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Re-Reading Presentations: 3 Ways to Double-Check Content

Nothing starts out perfect. After doing research and organizing your presentation, it’s absolutely necessary to double-check your work. The rough draft we all start with often has plenty of room for improvement. These could come in the areas of grammar, fact-checking, or coherence. Vigilant proofreading is the key to minimizing mistakes.

A common misconception about proofreading is that you have to check for all types of mistakes at once. However, checking for one type of mistake at a time is actually more efficient than trying to correct everything in one go. Here are some tips on how to efficiently double-check content:

1. Read Your Work Backwards

Reading backwards helps you spot those spelling mistakes easier. When you read a work as is, your brain automatically corrects slight errors in your draft. This can make you overlook small issues, like spelling slips and punctuation errors. According to Granta Magazine’s Yuka Igarashi, the brain doesn’t have the same impulse to auto-correct when you’re reading backwards.

Some mistakes are easier to spot when you read from finish to start, especially for minor errors.

2. Set Your Work Aside

After getting the basic stuff out of the way, it’s time to look at your flow. As we’ve established in the previous point, being too familiar with your work makes it difficult to notice its flaws. Knowing your own intentions beforehand may cloud your judgment in proofreading your own content.

Let some time pass before reviewing your work. Take a walk, go outside, or read something else. The point is to help you forget about your work until it’s time to review it. You won’t be as attached to what you’ve written after taking a break from it.

However, if you’re pressed for time, you can also ask for someone else’s opinion.

3. Print It Out and Read It

For an overall run-through, print out a physical copy and read it. In relation to our previous point, you can even add more distance between you and your work by having someone else read it. The important thing is to keep it out of your head. Sometimes your work makes more sense when you read quietly to yourself.

But once you start reading it out loud or have someone else read it for you, you can see what you’ve written in a different way. Reading your work aloud makes you more conscious of your tone, transitions, and word choice. If you’re asking someone else to read it out for you, you can also ask for their feedback.

This puts you in the shoes of a listener experiencing your presentation for the first time.

Conclusion

Content is the foundation of any output. Double-checking your content is a vital step to the polished end product. Besides some of the already well-known proofreading techniques, try being innovative in reviewing your content. Read your work backwards, read it aloud, and set it aside for some time or have someone else read it for you.

Any of the above methods will help you cover any blind spots you missed. Once you’ve got your content ready, it’s time to craft the other parts of your pitch. To help you with the rest of your presentation needs, contact our SlideGenius experts today.

 

References

“Editing and Proofreading.” The Writing Center. Accessed October 5, 2015. www.writingcenter.unc.edu
Igarashi, Yuka. “Why Do We Make Mistakes? Blame Your Brain, the Original Autocorrector.” The Guardian. Accessed October 5, 2015.www.theguardian.com/

 

Featured Image: the highlight of my day” by Kate Ter Haar on flickr.com

How to Avoid Rambling in Presentations

Presentations don’t happen in a perfectly controlled environment. An audience member gets into a coughing fit. A baby starts to wail. A phone goes off, and a trail of conversations from afar can be heard. Each distraction comes with a perfectly choreographed moment of silence. And each second lost to distraction is a second gone to waste.

Some of the scenarios above do happen, but there is a preventable kind of distraction that often goes unnoticed. The unexpected sources of distraction are none other than the speakers themselves.

Who rambles?

1. Rambling as the Last Resort

The most obvious sign of rambling comes from unprepared speakers. Unprepared speakers struggle to deliver the message of their presentation. Their speech slows down, uh’s and um’s dot their speech patterns, and they disrupt themselves. There aren’t enough tips to help out unprepared speakers.

Core topics can’t be made up on the spot and there are a few options available to save the presentation and the speaker. Damage control needs to be done. Rambling only worsens an ill-prepared presentation. So stay on topic as much as possible. Relax for a few seconds and don’t show any more signs of panic.

When you’re in a state of anxiety, simply pause and take a breath.

2. Rambling Creates a Wall

A prepared, but anxious speaker shows the same signs of nervousness as the unprepared speaker. Take the same steps to calm down and relax. There’s no need to be nervous if the deck is crafted carefully and communicates clearly.

Rambling as a result of anxiety can be avoided by reframing a nerve-wracking experience in a positive light. So instead of fearing judgement from the audience, think of the positive reaction you’ll gain. And instead of worrying about the presentation, be proud from its inception to its completion.

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3. Rambling as the Unintended Effect

On the other end of the spectrum, we have the overly prepared speaker. You might exhaust all talking points and start talking about something completely unrelated. Eventually, you could have gone too far ahead to get back to your original point. As a result, you might ramble some more, creating a vicious cycle.

An unprepared speaker fills the air with silence while an overzealous one fills the air with too much information. According to career consultant, Lea McLeod, you should learn how to regulate rapid speech by having a measured pace. The average person talks at a rate of about 125-175 words per minute while we can listen at a rate of up to 450 words per minute.

Also consider the amount of attention and focus listening requires. Then factor in the other thoughts that could be distracting the audience. Combined, those 450 words that we can supposedly process can end up much less in reality. Control your pace and stay focused on your topic by slowing down.

Re-focus

Which one are you among the three? All these candidates can take steps to minimize winding along in their presentations. Preparation is the most important step in creating a deck. Confidence is the most important factor in delivering a speech.

For the benefit of the audience, don’t speak too fast or too slow, and remember to relax and just breathe.

 

References

McLeod, Lea. “3 Smart Ways to Keep Yourself from Rambling.” 3 Smart Ways to Keep Yourself from Rambling. Accessed October 5, 2015. www.themuse.com
“Speech Rate – Is Your Speaking Rate Too Fast, Too Slow, or Just Right?” Write Out Loud. Accessed October 5, 2015. www.write-out-loud.com

 

Featured Image: SD Zoo” by Stephen Kruso from flickr.com

Quality Control: Handling Presentation Obstacles

What separates an effective presentation from the rest isn’t always perfect execution. Sometimes, it depends on how the presenter deals with mistakes on stage. While errors are inevitable, minimizing the damage they cause should be your top priority. After all, the main point of any speech is to get your message across to the audience.

Getting affected by a small slip-up could ruin your whole performance. Don’t let self-consciousness discourage you and waste all your effort.

A Little Spontaneity is Good for You

People often prepare scripts to organize their thoughts and prevent mental blocks during a presentation. But depending too heavily on a script or your PowerPoint deck makes you appear mechanical and stiff. If you forget a word or misplace a slide, you could lose your train of thought and forget what you wanted to say.

To help you stay on track, get the gist of your presentation and assign keywords as takeoff points for each section. Using body language to emphasize your ideas feels more natural if you don’t tie yourself to a script. Make use of an animated yet natural presenting style to keep people interested and glued to your every word.

Make Yourself Accessible

A confident presenter establishes rapport with ease, but being too self-absorbed loses your audience’s interest. Aside from the obvious pet peeves that develop from blatant bragging, listeners will feel alienated or possibly offended by too much confidence. This is especially true for speakers who can’t relate to a crowd’s culture or experiences. Consider other aspects of your audience beyond their interests.

Look up their education, values, and history, and consider whether or not the language you use is appropriate for the event. The right amount of self-assurance results in a higher and more positive response rate to your presentation.

How Much Preparation is Too Much Preparation?

It’s often said that one can never be too prepared. In some cases, however, overthinking leads to self-sabotage. Trying to cover all blind spots by repeatedly going over your presentation allows you to avoid errors both big and small. But constantly questioning yourself and the quality of your content lowers your confidence and increases self-doubt.

Take a few minutes before climbing onstage to clear your mind of unnecessary panic. Be confident in the preparations you’ve made.

Conclusion

Different speakers can have different ways of handling problems that come their way. The best ones are those who move on from these hurdles and still manage to deliver. Ironically, trying to create a perfect presentation limits actual performance.

Pressure to be flawless increases stress and disrupts your way of thinking – the last thing you’d want before presenting. Be spontaneous but considerate of your audience. Stay prepared but know when to step back and relax. And lastly, though a bit clichéd, trust in your own ability to overcome any presentation obstacle.

Need help with your presentation? Check out our portfolio for inspiration, or contact our slide design experts for a free quote.

 

References

“Business Communication for Success, v. 1.0.” Flat World Knowledge. Accessed October 2, 2015. www.catalog.flatworldknowledge.com

Featured Image: Access” by Andre Goble from flickr.com

Perfecting Your Choreography for Professional Presentations

For performers, choreography combines proper body movements, positioning, and timing to elevate their act. Dancers rehearse their performance by familiarizing themselves with corresponding dance steps. Visiting the venue helps them experience the actual feeling for the live show.

Stage players also do this by matching their lines with appropriate body movements and gestures to engage the audience. They rehearse in the venue to arrange the setup, make minor adjustments, and be comfortable with the blocking and placement. Similarly, perfecting your movements can help you improve your pitch delivery, boosting your convincing ability.

Choreograph Your Pitch

Since choreography relates to physical space between the speaker and the audience, this is where the four spatial zones (intimate, personal, social, and public) take place.

  • Intimate space covers a foot and a half to zero, and is usually reserved for significant others.
  • Personal space ranges from four feet to a foot and a half – the right amount for close friends.
  • Social space spans twelve feet to four feet. This is sufficient for large gatherings and social functions.
  • Public space goes beyond twelve feet. As the name suggests, is best for public speaking.

As a presenter, you don’t have to stay within the public space all the time. Audience interest increases the closer you move to them.

Activate Your Audience’s Mirror Neurons

Interacting with a large audience is possible thanks to mirror neurons. As author Vicki Kunkel defines in her book, Instant Appeal, a mirror neuron allows people to experience the same feeling when observing others, mirroring their behavior as if they’re in the same situation.

Communications expert Nick Morgan suggests this technique when you’re in a crowd of 500 people have no room or time to engage each of them. In this case, you can connect freely with your audience by moving towards chosen audience members.

Kunkel cites Dr. Wayne Dyer, a well-known speaker, who knows this technique by heart. When telling a story, he’s able to make his audiences feel that they’re actually on the same occasion. He also uses typical stage areas when making and emphasizing a point. For example, when he describes an event or a situation, he stays in one location. He transfers to another position when he tackles another issue or topic.

This makes the performance more chronological and understandable, where audiences can easily follow. Let’s take a look at some room setups which you can best maximize to your advantage:

1. U-Shape Setup

This setting lets you engage your audience at the center, then walk towards them at some part of your speech.

Be careful not to show your back to some audience members. Eye contact shouldn’t be discarded since it contributes to your connection with the audience.

2. Classroom Setup

This style depends on the number of aisles in a classroom. If it has only one, you can walk through to move closer to some of your listeners in the middle. In this case, you interact more with the people sitting in front.

If there’s no aisle, stay in front and proceed with your pitch. Compensate with your body language to emphasize your points, and you’ll still connect with them.

3. Auditorium Setup

If you’ll be giving your speech in an auditorium, it’s advisable to practice in the actual venue more than once. This will allow you to familiarize yourself with the area, and think of best strategies to engage the audience. A venue this large gives you more chances to maximize the stage.

Let your audience know your desire to connect with them by supporting your pitch with the right body language.

In Conclusion

Choreographing your presentation helps you maximize space and grab attention. Meanwhile, activating your audience’s mirror neurons through body language provides an emphatic and emotional connection.

Lastly, familiarizing yourself with the different room styles engages audiences more effectively for impactful professional presentations. Plan your pitch like a stage performance to get the best out of any public speaking opportunity.

To help you with your presentation needs, SlideGenius experts can offer you a free quote!

 

References

Morgan, Nick. “How to Choreograph Your Presentation.” Forbes. April 11, 2013. Accessed August 12, 2015. www.forbes.com
Kunkel, Vicki. Instant Appeal: The 8 Primal Factors That Create Blockbuster Success. New York: AMACOM, 2008.

 

Featured Image: “Poly Prep – Afternoon of Student Choreography” by Steven Pisano on flickr.com.

How to Engage Audiences with Your Mirror Neurons

Body language helps significantly when delivering your message.

It doesn’t matter whether you have an interesting topic to tackle, an engaging PowerPoint deck to display, or a captivating story to tell. How you communicate nonverbally affects the entire performance.

Most people don’t see how observing others influences our actions. This is where the magic of mirror neurons takes place.

What is a Mirror Neuron?

A mirror neuron is a type of neuron that allows people to empathize with others’ conditions. This happens when someone observes another person, thus mirroring his behavior. If we notice a stranger who bumps into a concrete wall, our brain is wired to empathize and experience the same feeling the stranger does.

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When someone feels down, we tend to sympathize with the person involved, letting our brains respond with comfort.

We might be unaware of this kind of response, but for presenters, this is an effective technique to use when getting your message across.

What Makes it Effective?

Moving towards the audience doesn’t just help you physically interact with them. It also allows you to engage them using eye contact, facial expressions, movements, and gestures. In this case, you are more likely to convince your audience by reflecting some of their reactions.

This is useful when you want to connect with a large crowd. You might not be able to achieve it, but connecting with them without going near them physically is possible. Selecting a few members of your audience to engage, particularly those who are in front, will help you do this by activating their mirror neurons.

If one of your audiences look at another member, his brain tends to react the same as if you’re talking to him as well.

How Can You Apply This?

This technique can be used to create interest, focusing their attention on your performance. E-learning expert, Vicki Kunkel cites in her book Dr. Wayne Dyer, a well-known speaker and author, who is an expert at applying this technique to his performances.

Every time Dwyer presents, he’s able to make his audiences feel part of a story. He does it by describing the event itself and projecting body movements, showing people how it made him feel. Another way he manages this is by walking around in one part of the stage while tackling a subject.

When he changes or moves on to another topic, he transfers to a different area. This is to emphasize what he’s discussing and to make it easier for his audiences to follow the discussion.

Summing It Up

Master this technique to connect with your audience’s emotions, keeping them engaged and allowing them to fully understand your message. Take advantage of mirror neurons to influence your listeners’ reactions for a convincing pitch they can’t refuse.

To help you with your presentation needs, SlideGenius experts can offer you a free quote!

 

Reference

Kunkel, Vicki. Instant Appeal: The 8 Primal Factors That Create Blockbuster Success. New York: AMACOM, 2008.

 

Featured Image: Wikimedia

Color Psychology for Your Presentation Design

Color is more than just choosing what visual elements go with your branding. It spices up your design, unifies your elements, and gives life to your deck. It’s also a powerful psychological tool for PowerPoint pitches.

Colors have the power to subliminally influence your audience’s decisions and emotions. And if there’s one way the audience’s heart, it’s through their emotions.

This is why banking on the convincing power of color and choosing the right combination is crucial for your presentation design. Here’s how the five most popular colors affect your viewers.

Red

Red is a color that demands attention, representing energy and intensity. Scientifically, it’s said to stimulate a faster heart rate among viewers. This makes the color ideal for restaurant-related businesses.

Use red if you want to give your offering a sense of urgency in your pitches.

Green

Green represents nature, a color that gives off a relaxing vibe. It’s second only to red, as the color our eyes are most sensitive to. Some studies have even suggested that green colors help viewers retain memories, establishing it as a good all-around color.

Using green in your slides would be ideal for talking about your important points.

Yellow

Yellow is the color representing happiness. Because of its brightness, this color tends to stand out from the rest. Seeing yellow releases a chemical called serotonin in our brain, making us feel good.

Adding this to your presentation designs can make your slides shine with an optimistic mood. Lift your viewers’ moods and ease any tension in the air with an engaging color like yellow.

Blue

Blue is the color of tranquility. Being the color of the skies and the oceans, this makes it highly familiar and comfortable to view. It can also mean loyalty, making it a crucial color for business presentations.

If you want to build trust with your audience, then blue is for you.

Purple

Purple is the color of sophistication. For centuries, it’s been the preferred hue of monarchs, and has come to mean wisdom and respect. It’s also thought to increase brain activity for increased problem solving.

Using a touch of purple can add an air of elegance to your deck design for high-end brands.

In Summary

Different colors can impart meanings to your design, and help communicate your message clearer. Red imparts urgency, while green offers comfort. Yellow communicates optimism, while blue offers trust. Finally, purple can add a touch of sophistication to your brand.

There are many other colors out there, and several variations also exist for the ones we discussed. Hopefully, we got you started on the basics so you can deliver your speech with a winning deck.

If you want our presentation geniuses to give you a head start, contact us now for a free quote!

 

References

The Psychology of Color.” Psychology Issues. Accessed August 12, 2015.
Dzulkifli, Mariam, and Muhammad Mustafar. “The Influence of Colour on Memory Performance: A Review.” The Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences: MJMS. Accessed August 12, 2015.
Color Me Happy: Use Color to Impact the Mood of Your Home.” The Art of Simple. February 17, 2010. Accessed August 12, 2015
Precision Intermedia.” Psychology of Color. Accessed August 12, 2015

 

Featured Image: Colores en la sociedad” by Constanza.CH from flickr.com

Sales Presentation Q&A Tips: 4 Reasons to Master Negotiation

Your sales presentation is the last hurdle before you can seal the deal, but even that has a final step: the Q&A.

In every presentation, clients always have questions or concerns. These can be about how your company does business or the package options you have to offer.

Listening to and clarifying their questions will help them understand your position, making them more likely to trust you and close the sale. Experienced sales executives will always plan for these scenarios for 4 main reasons:

1. Clients Always Want Options

People will always look for a better deal to get their money’s worth.

You could be the best supplier of electronic gadgets in the industry, but if you don’t have any favorable options to offer your clients, like a bundle purchase deal with lower price points, or gadgets that they need, chances are they’ll give their money to the competition.

This is why having a fixed set of options rarely works: If you say you can’t give something to a client, you will have a harder time convincing them to invest in you. According to business consultant Larry Myler, giving alternatives is one of the negotiation techniques that salespeople use as a common ground for both their desired outcome and the clients’ desires.

2. Listening Lets You Learn Their Expectations

Our last article talked about knowing your audience’s expectations to help you give a more understandable pitch. While it’s good to know these beforehand, nothing beats getting these firsthand when you need to address their questions on the spot.

This lets you come up with better responses, whether it’s clarifying your previous statements in the pitch, or suggesting alternatives to the options you offered them. Listening also helps you get a better handle on what your clients expect from business partners.

For example, they may have objections to the pricing of your mobile service provider package, but if you let them explain why, you might have the advantage of using that information for either justifying the package or offering them something that fits their budget.

3. You Control the Argument

Learning to say no is another important skill in the Q&A. As the presenter, you need to be clear on what you can and cannot offer to remain in control of the deal. Let’s go back to that example of the mobile service provider: Your package may only be offered at a certain range, but a client might want to lower it further.

If your company knows that the proposed discount is unacceptable due to cost reasons, it might be better for you to refuse and suggest another package. While it’s true that you need to think about your client’s expectations, your company will most likely have their own standards to uphold, making an ultimatum necessary.

By dictating the terms of the offer, you make the deal profitable for both sides. It also boosts their perception of you as a reliable seller.

4. You Project Yourself as a Partner

In every presentation, the objective is all about offering solutions to a problem. This is why every seasoned sales executive takes time to know their clients as much as they can in order to solve their difficulties.

Getting clients to talk about what they need is always a good starting point. Keynote speaker Sherrie Campbell lists presenting yourself as a partner who’s willing to listen among her strategies for mastering sales negotiations. .

If your client can’t agree with your offer, you can always ask why, or replace your offer with a better one. This leaves a better impression than using a “take it, or leave it” approach because you involve clients in coming up with a solution.

The Lesson: Listening Always Helps

Handling the presentation’s Q&A is just as important as giving it. This lets you know your target market and what will convince them to invest in you. Listening to their concerns lets you adjust your offers as needed.

Instead of simply handing out a limited set of options, you give them more possibilities that can sweeten the deal for both sides. At the same time, you have to make it clear that there are things that you can’t compromise on, like a lower price for quality goods.

At your presentation’s last stage, you can impress your clients with your delivery. If you can give them that last nudge to bite into your offer by hearing them out, jumping that final hurdle will be easier for you. Handling this step needs every advantage you can get.

To sharpen your selling edge, take a few minutes to get in touch with a professional presentation designer and spice up your PowerPoint.

 

References

Campbell, Sherrie. “7 Psychological Strategies for Mastering Sales Negotiations.” Entrepreneur. November 6, 2014. Accessed August 7, 2015.
Myler, Larry. “Four Ways To Win Any Negotiation.Forbes. June 1, 2015. Accessed August 7, 2015.

 

Featured Image: “Signed Contract” by Mads T.F. on flickr.com

Death to Comic Sans: The Worst Font for PowerPoint

If you don’t know what Comic Sans is, maybe you’re too ashamed to admit you do. It continues to grace countless homemade greeting cards, signs, banners, and sometimes, even PowerPoint presentations.

Despite many alternatives, Comic Sans retains a degree of prevalence, banking on its perception as a warm and fun typeface.

This perception, along with its overuse by amateur designers, contributes to its reputation as the worst font choice in any designed output. Before we dive deeper, let’s take a short look at its history.

Humble Roots

We can thank former Microsoft Employee Vincent Connare for the existence of this typographic blight. He claims that Comic Sans wasn’t initially designed as a usable typeface for Microsoft Office, but just for use in an application featuring a virtual canine assistant, Microsoft Bob.

In his own words:

“Comic Sans was NOT designed as a typeface but as a solution to a problem with the often overlooked part of a computer program’s interface, the typeface used to communicate the message.

There was no intention to include the font in other applications other than those designed for children when I designed Comic Sans. The inspiration came at the shock of seeing Times New Roman used in an inappropriate way.”

To be fair, the British Dyslexia Association considers the font easier to read than other fonts. Its legibility makes it easier for viewers to distinguish different glyphs and characters from each other. In addition, its handwritten design and curvy features lend it an air of friendliness and accessibility.

So why do people, especially designers, hate it?

An Ignoble Font

It’s the abundant misuse in inappropriate situations that’s handed Comic Sans its legacy as the worst font of all time. The friendliness mentioned is unfortunately not suited for how it’s been used. You’ve probably seen this a dizzying amount of times in office pantry signs, self-published greeting cards, and even some unwitting business signages.

Most likely, an unaware presenter may have even used it in his slides. It’s easy to reason that its bad rep is solely due to this abuse. Experts would beg to differ, noting its inconsistent kerning (spacing between characters) which make Comic Sans technically “ugly.”

No matter what, it can’t shake its image as cheap and unprofessional, given its common use by untrained designers.

So When Should I Use Comic Sans?

Never.

Save yourself from embarrassment. The people over at Ban Comic Sans Manifesto, expanding on its misuse, put it so:

“Comic Sans as a voice conveys silliness, childish naivete, irreverence, and is far too casual for such a purpose. It is analogous to showing up for a black tie event in a clown costume.”

In other words, Comic Sans is only good for communicating one thing: that you’re not a professional. There’s also no longer any excuse for resorting to this silly font. Even if you’re going for a more fun or aloof feel font for PowerPoint, there are so many other alternatives.

If you’re presenting to a professional audience, you’re better off sticking to the classics like Arial, Century Gothic, or Helvetica. Some may argue that they’re equally overused, but at least their look is clear, classy, and timeless. Still insist on injecting some fun into your slides? Ban Comic Sans can give you other alternatives.

In Summary

Comic Sans is a font that stumbled into its role as designers’ public enemy number one. Its overexposure and misuse has made it a target of much derision. The fact is, there are so many other free choices that come built into Microsoft Office.

We have serious serifs like Times New Roman, Garamond and the like for long bodies of text. There are more commanding sans serifs such as Impact, and you can count on Arial when you need to grab attention. In a perfect world, everyone would know the proper font choice for every situation.

Not everyone can be a PowerPoint professional, but anyone can easily learn to follow the general rule: avoid Comic Sans.

 

References

Ban Comic Sans Manifesto.Ban Comic Sans. n.d.
Connare, Vincent. “Why Comic Sans?” Connare: Art, Design & Typography. n. d.
Typefaces for Dyslexia. BDA Technology. March 20, 2011.
What’s so Wrong with Comic Sans?BBC News. October 20, 2010.

 

Featured Image: Ban Comic Sans” by Emanuele on flickr.com

3 Small Talk Habits That Delay Professional Presentations

Don’t boring scenes make you want to press fast-forward?

If you’re bad at entertaining your audience, then they’ll want to fast-forward your professional presentations, too.

But what makes a scene boring?

There are many reasons for a dull presentation, but one of the most notorious is because the presenter is trying to cover up a lack of preparation.

Here are 3 delaying tactics you should avoid:

1. Overdoing Background Information

Introductions are where you engage audiences so that they’ll listen to you from start to finish.

However, taking too long to get to your main point will bore them to death.

Avoid including too much background information in your script.

Anecdotes are a great way to start a pitch, but make sure it’s directly related to your core idea, or else you’ll just go off-track.

Instead, go straight to your main points point and work on particular details that best inform and educate the crowd.

2. Stating the Obvious

Everybody knows that the Earth is round and the sky is blue.

Why tell your audiences information that they probably already know?

If you’ll be mentioning well-known facts, make sure that you have follow-up questions or points for discussion.

For instance, look for the reasons behind the fact, concrete examples that demonstrate that data, or ways how you could take advantage of it.

Otherwise, skip that piece of information altogether.

3. Delaying the Solution

Your audience is there for a reason: they’re looking for something beneficial that you can give them.

If you fail to deliver, then you’ve failed your audience.

Build-up is important, but spending too much time hyping up your offering could cause your audience to doze off from boredom.

Worse, they may get annoyed and think that your pitch was a waste of time.

Caring about your audience involves giving them what they expect from you. Offer something that makes them think that they’re your priority. Don’t give them the opposite of what they’re looking for.

Get Straight to the Point

Why would you end up delaying your presentation in the first place?

Often, this is a result of not preparing for the big day.

Careful planning allows you to craft and organize your script. It helps you recognize what is valuable to your audience.

When you plan for your next presentation, instead of talking about how significant your topic is, make sure to go straight to delivering your main point.

Remember: avoid including too much background information, stating the obvious, and delaying the solution.

Avoiding these delaying tactics is your ticket to the fast-lane of engaging, convincing, and sales-worthy presentations.

References

Burns, Tony. “Does Your Audience Want to Fast-Forward You?Speaking About Presenting, August 6, 2014. Accessed July 1, 2015.

7 Deadly Presentation Sins: Envy (Losing Yourself)

Welcome back to our series on the Seven Deadly Sins of Presentations. Last time, we discussed sloth or failing to prepare for your speech.

Today, we’ll be exploring the sin of envy.

For speakers, this means lacking authenticity and losing confidence.

Let’s see what makes envy a speech killer.

What Is Envy?

Envy inevitably leads to personal harm and debilitation, affecting one’s physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being (Job 5:2; Prov 14:30).

Usually denoted by a green-eyed monster, it is characterized by jealousy over others’ traits, statuses, abilities, or situations.

Some studies claim that envy can be productive for encouraging personal growth. Indeed, data suggests envy boosts mental persistence and memory.

In public speaking, however, envy can be destructive.

Why Is It Bad for Presentations?

Admiring great speakers’ exceptional presentation skills isn’t bad when they push you to reach your highest potential.

It only becomes unprofessional when jealousy overpowers inspiration.

If you’re envious of a colleague or somebody’s speaking prowess, drop that negative feeling now.

It’s a bad habit that stops you from recognizing your own strengths and abilities because you overly focus on somebody else’s, losing sight of your own unique strengths.

It could also cause you to copy their speaking style, making you less authentic and confident.

How Do We Cure the Deadly Sin of Envy?

Curing the sin of envy takes one approach: self-affirmation.

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Listing down your weaknesses helps you figure out which one is the easiest to remedy—be it  writing your content, designing your slide or your actual speech delivery.

Knowing what your biggest weakness is also allows you to think of appropriate techniques that best work for you.

Summing It Up

Being envious of someone’s presentation aptitude is a sin that kills confident and authentic public speaking.

Instead of sabotaging yourself through envy, bring in compassion and motivate yourself to become a better presenter.

Don’t focus on somebody else’s strengths. Instead, look for your own strengths which no other person has.

Identify your weaknesses, too, so that you can address them and improve your own skills.

Once you’ve started focusing on your own capabilities instead of comparing yourself with other people, you’ll be able to hone your own work to the point that you’ll have people’s attention – the positive kind.

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References

Dlugan, Andrew. “The 7 Deadly Sins of Public Speaking.” Six Minutes, October 25, 2009. Accessed June 11, 2015. http://sixminutes.dlugan.com/7-deadly-sins-public-speaking/
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-new-brain/201109/eat-your-guts-out-why-envy-hurts-and-why-its-good-your-brain.