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Secret Santa Rules: How to Make Your Presentation Worthwhile [Infographic]

The cool Christmas breeze, sparkling lights in the cities, and merry carolers are only a few of the cues that the happiest time of the year is here again.

With the holiday season just around the corner, let’s all embrace the cheer and bring everyone joy.

This celebration isn’t only for those we love and care for. It’s also for the people we don’t encounter every day, and people who need a helping hand.

You don’t have to give grand and expensive presents. A simple and sincere Christmas greeting can brighten up one’s day.

A smile or a warm hug can liven up and give comfort to a lonely spirit.

So if you have this major presentation to deliver, why not give your pitch the warmth of giving and sharing?

Try presenting from a secret Santa’s point of view to deliver a bundle of joy and a wealth of delight to your audience, no matter how small or big the group is.

It doesn’t just allow you to reach out to them, it also lets them appreciate your presence and understand your message.

Be Like a Secret Santa!

Presentations are like holiday gift exchanges, you need to plan in advance to frame the right content with delivery they’ll truly appreciate.

Always follow the secret rules of making a worthwhile presentation.

First, stick to the limit. In gift-giving, it’s important to give something appropriate for that person you drew out of a hat.

In presentations, you need to consider your audiences and their needs to deliver your message effectively.

Second, you have to be a good observer. This is essential in finding a perfect gift for your loved ones, as well as with business pitches.

Pay attention to your audience and their visual cues for a surefire performance.

Lastly, show some creativity. Make your presentation unique like a beautifully wrapped gift.

Get creative with your visuals and content to end your message on a high note.

Wrap them all up together and your audience will value the gift of information.

Here’s an infographic from SlideGenius to show you how acting like a secret Santa makes for effective presentations:

Be Like Secret Santa: How It Makes Presentations Worthwhile

“We make a living by what we get but we make a life by what we give,” — Winston Churchill.

People celebrate success and achieve happiness when good results come their way. However, one can’t achieve great outcomes without exerting any effort. Don’t just focus on yourself while climbing up your own career ladder. After all, most businesses aren’t run by just a single person – they’re built up of several people. You can’t sell something without having someone to sell to, either. That’s why if you want to help yourself, you should also reach out to others.

It’s a great time to do this, especially since the Christmas season is just around the corner. So if you have this major presentation to deliver, why not embrace this season of giving and sharing? Share helpful insights with your audience, and you’ll get undivided attention in return.

Here’s how to be like a secret Santa and make your business pitch worthwhile not just for yourself, but for others.

1. Stick to the Limit

1-Stick-to-Presentation-Limits

In the context of gift-giving, you can’t buy something random for that person you drew out of the hat. You have to pick an item that can be used by anyone of any gender, without exceeding the maximum budget allotted. Similar to the limits imposed on what kind of gift you can give, making a presentation also comes with its own list of things to consider. It’s tempting to go over the maximum number of PowerPoint slides that you’re allowed to use, especially if you’re struggling to convey your message effectively with less content.

Going over the limit might give you more room to explain your point, but keeping it concise makes it easier for the audience to remember what you said. Likewise, overly-designed visuals in your slides can distract the audience, not only taking their eyes away from your deck, but making them lose their interest in you as well. Sometimes, it’s not about the quantity of your offering, but the quality of your gift. Make your presentation design simple yet interesting to engage and entice them with your speech.

2. Find Out What They Like

2-Find-Out-What-Audiences-Like

Finding the perfect Christmas gift can be both exciting and challenging, just like when you’re pitching a business proposal. The greatest challenge is presenting something that meets your client’s expectations and interests. You have to observe how people act so that you can map out a great strategy. This applies before, during, and after your presentation. Don’t forget to take a real glance at your audience while you’re speaking. Do they look engaged, or are they checking their wristwatches or cellphones instead?

You can try segueing with a somewhat related topic in order to regain their attention, but make sure it’s connected to your message. Otherwise, your audience will think that you’re giving them random information, just so you can say that you offered something, even if it’s knowledge that the audience can’t use.

As a presenter, you also need to watch for what signals they’re sending in. Their expressions are big hints as to how they’re receiving your presentation. Is your audience smiling at you or are they giving you a neutral face? If it’s the former, keep going. If it’s the latter, it’s time to re-evaluate your tactics – and quick.

For example, if business jokes don’t seem to work on them, then you should probably go for something serious. Once you’ve picked up on their visual clues, re-align your thoughts and switch to another style of delivery to recapture their interest.

3. Get Creative with Your Gifts

3-Get-Creative-With-Gifts-and-Presentations

Receiving a beautifully wrapped gift can make anyone feel extra special. After all, it brings the holiday spirit to life in that one simple moment. If lovely gift-wrapping adds value to a gift, then all the more reason to wrap your speech with a nice note, too. Instead of talking about your topic dryly, go for a creative approach to not only hook but also inform your audience. For instance, you can include an animated video or a movie clip that sums up your intended message with maximum impact.

If you really can’t think of alternative ways to deliver your message, don’t fret. There are plenty of different avenues you can take: you can include infographics, success stories, and up-to-date news to support your main idea. Of course, sprucing up your deck with eye-catching design and layout will help your audience pay attention to what you’re saying. Make sure to align your colors and elements to your personal branding, and arrange your text and images in a way that clarifies your main points, rather than detract from them.

Wrapping It Up

4-Wrap-Up-Your-Presentations-Like-Gifts

Presentations are similar to Christmas cringles and gift exchanges. You need to put in more effort to make your audience value the gift you’re sharing: the gift of information. Follow the basics, and don’t go overboard. If they set a limit to the kind of gift you can give, then stay within those limits. This not only saves you time, but keeps you from straying from your main topic, giving your audience a meaty presentation instead of one filled with irrelevant information.

Be a good observer, not just someone dispensing information, but someone who takes in available information as well. Things may not go the way you planned them to, so it’s crucial to adapt in case you notice the crowd starting to doze off. Watch out for visual clues about your listeners’ interest levels and adjust according to the situation. Finally, unleash your creative side. Think of other ways to effectively convey your message. Anybody can stand in front of a crowd and start talking about straight facts, but only those who prepare well for it can relay their messages in compelling and convincing ways.

Adopt a secret Santa approach and you’ll bring joy to everybody in your audience. By sincerely giving what meaningful knowledge you have to others, you’re sure to receive sales and numerous successes in return.

 

References

Dabbah, Mariela. “Secret Santa:  7 Golden Rules for Giving.” Mamiverse. September 12, 2011. Accessed November 17, 2015. www.mamiverse.com/secret-santa-7-golden-rules-for-giving-3894/

Timed Presentations: Tips for When the Clock is Ticking

While an extra ten minutes might seem harmless, it could mean something else for the people in your audience. An extra ten minutes could mean that majority of your audience won’t be able to hear your conclusion. It can also make or break the outcome of your presentation, especially if you’re pitching to investors or trying to make a sale.

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So how can you be sure that your timed presentations end at the exact moment? Follow these three simple tips to help you finish presentations on time:

Plan accordingly

The secret to timed presentations is sufficient planning. The first thing you have to do is ask how long you have to speak. For business presentations, 30-45 minutes seem to be the standard. If you’re talking at a seminar, you might have an hour to present. Check with your contacts or the organizers to be sure.

Once you have the answer, you can begin planning how everything will play out. Aside from the main discussion, what else do you have in mind for your presentation? Do you want to involve your audience with some activities? Are you planning on giving a live demo?

Think about everything you want to do during your presentation and consider how much time each part could take up. Everything included in your presentation should contribute to your main takeaway. You should also allocate a few minutes for answering questions, and give yourself leeway in case your equipment malfunctions or you arrive late at the venue.

Rehearse and make necessary edits

After you’ve finished planning and preparing your presentation, take the extra step to rehearse everything you want to do on stage. With a timer going, practice your speech with the PowerPoint deck you’ve prepared. You should also rehearse your body language and how you plan to move on the stage. Make your rehearsals as close to your actual presentation as possible.

If you can, ask a friend or family member to help you out. Have them take note of how long you take during each part of your presentation. If it looks like you’re taking too long on the introduction, trim some of the parts out. Keep rehearsing and editing until you’re a little bit under your allotted time. If everything runs smoothly, you can use the extra time to address a few more questions.

Make adjustments on stage

Now that you know how long each part of your presentation will take, use these markers to facilitate your delivery. Take note of the time as you give your presentation. Enable PowerPoint’s Presenter View to access a timer. If you originally allotted 5 minutes for your introduction and you’re running over time, adjust accordingly. Skip the joke you were planning to tell and move on to the next part of the presentation.

Flexibility is important in timed presentations. But keep in mind that being flexible doesn’t mean rushing through your slides and talking fast. Instead, try to condense the less important parts of your presentation by offering a general overview. In cases of unforeseen events, don’t ask for extra time unless you’re offered an extension.

Make sure your audience stays to hear the rest of your presentation by staying within your allotted schedule. Timed presentations might seem a bit restrictive, but they’re basically protocol in the business world.

Don’t miss out on great opportunities just because the clock is ticking behind you.

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Featured Image: MattysFlicks via Flickr