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What Makes a Successful Finance Presentation?

When conducting a business presentation that revolves around finance, it’s important that the data resonates with the audience without it being too much to take in. While you want to be transparent and show them the big picture, you wouldn’t want to exhaust them by going over every figure.

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Here are ways to make your financial presentation effective and understandable:

Clarify your objectives

Make sure you know what your presentation is for. Clarify what you want to achieve by talking about finance in a room full of people. For example, if you want to talk about yearend revenues, your objective could revolve around how this affects your company in the present and in the upcoming year.

As part of custom PowerPoint presentation planning, set an agenda, as this makes it easier for the audience to follow the flow of your discussion—it organizes your content into sections. With a sound agenda, you can set the financial scene and work toward the reveal of important data.

Having a clear agenda helps your audience save questions for the appropriate sections, which in turn benefits you in maintaining your momentum.

Don’t just show data—tell a story.

You can’t just project numbers and graphs on the screen and expect your audience to what it is and what it’s about—you need to go into detail and tell the story behind the data. This is where you can provide insight and share your business goals with your audience—you’ll want to discuss why these numbers are important to the company.

Pro tip: follow the three-part story structure and divide your narrative into three parts—the beginning, middle, and end.

Start by describing things as they are. That way, you create rapport with your audience and if you share an idea they are already familiar with, then that will engage them more.

Once you’ve laid all the facts, show them how things could change. Make sure that you cite reliable sources to increase your credibility as a speaker.

When it comes to the conclusion, make it inspiring—or as Nancy Duarte calls it, “new bliss.” This concept refers to telling the audience about how much better their world will be if they adopt your ideas.

Go beyond charts and graphs.

Presentation design helps make your topic become more understandable. Charts and graphs are great for representing important figures, including market shares and revenue for the quarter or fiscal year.

To win the hearts of your audience, however, simple graphics are not going to cut it—try experimenting with data visualization to communicate financial messages more efficiently.

Make your presentation a two-way conversation.

When your presentation becomes a monologue, your audience becomes less engaged—less involved—with your discussion.

Make your audience’s financial priorities a topic for discussion at some point in your presentation. Asking them questions and for their feedback helps them retain information better because they become directly involved.

How you communicate data has a significant effect on how your audience will perceive it. Discussing financial information is a hit or miss, especially when figures and complex data are flashed on the screen, which is why you need to present details in a manner they can relate to.

Lastly, remember not to dump data on your slides—stand back and think about what you need to include. Your custom PowerPoint presentation should only contain key financial statements and talk around them in detail later in the discussion.

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References:

Duarte, Nancy. “Structure Your Presentation Like a Story.” Harvard Business Review. October 31, 2012. hbr.org/2012/10/structure-your-presentation-li

Ashe-Edmunds, Sam. “How to Give a Presentation on the Financial Information of a Company.” Chron. n.d. smallbusiness.chron.com/give-presentation-financial-information-company-61420.html

 

The Art of Persuasion: Delivering a Persuasive Sales Pitch

Influence should be your main concern when it comes to speaking before an audience–may it be consumers, employees, teammates, or potential investors. Your goal is to make an impact big enough to either change your audience’s opinion or strengthen an already existing point of view.

The point of an effective sales pitch is to persuade your audience into buying or to think about your presentation, may it be a product, service, or concept. To do so, you must appeal to the listeners and convince then that what you’re offering is the most favorable choice.

The content and design of your custom PowerPoint should work together to convince your audience.

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The Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) was incredibly influential, especially that he made significant and lasting contributions to various aspects of human knowledge. One of his concepts included the modes of persuasion, which, according to him, can be furnished by the spoken word. These are as follows:

Ethos (Credibility)

Delivering a Persuasive Sales Pitch: Ethos (Credibility)

When delivering a presentation, you must assert your credibility and intelligence as a speaker. Your tone, pitch, and diction help establish this–you have to look and feel confident. Stage presence is also necessary in gaining the audience’s trust.

How do these factors translate to your PowerPoint presentation?

Include your credentials in a self-introduction slide.

Let your audience know who you are and what you specialize in, as these give your listeners a sneak peek into your expertise. If you have achievements that would help build your credibility as a speaker in the field, the better.

Leverage your credibility by quoting other industry experts.

Quoting industry experts add value to your presentation. It shows how familiar you are with the topic, boosting your credibility.

Pathos (Emotion)

Delivering a Persuasive Sales Pitch: Pathos (Emotion)

The emotional content of your presentation makes it more memorable. That said, you become a better speaker when you have the ability to work with your audience’s emotions just as you handle your own.

How will you add an emotional factor to your slides?

Tell a story.

Stories can get in touch with your audience on a personal level, hence making it an effective presentation technique. The more people can relate to it, the better they understand what the pitch is all about.

Rehearse your pitch in front of other people and have them give you feedback. Remember that storytelling can either make or break your presentation so you have to make sure that the story you’re sharing is appropriate for your audience.

Evoke emotions through visuals.

Colors have the power to change or reinforce your audience’s mood in a matter of seconds. Apart from the design itself, companies that build presentation decks put the palette they use into careful consideration.

Logos (Logic)

Delivering a Persuasive Sales Pitch: Logos (Logic)

Aristotle emphasized the appeal to logic and reasoning the most. Once you’ve captured your audience’s attention, the next step is to take action. Convince them that the change or action is within reason and in their best interest.

Survey results, market data, trends–the last mode of persuasion is the most common and the easiest to incorporate into a presentation.

How can you incorporate logic and reasoning into your custom PowerPoint presentation design?

Use backup in the form of case studies and testimonials.

When you include these into your presentation, it shows the effects of the practices, ideas, products, or services, in action.

Use common concepts as analogies and make comparisons.

Explaining complex concepts may not be an easy feat, but if you make the right analogies and comparison, those who may not know much about the subject can easily understand the topic.

While these strategies may seem obvious to many people, there are still those who are miss out on the advantages that these pointers give to the presentation itself, making them bland and unconvincing.

Hopefully, you apply these to your next sales pitch. Not only will you improve your credibility, but these will increase your confidence, too.

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Aristotle and the Art of Persuasion: Delivering a Persuasive Sales Pitch

Influence should be your main concern when it comes to speaking before an audience–may it be consumers, employees, teammates, or potential investors. Your goal is to make an impact big enough to either change your audience’s opinion or strengthen an already existing point of view.

The point of an effective sales pitch is to persuade your audience into buying or to think about your presentation, may it be a product, service, or concept. To do so, you must appeal to the listeners and convince then that what you’re offering is the most favorable choice.

The content and design of your custom PowerPoint should work together to convince your audience.

SlideGenius Blog Module One

We redesign PowerPoint presentations.

Get your free quote now.

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The Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) was incredibly influential, especially that he made significant and lasting contributions to various aspects of human knowledge. One of his concepts included the modes of persuasion, which, according to him, can be furnished by the spoken word. These are as follows:

Ethos (Credibility)

Delivering a Persuasive Sales Pitch: Ethos (Credibility)

When delivering a presentation, you must assert your credibility and intelligence as a speaker. Your tone, pitch, and diction help establish this–you have to look and feel confident. Stage presence is also necessary in gaining the audience’s trust.

How do these factors translate to your PowerPoint presentation?

Include your credentials in a self-introduction slide.

Let your audience know who you are and what you specialize in, as these give your listeners a sneak peek into your expertise. If you have achievements that would help build your credibility as a speaker in the field, the better.

Leverage your credibility by quoting other industry experts.

Quoting industry experts add value to your presentation. It shows how familiar you are with the topic, boosting your credibility.

Pathos (Emotion)

Delivering a Persuasive Sales Pitch: Pathos (Emotion)

The emotional content of your presentation makes it more memorable. That said, you become a better speaker when you have the ability to work with your audience’s emotions just as you handle your own.

How will you add an emotional factor to your slides?

Tell a story.

Stories can get in touch with your audience on a personal level, hence making it an effective presentation technique. The more people can relate to it, the better they understand what the pitch is all about.

Rehearse your pitch in front of other people and have them give you feedback. Remember that storytelling can either make or break your presentation so you have to make sure that the story you’re sharing is appropriate for your audience.

Evoke emotions through visuals.

Colors have the power to change or reinforce your audience’s mood in a matter of seconds. Apart from the design itself, companies that build presentation decks put the palette they use into careful consideration.

Logos (Logic)

Delivering a Persuasive Sales Pitch: Logos (Logic)

Aristotle emphasized the appeal to logic and reasoning the most. Once you’ve captured your audience’s attention, the next step is to take action. Convince them that the change or action is within reason and in their best interest.

Survey results, market data, trends–the last mode of persuasion is the most common and the easiest to incorporate into a presentation.

How can you incorporate logic and reasoning into your custom PowerPoint presentation design?

Use backup in the form of case studies and testimonials.

When you include these into your presentation, it shows the effects of the practices, ideas, products, or services, in action.

Use common concepts as analogies and make comparisons.

Explaining complex concepts may not be an easy feat, but if you make the right analogies and comparison, those who may not know much about the subject can easily understand the topic.

While these strategies may seem obvious to many people, there are still those who are miss out on the advantages that these pointers give to the presentation itself, making them bland and unconvincing.

Hopefully, you apply these to your next sales pitch. Not only will you improve your credibility, but these will increase your confidence, too.

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References:

Brooks, Chad. “Get Emotional: 5 Ways to Give Better Presentations.” Business News Daily. September 12, 2014. https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/7117-give-better-presentations.html

Zetlin, Minda. “5 Presentation Tips: How to be a Stronger Storyteller.” The Enterprisers Project. February 6, 2018. https://enterprisersproject.com/article/2018/2/5-presentation-tips-how-be-stronger-storyteller

History.com Staff. “Aristotle.” A+E Networks. 2009. http://www.history.com/topics/ancient-history/aristotle

8 Ways Eye Contact Can Make or Break Your Presentation

“When you are first introduced to people, looking them in the eye or avoiding their gaze will send an instant message,” says an article published in Research Digest titled. Initiating eye connection is a universal premise in public speaking—it ignites a connection between the speaker and the audience. It is the key to coalescing your core message and excellent delivery.
As a presenter, your main goal is to clearly convey a message to your spectators. Whether your presentation tackles business proposals, client projects, or branding strategies, your sole purpose is to turn spectators into customers and engage clients for investments. To do this, you must delve deep into details and begin with an indispensable speaking mantra: eye contact.

Eye Contact During a Presentation

The eyes are the windows to one’s soul. It bears the integrity of your intentions and the authenticity of the subliminal messages you cascade. In hindsight, eye contact establishes an invitation to mentally connect with another person. As a speaker, you must meet your audience’s gaze to show a need to engage while presenting.
Furthermore, establishing eye contact helps you retain your composure while speaking. As you roam your eyes erratically, more visual signals are sent to your brain, which slows it down. Keep in mind that your stance substantiates your authority as a speaker. Stuttering, being lost in thought, and stopping mid-sentence are major no-no’s. These cases devalue your identity as a presenter.

Strengthening the Connection

Calling it “eye contact” can just mean “meeting of the eye” rather than having a genuine connection. To appear warmer, avoid making a superficial look, and initiate an “eye connection” instead. Eye connection means spending more time enthralling each person in the room as if you’re personally talking to them.
By establishing a brief but engaging connection, your spectators would perceive intentionality as you speak. You’d also avoid sounding too technical thus creating a conversational and engaging atmosphere.
Check the infographic below to learn the other pros and cons of eye contact during presentations.

 

Resources:

Wyeth, Sims. “10 Reasons Eye Contact Is Everything in Public Speaking.” Inc. June 18, 2014. www.inc.com/sims-wyeth/10-reasons-why-eye-contact-can-change-peoples-perception-of-you.html
Jarett, Christian. “The Psychology of Eye Contact, Digested.” Research Digest. November 28, 2016. digest.bps.org.uk/2016/11/28/the-psychology-of-eye-contact-digested
“Eye Contact During a Presentation.” Syntaxis. n.d. www.syntaxis.com/eye-contact-during-a-presentation

Crafting a Presentation that Ends with a Bang

It’s almost time for a new year, for a new beginning. Looking back, you see how well you did and where you need to improve. From an optimistic viewpoint, a great year-ender is appreciating deeds and being inspired to make the next one better.

A year well-ended can be a great drive to improve. It can be the cornerstone of a pleasant beginning. The charisma of great things has the power to move. Spectacular presentation endings—especially ones that strike a chord in the heart—can inspire people to do generous acts.

Crafting a Presentation: Marching band

Where to Begin Your Presentation

Although, yes, it’s the season for holiday gimmicks such as festive shows and productions, many presenters will tell you that one doesn’t simply chorus his way to winning an investment or donation.

Curation is necessary when crafting a pitch. Relevant and influential data are what you need when choosing the right content for your pitch.

Even crafting PowerPoint Presentations have dos and don’ts. Let the 4-by-5 rule guide you in using words sparingly and curating only the essentials for your pitch.

Visuals can also be charming additions to a presentation. Not only are they entertaining, but they are also powerful storytellers.

Your choice of presentation content must, at all times, not only be largely influenced by the interests and preferences of the audience; but also primarily benefits your cause or proposition.

A polished PowerPoint Presentation takes one far but presenting them confidently will get one further.

Your confidence level should always rule your audiences. They may not know how prepared you are with your presentation but they can easily pick up that you are poised enough to show them you are.

Take command of your pitch. Know where the good stuff should fall and make sure you strut them when there’s a chance.

Crafting a Presentation: Exit

How to Get There

The content that comes before a conclusion plays crucial roles in supporting a proposition.

Other parts of a pitch add depth to a presentation ending, and vice versa. How well you build your presentation to your audience has a great effect on whether the ending makes it or breaks it.

Interesting opening remarks and clear introductions help set a good first impression for audiences. Data that are laid out and presented in an organized manner will highlight your first objective: to be remembered.

Before you reach the end of your presentation, make sure that attention is developed and maintained from start to finish.

Lastly, create a strategy on how you project a smooth transition when it’s time for an epic ending. Make way for the remarkable close.

As Brian Tracy advices, pick up your tempo as you approach the end. Add some energy on your voice and fire up your expressions when referring to highlights and interesting details.

Crafting a Presentation: Wizard

Call to Action

From delivering up to 5,000 seminars to more than 5 million people in different countries, in his own video presentation, Brian Tracy shares four awe-inspiring ways to end pitches.

The renowned speaker said that “A call to action is the best way to wrap up your talk with strength and power.”

Not only does it vividly imply that there’s an option for the audience to take steps but it also signals that, based on your justification, there is a need for action.

There are many ways to end with a call to action when giving a pitch. Knowing which ones effectively influence audiences, instead of abruptly asking, is the way to go.

The call to action often comes in the first or the final part of a presentation.

In a challenging close, audiences were asked to recall the presentation and were also asked to apply what they have learned just to see if it works for them. Challenging the audience triggers curiosity on whether they can do something or not.

Feed that curiosity when you get the chance. It is one of the hardest things to resist.

Crafting a Presentation: Fireworks display

Quick Summary

Summarizing after pitching is a common way to signal an audience that a presentation will be over soon.

Again, why are you agreeable? Remind them of your key points. Summarized presentations make it easier to internalize the thoughts in a presentation.

With a bookend close, you refer back to the earlier parts of your presentation to show that you have arrived at the same final point where you began. A title close similarly does the same technique except that the title conveys the main message.

When there’s a pile of slides to remember, it’s hard to make an impact on an audience. These types of closes are ideal when points-to-remember require a list.

Crafting a Presentation: Once upon a time

Closing Story

“Tale as old as time, true as they can be.”

Not all stories are real, but the point is, those that have morals are true enough to guide people with the ups and downs of life.

One would prefer to spend five minutes hearing a short but meaningful story than another load of data. Stories serve as breathing room for audiences, especially when the presentation is quite technical.

Also, stories can be charismatic enough to improve the way an audience perceives. Relating with audiences gives you more power to convince and to convert.

Crafting a Presentation: Closing story

Inspirational Excerpt

Brian Tracy believes that hope is the great religion of mankind.

Sometimes, audiences, especially the anxious ones, are just an inspiration away. Some may see trusting you as a risk, but let inspiration pull them up and lead them to their first step of action.

A feel of familiarity takes out anxiety among audiences. Sharing thoughts or insights they can relate to eases out tension between them and the unfamiliar person onstage, you.

No matter what age, inspirational excerpts help when your audience need a little soothing. Quotations from books or songs are some of the most popularly used. They have a nostalgic characteristic that people can relate to apart from the timeless morals they share.

Or, you can use a third party close. Here, a quotation is used as a premise to frame the whole presentation and at the same time, to wrap it up.

Conclusion

Audiences base decisions on how a proposition is presented.

Do you manage content and take audience presence seriously? It’s necessary to know which data fits the puzzle, making sure that they count.

Presentation maneuvers have the power to kick start the pounding of your audience’s hearts. Preparing for the arrival of a great presentation ender has a great impact on the next steps that your audience will take after the presentation.

Lastly, be compelling when you say they need to act yet observe genuineness when you bid them well, especially on their new year. Let a pleasant final impression be the last thing they remember from you before the year ends.

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Resources:

Tracy, Brian. “4 Ways to End a Speech With a Bang.” YouTube. July 14, 2015. www.youtube.com/watch?v=EucZKuqaVEE&feature=youtu.be.

Jeff, Peter. “10 Ways to End Your Speech With a Bang.” Six Minutes. October 12, 2009. www.sixminutes.dlugan.com/10-ways-to-end-your-speech

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The Attributes of a Great Public Speaker

Since time immemorial, humans have taken to the stage so that they could be seen and speak their hearts out. With each word, they captivate and mesmerize people. With every breath, these speakers commanded the language like no other, making crowds stay and listen, and even wanting for more.
It’s not like history has a shortage of outstanding public speakers. Those who have rhetoric skills, who have etched their names in eternity, along with the long list of heroes, villains, sinners, and saints, are remembered long after their time, immortalized by their craft in history books and the Internet. From legendary Roman spokesperson Cicero and Greek general Pericles to author Susan Cain and former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, the world has seen its fair share of public speakers who can dominate the stage and fascinate their audiences with their piece or with whatever they present.
But what a public speaker so endearing? How do they command the charisma that inspires listeners to their cause? Is there a trick to their success? Are they magic? Through simple inspection, the most obvious commonality among them all is their ability to move the emotions and opinions of their audiences.
Today’s age doesn’t have much of the oratory events that the ancient times had; the closest in modernity, and arguably the biggest, is the annual TED Talks. Apart from the leap in technological levels and different preparatory techniques, though, is there any other difference between then and now in terms of oration?
If anything, what’s most intriguing are the speakers. From then up to now, time has tried and successfully proven that the very attributes that made names like Cicero, Pericles, and Demosthenes legendary are the very same benchmarks of a great public speaker today. In short, when you exhibit and emulate the following traits, then you can be one of the greats of this era. What are those characteristics? The following infographic will fill you in.

Resource:

Inzunza, Victor. “History’s Greatest Speakers and Their Greatest Speeches.” Pencils.com. December 3, 2012. www.pencils.com/historys-greatest-speeches

The Most Effective TED Talks and What You Can Learn from Them

Public speaking is not an innate talent that people are born with. It’s a skill that takes patience and constant practice to master. Many would agree that TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design), an organization dedicated to spreading powerful ideas, is a pacesetter in producing the best presentations in the world. TED talks have been translated to more than a hundred languages, and TED events have been held in over 145 countries. Undoubtedly, the organization sets the bar higher in organized presentations.

This massive success begs the question: What does TED do differently that it manages to blow people’s minds over and over again? The answer lies in the speakers and the ideas they spread. TED speakers come onstage armed not only with powerful concepts and inspiring words but also with effective methods to get their message across. Here are eight lessons you can learn from the most successful TED talks ever held.

8 Public Speaking Lessons from the Most Viewed TED Talks

1. Hook the audience with one big idea

Everything, no matter how great, starts with a tiny spark of idea. Even the most elaborate TED talks begin with a simple concept that holds promise. As Jeremy Donovan, a TEdx organizer, said, “If you had to say there was one magical element to the best TED talks, it’s that those speakers picked one really, really big idea.” When giving a presentation, you don’t want to bombard your audience with a flurry of information. Choose one specific and interesting topic, then work around it. Attack it from a unique angle and give your audience something to think about. 

2. Start with an interesting opener

Don’t go onstage thinking that it’s the audience’s job to listen. You must earn the audience’s attention every time you take the limelight. The best TED speakers know this so they make their talks interesting from the moment they drop the first word.

  • Begin with an anecdote. Brene Brown opened her talk, “The Power of Vulnerability,” with a story that was relevant to her point. This helped the audience understand Brown and her message.
  • State an incredible fact. Dan Gilbert is no stranger to the TED stage. One of the reasons why he captivates the audience every time he speaks is that he begins with an interesting statistic that turns heads.
  • Pause for ten seconds. Seth Godin advises public speakers to pause not for two, three or five seconds but for ten whole seconds to get everyone’s attention. And Godin should know since he’s one of America’s most respected marketing gurus.

8 Public Speaking Lessons from the Most Viewed TED Talks | Group of audience

3. Share a story that resonates with the audience

Everybody loves stories, especially those that appeal to the emotions. When you tell a story, make sure to not only relay the events but also the emotions you experienced. When you share genuine feelings, you establish a connection with the audience. This is exactly what Elizabeth Gilbert did in her inspiring TED talk, “Your Elusive Creative Genius.”

4. Establish rapport using humor

To establish a connection with the audience, the speaker should lower his defenses and let the audience into his personal bubble. One of the most effective ways to do this is to use humor. In the most viewed TED talk of all time, “Do Schools Kill Creativity,” Sir Ken Robinson used self-deprecating humor to make the audience feel more comfortable around him. You can apply the same principle to endear yourself to the audience and make them want to listen to your message. 

5. Design your slides with care

Good speakers use pictures instead of texts to reinforce their message. Just look at Kelly McGonigal’s TED talk entitled, “How to Make Stress Your Friend.” Observe how she effectively used images to strengthen her claims. If you plan to accompany your talk with a PowerPoint presentation, make sure to do away with large chunks of text and instead focus on the audience’s visual experience. Remember, you’re already overwhelming your audience with words by simply talking; don’t tire them out by forcing them to read your slides.

8 Public Speaking Lessons from the Most Viewed TED Talks | the winner

6. Reinforce your point throughout the talk

Contrary to popular opinion, you should consistently repeat yourself throughout the presentation. If you establish your point over and over, your audience will eventually catch on to what you’re trying to say. This is what Richard St. John did in his short TED talk about success. He gave away the eight secrets to success while staying true to one core message: Success doesn’t come easy. You need to have the passion, the courage and the resilience to pursue it.

7. Leave your audience a gift before you go

The audience always sit in anticipation of something new to bring home. They lend their ears because they expect to be entertained or blown away by a novel idea or a fresh perspective they’ve never thought of before. Remember, although the presentation is your moment, it’s not entirely about you. You stand onstage not to bask under the spotlight but to share something that is worth your audience’s time.

The words of Robert Ballard, the explorer who discovered Titanic, are very fitting in this case. He said, “Your mission in any presentation is to inform, educate, and inspire. You can only inspire when you give people a new way of looking at the world in which they live.” Take for example Susan Cain’s “The Power of Introverts.” Cain dared to look at introversion from a different light, and the response she got was positively overwhelming. 

8. Waste no one’s time

It’s common courtesy among public speakers to end their talk before the time limit. TED talks run for an average of eighteen minutes, which TED curator Chris Anderson finds “long enough to be serious and short enough to hold people’s attention.” So if you’re given thirty minutes, prepare for a presentation that runs for twenty-five minutes or less. You can allot the extra time for unforeseen events or unsolicited questions from the audience.

Public speaking is not easy, but if you follow these tips, you’ll be a few steps closer to delivering an electrifying TED-like presentation that you’ll cherish for life. 

 

Resources:

Gallo, Carmine. “9 Public Speaking Lessons from the World’s Greatest TED Talks.” Forbes. March 4, 2014. www.forbes.com/sites/carminegallo/2014/03/04/9-public-speaking-lessons-from-the-worlds-greatest-ted-talks/#3e8ca62212ea

Haden, Jeff. “20 Public Speaking Tips of the Best TED Talks.” Inc. www.inc.com/ss/jeff-haden/20-public-speaking-tips-best-ted-talks

James, Geoffrey. “11 Public Speaking Tips from the Best TED Talks Speakers.” Inc. July 26, 2016. www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/11-public-speaking-tips-from-the-best-ted-talks-speakers.html

May, Kate Torgovnick & Ludolph, Emily. “A TED Speaker Coach Shares 11 Tips for Right Before You Go Onstage.” TED Blog. February 14, 2016. blog.ted.com/a-ted-speaker-coach-shares-11-tips-for-right-before-you-go-on-stage

Stillman, Jessica. “5 Secrets of Public Speaking from the Best TED Presenters.” Inc. November 8, 2013. www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/ted-speakers-on-presenting-public-speaking.html

 

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Overcoming Nerves When Giving a Presentation

Giving a presentation doesn’t always come naturally, especially when standing in front of a crowd isn’t your forte. It’s a skill that takes time to learn and perform just like singing or acting.
As much as you practice, though, one thing can derail you: stage fright. It’s a whole different experience when you’re rehearsing in a confined and controlled environment compared to when standing in front of a crowd.
Fear is inevitable. It is the usual initial feeling people have when they’re aware that something bad can happen. However, most find themselves harboring and being crippled by that possibility for a long time. Ever heard of Murphy’s Law?
You don’t have to experience the same fate. As long as you know how to avoid or fight it—and improve despite of and because of it—you won’t ever have to deal with bothersome stage frights. 

Getting Rid of Presentation Stage Fright in Two Simple Ways | Frighting on stage

Finding a Cure to Presentation Anxiety

Fighting off anxiety can be challenging. You never know when it will come and attack you. When it affects you, you feel weak, not knowing when it will go away. But fear isn’t a physical barrier. In fact, it‘s all in your head. You created it, and you can eliminate it.
Anxiety occurs when you anticipate a bad event. It’s normal to feel anxious when you’re in a stressful situation. And it grows when you keep believing it’s true. The only way to destroy it is by understanding that it’s all in your mind and becoming proactive on it.
Ask yourself the following questions: “What am I being anxious about?” “Where did it come from?” “Is now the time to think about it?” “Will it help me deliver my presentation?” Rationalizing points out the weight of your problem and its urgency. Breaking down your worries and your responsibilities helps you decide how to move along on your work. Instead of entertaining that fear, rehearse your pitch in your head. Your anxiety will be addressed by focusing on the task at hand. Stay on track and don’t let your mind wander off. Mentally pushing the nuisance to the far end of the room will make it leave. 

Getting Rid of Presentation Stage Fright in Two Simple Ways | Relax

Preventing Stage Fright Successfully

There are many reasons why presenters experience anxiety before and during a presentation. Apart from anticipating a faulty performance, procrastination, laziness, and carelessness are the other elements that trigger it. . Sometimes, the reason why you anticipate mistakes is because you know they are consequences of something you did wrong in the past. Maybe there’s a gap in your presentation that you deliberately neglected or maybe you can’t help but think about the practices you should have not missed. These simple yet reoccurring things can make you feel anxious on your big presentation day.
Crafting a great presentation takes much research and preparation. Being able to come up with great research takes a lot of effort and time. And on top of all that hard work, it also takes a lot of practice to make sure you feel ready to present your deck.
When you care to invest that much to prepare your pitch, consequences that make you anxious won’t get in the way. Instead, you gain confidence and feel empowered enough to present your pitch with your head held high. 

Getting Rid of Presentation Stage Fright in Two Simple Ways

Prepare, Present, and Prosper.

There’s no way of telling what’s going to happen next. Why waste time being fearful of outcomes you’re not even sure will happen? If you place fear in the present, you’ll see that it has no business being there. Your presentation should be the only thing on your mind when you walk onstage. The dialogue between you and your audience is your priority. Focus so that nothing can change the way you planned to deliver your pitch.
Remember that prevention is better than cure. Make time to prepare your deck and rehearse your performance. Learn how to present your deck better than the last time. Nobody becomes a public speaking expert overnight. Plan your slides carefully and practice your lines.
Lastly, don’t fear judgement or fill your mind with worry. You have the power to stop self-sabotaging thoughts. 

Resources:

Bellamy, Wallace J. “Fear… It’s All in Your Head.” DrBellamyDMD.com. July 12, 2016. www.drbellamydmd.com/patient-education/fear-its-all-in-your-head
Esposito, Janet. “Conquering Stage Fright.” Anxiety and Depression Society of America. n.d. www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/social-anxiety-disorder/treatment/conquering-stage-fright
Maina, Antony. “16 Ways to Overcome Stage Fright When Speaking in Public.” Small Business Trends. October 6, 2015. www.smallbiztrends.com/2015/10/overcome-stage-fright-speaking-in-public.html
Purtill, Corinne. “Murphy’s Law Is Totally Misunderstood and Is in Fact a Call to Excellence.” Quartz. May 16, 2017. www.qz.com/984181/murphys-law-is-totally-misunderstood-and-is-in-fact-a-call-to-excellence
Reynolds, Garr. “Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery,” 2nd ed. Berkeley, CA: New Riders. 2012.
“Managing Presentation Nerves: Coping with the Fear Within.” Mind Tools. n.d. www.mindtools.com/pages/article/PresentationNerves.htm

Answering the 3 Frequently Asked Questions in a Business Presentation

Engaging into a question and answer session with the audience is the best way for you to get feedback. Being offered their opinion about how you did and how well the whole talk was makes your presentation more engaging and further clarifies the points you’ve made. Additionally, it gives you insights on how you can make better presentations in the future.
You won’t be able to cover every detail during your business presentation, so it’s important to always anticipate questions beforehand. While the three following queries seem simple enough on their own, don’t underestimate your audience’s ability to catch you off guard. It’s a good idea to be prepared for any variation of…

Business Presentation Question #1: What do you do?

Question #1: What do you do?

The beginning of your deck should include an introduction that contains your contact details and a brief primer of your company. But this kind of information isn’t enough for the audience to know what your business is all about.
Your deck should cover every possible aspect of the purpose, service, and benefit that you provide while avoiding delays caused by an overly detailed discussion. If you have to reexplain your introduction towards the end of your business presentation, don’t just assume that the audience didn’t pay enough attention.
This type of question could mean that you didn’t spend enough time to explain your purpose or that your audience simply wants to know more details. Especially with the latter, that tells of their curiosity. Aren’t you glad they’re interested?

Business Presentation Question #2: What's your product?

Question #2: What’s your product?

There are several ways to phrase this question: “How does this product benefit your prospects?” “How useful is it?” “Is it worth the investment?” In other words, why should they choose you?
You should be able to answer all those questions and provide concrete reasons to support your claims. Going into detail with this particular question in mind is good since this means that your audience is curious about your brand. This is a way for you to slowly build up their trust. Knowing your product well adds to your credibility.
Seal the deal by convincing your prospects that your offer is worth their time and resources.
Business Presentation Question #3: How long does it take?

Question #3: How long does it take?

This type of question asks for specificity. It shows that the audience is thinking, “How soon will I start seeing results?”
Provide a financial projection that gives a realistic assessment of your project. Tell them when they can expect to see the results and only promise what you can deliver on time and on a realistic budget.
Scott Gerber, entrepreneur and angel investor, learned the hard way from being rejected by investors for his company. One of the most important lessons he learned was that venture capitalists that have seen it all can gauge the feasibility of your plans, so be realistic and avoid aiming for a multimillion investment without the experience to back it up.
You’ll know how eager your audience is when you hear them ask about your project timetable. Being asked this at the end of your business presentation usually means you’ve generated enough interest that’ll soon translate to sales. 

Final Thoughts

Keep your answers short and concise since you’re nearing the end of your presentation. Concise answers are easier to remember and will help end your presentation on time.
The responses you receive will help gauge your own persuasiveness as a speaker. So don’t be content with a silent response. Get the ball going by answering some of these questions by reiterating your main points.
The success of your pitch depends on how well you respond to these FAQs. Don’t let the simplicity of these questions fool you; prepare how to answer them beforehand. 

Resources:

Gerber, Scott. “6 Steps to the Perfect Pitch.” Entrepreneur. May 21, 2009. www.entrepreneur.com/article/201826
Greene, Charles. “Presentation Skills: 5 Tips to Improve Your Q&A.” CharlesGreene.com. August 27, 2012. www.charlesgreene.com/2012/08/5-tips-to-improve-your-qa-sessions
Pivovarov, Artur. “Presentation Skills. Unit 8: Dealing with Questions.” SlideShare. May 1, 2012. www.slideshare.net/ArturPivovarov/unit-8-12763217
“Conducting a Q&A Session.” Boundless. n.d. www.boundless.com/communications/textbooks/boundless-communications-textbook/delivering-the-speech-12/managing-q-a-68/conducting-a-q-a-session-268-4213

7 Ways to Recapture a Bored Audience

As a presenter taking the limelight, you shouldn’t expect the audience to give you their full attention outright. You have to understand that they have other stuff going on in their lives. You can’t force them to listen, but you can try to win their time and attention. One way to earn your place in the spotlight is to prepare for your presentation beforehand. Polish your content and decide on the best style of delivery. Make sure the method you choose is good enough to intrigue the audience and keep them hooked until the last slide.
Preparation is key to every presentation, but it’d be foolish to suppose even for a second that it’s enough to cover all the variables. No matter how much you prepare, you can’t predict what will happen onstage. You may have a brilliant content and a killer pitch deck but still have no one paying attention to you. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re a bad presenter, and it surely doesn’t mean that the people in front of you are rude. Sometimes, it simply means that your efforts and methods are not enough to draw the audience away from their other more important priorities.
Effectively Engaging a Disinterested Audience
So, what do you do? Should you just ignore your listeners’ indifference and rush through the presentation to get it all over with? No. The worst thing that can happen in a presentation is not for the audience to lose interest. The worst thing is for the presenter to give up trying to bring the audience back into the moment.
A responsible presenter reads the warning signs that may indicate that the audience is falling behind. The signs can be subtle or obvious: yawning, chattering, slouching, standing to leave the room, staring blankly into space, refusing to return eye contact, and fiddling with gadgets, among others. A seasoned presenter can detect these tell-tale signs spot on.

Pulling the Audience Back into the Moment

When you see the abovementioned signs, you can’t just go on with whatever you’re doing. The fact that nobody’s paying attention to you anymore should nudge you into doing something different. Otherwise, you’ll just be wasting everybody’s time. When you’re about to lose your audience’s attention, hit the reset button and start over again. Here are some of the things you can do:

1. Pause, reflect, and regroup

When everything seems to crash and burn, stop where you are. Obviously, nothing of what you’re planning to say or do next can make the audience care about your presentation. So, before you make any more mistakes, just stop and reflect on when and how you lost them. What did you do wrong? Why did they remain impassive when you said something that was supposed to intrigue them? Think of how you can shake things up, and figure out the best way to go from there. Sometimes, it’s better to improvise than go with something that is evidently not working out.

Effectively Engaging a Disinterested Audience

2. Inject stories into your presentation

Maybe the reason they are shutting you down is that you’re shoving hard data down their throats. Even technical professionals can get tired of numbers and figures when they’re presented blandly. Instead of sticking to one type of content that is sure to bore the crowd, share personal stories and anecdotes that shine a new light into your topic. People are hardwired to listen to stories because they’re engaging and undemanding. If you can share an interesting story that is relevant to the subject, you can pull the audience out of their trance and draw them back into your presentation.

3. Use humor to liven up the mood

This isn’t to say that you have to make the room shake with laughter. A small chuckle or a subtle smile should do the trick. Use humor to get into your audience’s good side and lighten the mood in the room. Just remember to keep your relevant to the presentation.

4. Break the pattern you’re in

People pay attention to any kind of change, so make sure to make your presentation as diverse and sundry as possible. Use transitional devices to prompt the audience that you’re shifting to another type of content. This will help them refocus and gradually get back on track.

Effectively Engaging a Disinterested Audience

5. Shift the limelight to the audience

A presentation should ideally be a dialogue rather than a monologue. It should be a two-way conversation that the audience can participate in. So, when you get the chance, turn the tables and give the audience an opportunity to talk. You can do this by engaging them in a Q & A session where you can take feedback and gauge how interested they are. It’s also an opportunity for your listeners to clarify things they might have missed.

6. Take small breaks after sections

People can only take in too much information. That’s why you need to give your audience a break every now and then. Microbreaks can leave them reinvigorated as they take refreshments and relieve themselves in the restroom. When they return to their seats, they will have enough energy to refocus into your presentation.

7. Check your body language

Maybe your stage presence (or lack of) is what leaves the audience inert. Maybe you’re not connecting with them enough through body language. Check your stance, gestures, and facial expressions. Make sure that you convey authority and confidence without coming off as arrogant and overbearing. Projecting the right body language can help you bring back their attention and save your presentation.
One thing you have to remember to avoid losing your audience is to make the presentation less about you and more about them. Everything you do should cater to their interests so that they will not be tempted to attend to other things while you’re up there onstage presenting valuable information.

Resources:

Biesenbach, Rob. “What You Can Do When Your Audience Tunes Out.” Fripp. n.d. www.fripp.com/what-you-can-do-when-your-audience-tunes-out
Davis, Keith. “How to Use Humor in Your Speeches and Presentations.” Easy Public Speaking. May 20, 2010. easypublicspeaking.co.uk/public-speaking-humour
Frenzel, Leif. “How to Avoid Losing the Audience in a Technical Talk.” Code Affine. February 26, 2015. www.codeaffine.com/2015/02/26/how-to-keep-audience-attention-during-presentation
Mac, Dave. “Do You Recognize the Five Early Warning Signs of a Bored Audience?” n.d. www.presentationblogger.com/do-you-recognize-the-5-early-warnings-signs-of-a-bored-audience
Mitchell, Olivia. “What to Do When You’re Losing Your Audience.” Speaking About Presenting. n.d. www.speakingaboutpresenting.com/audience/losing-audience
Somlai, Fisher. “The Deck Is a Dialogue: Three Steps to Conversational Presenting.” Business. February 22, 2017. www.business.com/articles/the-deck-is-a-dialogue-3-steps-to-conversational-presenting
“What to Do When You’re Losing Your Audience.” The Total Communicator. n.d. totalcommunicator.com/vol2_2/losingaudience.html