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Presentation Skill: Improving Your Authentic Speaking Style

There’s no fixed formula when it comes to public speaking.

Presenters are concerned with following a set of rules and are often focused on what you should and should not do.

However, applying a few standards isn’t bad. In fact, learning and mastering the basics will help them acquire presentation skills to make them successful.

As a presenter, you need to understand that your presentation’s success isn’t determined just by how engaging you are, how powerful you speak, how you deliver your words, or how effective you project your voice in front of your audience.

It’s about being authentic when you present.

Show them that you’re trustworthy and sincere to bring them to a real human connection.

Being Perfect vs. Being Genuine

Every public speaker wants to be excellent in their field. Even professionals still strive to be the best presenters.

However, you can’t achieve this without knowing how to connect with your audience.

Doing it lets you draw them to your message. Emotions help us recall how a certain story can make us feel.

Since practice precedes perfection, consider these ways to improve your presentation skill in speaking:

Embrace Your Natural Qualities

List your strengths and potentials, then apply it to your performance. Avoid imitating someone else’s speech and delivery style. Doing so allows your audience to see that you’re similar to them.

Be Unique

Never compare yourself with others’ behavior or capabilities. Know how to value your own abilities to let your audience see that like them, you’re unique.

Let Your Style Flow Naturally

If you’re an introvert, don’t force yourself to act as an extrovert. Don’t let this instance manipulate you and push you to become someone you’re not.

Everyone has unique personalities and has different ways of expressing themselves, especially when it comes to presenting in public.

Speak Naturally

Think about how you will deliver your message to your audience.

Act as if you’re communicating with your friends or colleagues. Doing so helps you pitch more authentic and conversational.

Don’t Try To Be Perfect

Aiming for perfection can sometimes disappoint you. Perfectionism differs from excellence.

While the former can’t accept rejections or any failures, the latter strives to make their joy complete by doing their best.

Tell the truth and don’t be too focused on speaking perfectly. After all, not all effective presentations are perfect. They become successful once you engage your audience passionately and genuinely.

Conclusion

Your presentation’s success can be determined by how you authentically engage your audience.

Deliver your message naturally to make it sound conversational.

Understanding these ways will lessen the negative thoughts which convince you to become someone you’re not.

Start using your own authentic style of speaking and see how you become a successful presenter.

To craft an effective and powerful presentation, SlideGenius can help you out!

References

http://www.gingerpublicspeaking.com/public-speaking-art-form
http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/Develop_your_Authentic_Public_Speaking_Style_Seven_Tips.html

PowerPoint Presentations: Do You Really Need Them?

PowerPoint is the undisputed king of all presentation software. With about 500 million users relying on it to create their visual aids, no one can deny its dominance.

Aside from the contemporary presentation designs it offers, we need them to enhance and support our core message.

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We still get questions from some presenters, wondering if they even need slides to go with their speech. To answer this question, let’s first examine how they benefit your presentations:

All-Around Usefulness

What helps PowerPoint immensely is its inclusion in Microsoft Office.

Its similarity to Word (and even freeware Word variations) means that it’s convenient for all types of users and purposes.

This software has basic photo-manipulating capabilities, whereas animations and image placement are easy to do. It’s also made it easier to edit and layout text. With these advanced features, sharing visual information has become easier to plan for and execute.

According to tech guru, Aaron Parson, most presentations will benefit from PowerPoint’s versatility. It can be used for pitching, selling, teaching, and even entertaining. It lets you draw diagrams, assorted graphs, charts, and even basic illustrations, with possibilities for online sharing.

Notable Exceptions

While PowerPoint exhibits all-around usefulness, there are still some situations where you shouldn’t depend on it.

Motivational speeches often don’t need accompanying visual aids. They require greater focus on the presenter’s body language and facial expressions – things that projected slides could distract from.

Speeches that focus on a speaker’s personal experiences generally don’t need an accompanying deck. Better described as performances, presenters serve as their own visual aids through non-verbal communication.

PowerPoint by Default

Determine from the beginning if your presentation needs an accompanying deck. This allows you to better divide and plan your time and resources for maximizing your speech.

Knowing that you almost always need a deck to back you up, it pays to know what makes for effective PowerPoint presentations.

Conclusion

PowerPoint remains a vital tool to complement your message visually because of its convenience and ease of use.

Knowing from the beginning whether you need to include a PowerPoint deck will help you plan for it, or prepare to present without it.

Certain types of presentations lend themselves to PowerPoint decks. If you’ll be giving a speech based on personal experience, without needing to explain complicated facts, people will focus more on your facial expressions and body language. In the instances you do need to use slides, learn the various factors that determine its success or failure.

Looking for something to inspire you on PowerPoint presentations? Check out our portfolio, or contact us now for a free quote.

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References

3 Reasons Why PowerPoint Presentations Are Still Effective.SlideGenius, Inc. August 6, 2015.
Parson, Aaron. “5 Uses of PowerPoint.” EHow. June 2, 2015. Accessed July 6, 2015.
PowerPoint Usage and Marketshare.” Infogr.am. Accessed July 6, 2015.

How to Prepare PowerPoint Presentations in Half the Time

We’re living in a fast-paced world where we constantly have to juggle several different things at a given time. This seems especially true in the world of business. During our working hours, we always have a long list of tasks to accomplish by the end of the day. Most of the time, those tasks include preparing PowerPoint presentations.

We all know how important it is to design engaging and effective PowerPoint decks. The problem is that we often don’t get enough time to do that. With a fast-approaching deadline, it’s hard to build slides that are sure to be memorable. Most of the time, we’d rather settle for easy solutions like PowerPoint templates. If you’re in a similar situation, here are some tips and tricks to create PowerPoint decks in half the time:

1. Have a battle plan

As history tells us, never go to battle without a full proof plan. In the same way, you will need to create a plan before starting work on your PowerPoint presentation. Consult your schedule and see how much time you have to prepare your presentation. Work on your free time and split your tasks accordingly. For example, if you have three days to finish a pitch deck, you can designate three hours each day to focus on your task.

2. Re-purpose the resources you have

Ask yourself if you really need to work from scratch. Most of the time, you probably have a few documents and some old presentations that cover the topic you need to present about. Be resourceful and use everything you have to make things easier for you. You can re-purpose slides you made in the past and use them as a template. Find something that you’ve had a lot more time to work on, then simply edit to match the topic you’re delivering.

3. Perfection is an aimless quest

Don’t pursue perfection until you’re done with the entire PowerPoint deck. When you have little time to accomplish a task, there’s not much room for ironing out details. It’s more important that you have a complete presentation to show, than a perfect but half-done slideshow.

4. Learn to prioritize

Accomplish your PowerPoint deck by tackling one task at a time. Prioritize your to-do list: start with creating the structure of your presentation, figuring out the content, until finally working on your design. Make sure you have a solid foundation before you build anything else.

5. Ask for feedback

You might be the presenter at the end of the day, but no project can be done alone. Mine your wealth of relevant connections, or the other departments and teams in your company for help and feedback on the deck you’re working on. Knowing what to improve on at once is a good way to cut back on the extra time.

It might be a stressful few days, but you can finish a PowerPoint  deck in half the time if you learn to prioritize and plan accordingly. Organize your workload and make sure you follow a specific process.

 

Featured Image: mao_lini via Flickr

4 Steps to Mastering the Elevator Pitch

The idea behind the elevator pitch is said to have originated from businessmen who needed to pitch proposals to prospective investors as quickly as possible.

Incidentally, it also gives the investors a chance to turn down ideas promptly (especially those that are not that good or do not match their investment profile). The fast paced delivery indeed works well for both parties. If you have a plan to acquire funds from a potential investor, mastering the art of the elevator pitch will definitely work to your advantage.

In his Forbes article, Rick Frasch already provides the eight mistakes entrepreneurs need to avoid in their elevator pitch. Now here are four tips from us on how to get it right:

1. Establish your story

Set aside a time to write your story, preferably without interruptions. When you write, visualize that you’re telling the story to a family member or a close friend. This can help you put your mind at ease.

Write anything relevant to your ideas. Don’t forget to silence your inner critic and not edit just yet.

2. Let it sit for some time

Once you are done with your pitch’s rough draft, go and do something else. You may want to go for a walk or drive around the neighborhood.

The idea is to let the story sit for a day or two so you’ll have a fresh perspective when you read and work on it again.

3. Polish your hook

Start editing down your story to its barest essential. Your goal is to craft a killer 60-second elevator pitch. While you’re at it, think about adding a good hook.

The hook is the part that will let you jumpstart your pitch. It should be about 15 seconds long. This is important because those 15 seconds are your only chance to convince your prospect to listen to the rest of the pitch.

Add an element of curiosity to your hook. You may choose to start with engaging phrases such as “What if…” or “Picture this…” At this point, you should have you prospect intrigued.

4. Explain what’s in it for them

Now that you have the attention of your prospective investor, it’s time to key in on engaging the audience. Persuade your listeners into actually investing by explaining how your idea can bring in profits. P

Prove that there’s a market for it and that your solution is something that customers would be willing to pay for. Close your pitch by creating a sense of urgency.

Whether your product is only available during the Holidays or you’re racing with a rival in filing a patent, use urgency to motivate, not force people to invest.

The Final Word

Spend enough time practicing your pitch. Time yourself as your practice. Make sure that you can say whatever you need to say within the 60-second limit.

The key to a great elevator pitch is not just to pitch in a rapid-fire approach. Even if you can’t deliver a mile a minute speech, you would still be able to impress your audience.

And most importantly, memorize your lines. If you’re using a PowerPoint presentation, do not read from the slides. Investors can sense if you’re not ready and just winging it, so practice extensively to perfect that pitch.

 

Reference

Frasch, Rick. “8 Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make When Pitching To Investors.” Forbes. Accessed June 10, 2014.

Corporate Events and PowerPoint Presentations

Businesses organize corporate events for different reasons. Usually, it’s due to a special occasion, like a holiday, or a year-end celebration. But other times, the purpose is much more specific.

And in all those gatherings, it’s rare that you won’t find a PowerPoint being set up. An engaging visual presentation is necessary for engaging the audience’s gaze and drawing their attention to the event itself. Corporate events are also a way of drawing in more customers, while keeping in touch with loyal ones. Having an interesting and attractive deck to match the level of your event can greatly help with that.

Here are some of the most common corporate events that businesses usually organize and where slide presentations won’t look out of place:

Product Launches

As shown in AdAge’s EJ Schultz’s article on successful product launches, a well-organized launch can create a lot of buzz for a new product and give it a sales boost. To generate enough attention, you may set the occasion as either a trade event or media event.

Trade events would have well-known people in the industry as guests. These are market analysts, editors of trade publications and other prominent figures.

If you choose to make it a media event, then you may want to invite dozens of reporters. Regardless of how you plan the event, make sure that your PowerPoint presentation would leave a great impression.

Customer Appreciation Events

According to marketing strategist, Nancy Wagner, this type of event is aimed to reinforce customer trust and loyalty, leading to a long-term, sustained growth for your business.

As the host, this is your chance to communicate to your customers that they mean more to your company than simply sales numbers. A customer appreciation event is where you can express your gratitude to everyone at one time.

Apart from the usual team-building type of activities, showing a “thank you PowerPoint presentation” that serves as a tribute to your customer base is a good way to make the most of the event.

Conferences and Seminars

Joining conferences or seminars means you would be facing a larger crowd. To avoid that thing called death by PowerPoint, make sure to prepare your slides properly.

Make your presentation interesting for your audience. Basically, try to use less text and a bit more images. And most importantly, don’t drag the presentation too long. If you play your cards right, you might even get a referral or two to do business with.

Ultimately, organizing a corporate event and preparing a PowerPoint presentation have one thing in common. Both should be well-planned as they would reflect your business’ professional image.

 

References

Schultz, EJ. “14 Product Launches That Rocked And Why.” Advertising Age News. Accessed May 21, 2014.
Wagner, Nancy. “How to Plan a Customer Appreciation Day.” EHow. Accessed May 21, 2014.