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5 Presentation Speaking Tips from Winston Churchill

One of the most effective speakers we can learn from is Winston Churchill. In fact, both advertising agency gurus and presentation experts have cited his skills, be it crafting and rehearsing a presentation speech, as brand communications expert, Carmine Gallo lauded, or for writing persuasive advertising copy, according to creativity mentor, Luke Sullivan.

Churchill’s speeches have always been powerful and persuasive. These can be used as inspiration for more convincing business or sales presentations, especially if you’re selling something. Use these five presentation speaking tips to get the most out of your pitch:

1. Begin Strongly

Start with a question, cite a relevant quotation or challenge your audience. Whichever way you pick, be sure to give your audience a strong and credible impression. You also need to empathize and show that you’re willing to help solve their problems.

Remember that you need clients or partners to invest in you. Giving a confident impression and backing it up with an effective pitch make for a strong introduction.

2. Have One Theme

A compelling idea is the cornerstone of an effective business presentation. Being able to centralize your speech around one idea describes and clarifies what you want to say. Sullivan suggests that in order to find that one idea, look at your product and find the best way you can describe it.

If you can summarize that within one description, putting in the supporting points to back up your claims will be easier to make. Your audience will also have an easier time following your pitch too.

3. Use Simple language

Using a conversational tone, together with simple and easy-to-understand language gives potential partners an easier time following your presentation. This saves you time in reiterating your key points and explaining them to the audience.

Rather than giving a technical explanation, stick to highlighting what your product or service can offer your clients. Gallo suggests you let them know what they get out of it and why they should care about your pitch.

4. Leave a Picture in the Audiences’ Minds

Words are more than just a means to convince your clients. They can also be used to paint pictures in the audience’s minds. This is important because people buy what they can see, more than hearing the description, more than reading about it, clients and prospects need to visualize the product and the situations where it can help them.

To help you get the most out of this, try to find out what a professional presentation design specialist can do to enhance your PowerPoint Deck.

5. End Dramatically

As with your beginning, you need to make a dramatic ending. It can be a call to action, a challenge for your clients to invest in your proposal, or an important fact they can associate with your brand.

When you make your conclusion, always refer to your main idea and how it is organized. If your presentation is structured with the strategy of highlighting your best selling point, you already have an edge against the competition.

One Last Thing

Leaving a lasting impression can potentially be as powerful as an initial impression. Learning to apply these tips will give you the same edge that Winston Churchill enjoyed.

To help you make your speech work with a matching PowerPoint presentation, take a few minutes to get in touch with us, all for free!

 

References

Audio Archive.” Winston Churchill. Accessed August 18, 2015.
Gallo, Carmine. The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010.
Sullivan, Luke. Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: A Guide to Creating Great Ads. 3rd ed. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, 2008.

 

Featured Image: “NY – Hyde Park: Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library – Winston Churchill Portrait” by Wally Gobetz on flickr.com

Winston Churchill: Orator of the Century

Widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the 20th century, Winston Churchill inspired Great Britain and the Western world to stand up, and fight against the strongest military empire of the century. You can agree that convincing millions of people to support you in any cause is an almost impossible task. Churchill was very tactful when it came to give convincing speeches. In fact he famously said, “Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.”

First, and perhaps most importantly, becoming a great speaker is a matter of practice and persistence, not natural talent. Even Churchill himself was not born a great presenter. He actually had a slight stammer and a lisp (that made him sound drunk) when he was young. He spent hours on end crafting his speeches, perfecting every word. Churchill himself said “Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence is the key to unlocking our potential.”

With that, here are four lessons Winston Churchill can teach us about perfecting our speeches and professional powerpoint presentations:

Speak in crisp and direct sentences.

As ugly and inconvenient as what you say may be, be straightforward in what you say and your audience will respect you. Winston says, “If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack.”

Churchill’s examples of this:

“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”

“A politician needs the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen.”

Be eloquent and rhythmic in your vocabulary.

By this, I don’t mean stuff big words everywhere just to sound fancy. What I mean is that you should make the simplest form of whatever you’re saying into the most professional way it can be said. Churchill also had a melodious flow to his speeches, keeping the audience on their toes at all points throughout. At any rate, bettering your vocabulary can also be a very helpful activity for bettering your vocational skills. Learning 5 new words a day might be a great way to start…

Repeat, Repeat, Repeat.

Churchill utilizes repetition in almost ever single one of his speeches. He would consistently use phrases or words over and over again in the same breath to highlight a point.

Churchill’s examples of this:

“Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.”

“We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”

Ironical humor.

Churchill was known for his wit and word play. While wit seems like a more “born-with-it” sort of concept, one will surely develop it by knowing a certain concept through and through. Once you master a specific idea or issue, you will have the necessary background to react quickly and wittily to questions or comments you are confronted with. This ultimately comes down to practice; know what you are talking about and you will know what to say at all times.

Churchill’s examples of this:

 “If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law.”

“We have always found the Irish a bit odd. They refuse to be English.”

As one of the most revered leaders and orators in history, Winston Churchill changed the world with both his voice and his actions. Following and epitomizing Churchill in your next professional powerpoint presentation will be a great way to improve yourself as a public speaker and powerpoint expert.

 

Reference:

Winston Churchill Quotes.BrainyQuote.