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Perfect Presentation Myths and Formulas, Debunked

In trying to perfect their speech, people apply what seem to be tried and tested methods. However, these methods can sometimes do more harm than good. One size doesn’t always fit all, and with changing times, conventional knowledge is also bound for an update.

Not even experts agree on the shoulds and shouldn’ts of public speaking and slide design. But we’ve decided to compile their common observations and debunk a few presentation myths.

On Repeating Your Points

One of the most discredited old adages is, “Tell ‘em what you’re going to say, say it, and then tell ‘em what you said.” However, a modern audience relates better to a message if it’s introduced early on, with a powerful introduction. On top of people’s shortened attention span, nobody likes being hammered with the same idea over and over again.

People’s attentions are at their peak during the first and last parts of a speech, so repeating a key point somewhere in the middle won’t make as much of an impact. State your intentions once in the beginning, and reiterate it only towards your conclusion.

PowerPoint: To Use or Not to Use?

There are already enough myths about how to use PowerPoint. Before even crafting their slide deck, presenters mull over the decision of whether or not to use PowerPoint at all. There are those who argue that having a PowerPoint distracts the audience from giving the speaker their full attention. But studies show that a visual approach increases communication effectiveness and speaker confidence.

This makes PowerPoint important in helping both speakers and their listeners keep track of your train of thought. If you don’t have enough time to devote on your visuals, consult with PowerPoint design service professionals. This will boost your chances of creating an impact.

Content vs. Delivery

One of the more difficult decisions is choosing between form and content. Depending on who you subscribe to, a flashy performance is enough to count as a good presentation. People often believe that because there is public speaking involved, all you have to focus on is how well you can entertain your audience. On the other end of the spectrum, there are others who side with the idea that what you say is all that matters.

In some respect, both ideas are misguided. A good presentation is defined by a balance between both content and delivery.

While relying on delivery defeats the purpose of having a refined message, depending on your content without thinking about how to deliver it will only bore your audience. Allot time to each aspect of your speech. Organize your content well, but also think about how you can deliver it to respond to your audience’s interests.

Conclusion

There are many ways to execute a presentation. There is no one set way to do it, but people often fall into the trap of assuming a formula to a good performance. Debunking some of these myths is actually one step to crafting better output.

Impress your audience without relying too much on outdated formulas. Reiterate your points as many times as needed without being too repetitive. Use PowerPoint properly, and treat it as a helpful ally, not as an adversary to resist. Finally, pay attention to both form and content and keep a reasonable balance of both.

Leave those long-standing presentation myths behind and embrace creativity and innovation.

References

Watson, Leon. “Humans Have Shorter Attention Span than Goldfish, Thanks to Smartphones.” The Telegraph. Accessed October 5, 2015. www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/11607315/Humans-have-shorter-attention-span-than-goldfish-thanks-to-smartphones.html
“Visual Aids.” University of Alabama. Accessed October 5, 2015. www.uab.edu/uasomume/fd2/visuals/page2.htm

Featured Image: “Mosaico Trabajos Hércules” by Luis García on flickr.com

Presentational Time Management: Plan Effective Presentations

Time is a valuable but scarce resource, with the art of time management being one of the hardest to master. However, successfully incorporating time management in one’s work is very rewarding. Learning how to use time management in planning presentations can ensure desired results.

With technological advancement coming in left and right, people are becoming more and more used to the fast transfer of information. Research shows that the average human attention span has been recorded to have fallen from twelve to eight seconds in the past fifteen years. To get the meat of the point across in the simplest and quickest way possible, a presentation must be well-organized. The only way to do that is through intensive planning.

Manage your time with the following tips:

1. Focus on Developing Your Ideas

How should you angle your presentation? What are the interests of your audience? The bulk of your planning should go to figuring out what you want to say and how you’re going to say it. According to leadership coach Jeff Boss, having a set objective helps you track your progress, and also lessens the distraction of side ideas that may be irrelevant to your main point.

Key in on main ideas to avoid rambling towards the middle of your pitch. Stay anchored on the topic with organized key points.

2. Consider Your Visuals

Once you have your content in place, it’s time to figure out the visual aspect of your presentation. The thing is, fitting your material into the appropriate visual tools can be time-consuming. In this aspect, seeking the assistance of specialists saves up time and guarantees harmonious content and design for a more effective pitch.

If you want to try it out on your own, starting out with a basic deck can still be engaging. Just develop your slides with the right color combination and arresting visuals instead of wordy paragraphs to catch the audience’s attention.

3. Prepare Back-Up

Of course, all necessary precautions must be made. Even the most seasoned speakers come across hurdles during the actual presentation, and these are the scenarios you have to be ready for. Spend the remaining time before your presentation practicing your delivery, double-checking content, and drafting backup plans for anything you missed during your initial preparation.

You won’t be able to catch all the blind spots in your pitch, but you’ll be able to weed out most of them through meticulous planning. Also take note of past mistakes that you can work on, or get audience feedback during your Q&A.

It’s Your Time to Shine

Time management in preparation is often a task in itself. Knowing what you want to get across allows you to decide which parts of your presentation you have to focus on developing.

In order to save up time, outline your ideas well, don’t hesitate to ask for help, and be ready for the unexpected.

 

References

Boss, Jeff. “3 Strategies to Maximize Your Time.” Entrepreneur. February 20, 2015. Accessed October 1, 2015. www.entrepreneur.com
Watson, Leon. “Humans Have Shorter Attention Span than Goldfish, Thanks to Smartphones.” The Telegraph. May 15, 2015. Accessed October 1, 2015. www.telegraph.co.uk

 

Featured Image: Time is ticking out” by mao_lini from flickr.com