should have an aspiration to be the best, and be your best. Your competition may not be visible at the time, but the audience will surely be comparing your presentation to other’s they’ve witnessed in the past.

Are you willing to accept the challenge?

Just as Olympic medalists overcome challenges during training and during the actual games, be prepared to accept any faults that may arise during your presentation. You might have a difficult question from an audience member or just a hard subject to tackle, in general, but going into the presentation with the mindset that things could, and may, go wrong will allow you to be better prepared.

You might have a difficult question from an audience member or just a hard subject to tackle, in general. But going into the presentation with the mindset that things could, and may, go wrong will allow you to be better prepared.

Are you Inspirational?

We’ve all be inspired by Olympic medalists such as, Gabby Douglas or Apolo Ohno, who’ve fearlessly decorated themselves with gold medals over the past years.

Learn from athletes like these, how can you inspire your audience? What makes your message different? What can you teach your audience? These concepts can push you in the right direction to be memorable, a concept that is crucial in presentation giving.

 

References

Sochi 2014.” Olympic.org. Accessed January 15, 2014.
Why Your Presentation Needs to Be These 3 Words.SlideGenius, Inc. January 5, 2014. Accessed January 15, 2014.

Overcoming a Public Speaking Disaster: A Lesson from Michael Bay

If you have been paying attention to recent pop culture news feeds lately, you may have heard of the phenomenon known as, “The Michael Bay Meltdown.”

During a Samsung CES press event that introduced their new 150-inch model television, the famed director was supposed to describe the product in detail. He started out great. When the teleprompter failed, however, he decided to just give up and casually walk off stage. If you haven’t had a chance to see the viral video, you can check it out here.


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The fear of speaking in front of many people is a fear that most of us share. Whether it’s in front of an audience of one or a few hundred, public speaking can be intensely nerve-wracking. It causes any normal human being to experience moments of sheer panic. The best ways to learn from your presentation mistakes are to actually make them and adhere to these changes later down the road.

Though Michael Bay blamed the teleprompter failing for his public speaking woes, being the presentation specialists that we are, there are various lessons to take away from his blunder that could have, and will happen, to any presenter at any time.

1. Don’t Memorize a Script

Memorizing a script isn’t always good when it comes to public speaking. Talking points are far different than following an actual script or prompt, and focusing on memorizing your verbiage will allow for more opportunities to slip up and freeze. Though you should always be prepared with a script, don’t focus on remembering your content word for word.

Try to focus on describing and elaborating your information with your slides. If you slip up or get lost, your slides are there to highlight your talking points and act as an outline — which is crafted in your storyboard. Improvisation is always a great alternative if you slip up!

The mistake that Michael Bay made was that he was so focused on doing a word for word delivery. Unfortunately, it only caused him to freeze up. If he had just improvised his speech, this would’ve helped him get past the situation.

2. Being Honest Will Help You in The Long Run

Everyone is bound to slip up and make mistakes, especially with public speaking. Apologizing to your audience and throwing in some laughter will show how honest and sincere you are – and this is key to being a credible presenter.

If you can’t remember what to say, or mess up your words, just laugh it off to ease the situation then apologize and move forward. Chances are your audience wouldn’t have even noticed! If you get frustrated, just take a deep breath and continue to speak. Just giving up and walking off stage like Michael Bay did shows a lack of maturity and preparation.

3. Own Up to Your Mistakes

Michael Bay made a monumental mistake by announcing to his audience that the teleprompter failed. Never let your audience become aware of your faults. This not only takes away your credibility but shows them that you are not responsible enough to fix the errors yourself.

If technical difficulties occur with the PowerPoint presentation, a public speaking professional will step up and engage with the audience until the problem is solved.

Conclusion

All in all, there is no way you can prevent a presentation or a public speaking disaster from happening. Things will go wrong, you’ll get nervous and forget your words sometimes. But giving up entirely is never the proper, or professional, solution.

 

Reference

Watch: Director Michael Bay’s CES Fail.” Bloomberg.com. Accessed January 13, 2014.