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Communication skills - How to do a killer presentation


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This is a presentation I did for the guys and girls at Mazarin (Pvt) Ltd, on how to do an effective presentation. You can see some of the points mentioned in the presentation being used by checking out this video.

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Communication skills - How to do a killer presentation

  1. 1. Communication Skills Tips on how to do a Killer presentation Yeheshan de Silva Wednesday, 29th January 2014
  2. 2. IMPORTANT - Attention Spans • Research indicates that most people‟s attention spans start to decline after about 17 minutes of non-stop listening. • Research also shows that attention is higher at the start and end of a talk than in the middle. • This means that you should time a once-off presentation to last no more than about 20 minutes. • If your subject requires you to speak longer, think of using suitable breaks, intervals or a change of pace and style.
  3. 3. #01 - Opening Techniques • Impact techniques can be used to grab an audience‟s attention : ▫ news – “I‟d like to give you some news that‟s just come in…” ▫ a quote – “It was Richard Branson who said that there‟s only one way to make money…” ▫ a question – “Let me ask you a simple question: What would you all rather be doing now?” ▫ a story – “When I was in Cambodia during the reign of Pol Pot…” ▫ a fact – “Research shows that 7 out of 10 people will suffer some form of mental illness one day…” ▫ drama – “The next 10 minutes could change your life…”
  4. 4. #02 - Be Entertaining • Speeches should be entertaining and informative. • Simply reciting dry facts without any passion or humor will make people less likely to pay attention.
  5. 5. #03 - Make them laugh • Although you want to educate your audience, you need to make them laugh as well. • In essence, it keeps the audience alert and they‟ll learn more from you than someone who just educates.
  6. 6. #04 - Slow Down • Consciously slow your speech down and add pauses for emphasis.
  7. 7. #05 - Eye Contact • Match eye contact with everyone in the room. • You shouldn‟t focus all your attention on the decision maker since secretaries and assistants in the room may hold persuasive sway over their boss
  8. 8. #06 - Talk to your audience, not at them • People hate it when they get talked at, so don‟t do it. • You need to interact with your audience and create a conversation. • An easy way to do this is to ask them questions as well as letting them ask you questions.
  9. 9. #07 - Show some movement • Make sure you show some gestures or pace around a bit (not too much) on the stage when speaking. • Remember, no one likes watching a stiff. • People are more engaged with an animated speaker.
  10. 10. #08 - Don’t Read • If you don‟t know your speech without cues, it shows you don‟t really understand your message, a huge blow to any confidence the audience has in you.
  11. 11. #09 - Speeches are About Stories • If your presentation is going to be a longer one, explain your points through short stories, quips and anecdotes. • Great speakers know how to use a story to create an emotional connection between ideas for the audience.
  12. 12. #10 - Don’t Plan Gestures • Any gestures you use need to be an extension of your message and any emotions that message conveys. • Planned gestures look false because they don‟t match your other involuntary body cues
  13. 13. #11 - Project Your Voice • Nothing is worse than a speaker you can‟t hear. • Projecting your voice doesn‟t mean yelling, rather standing up straight and letting your voice resonate on the air in your lungs rather than in the throat to produce a clearer sound.
  14. 14. #12 - “That’s a Good Question” • You can use statements like, ▫ “that‟s a really good question,” or ▫ “I‟m glad you asked me that,” to buy yourself a few moments to organize your response.
  15. 15. #13 - Breathe In Not Out • Feeling the urge to use presentation killers like „um,‟ „ah,‟ or „you know‟? • Replace those with a pause taking a short breath in. The pause may seem a bit awkward, but the audience will barely notice it.
  16. 16. #14 - Come Early, Really Early • Come early, scope out the room, run through your slideshow and make sure there won‟t be any glitches. • Preparation can do a lot to remove your speaking anxiety.
  17. 17. #15 - Get Practice • Join Toastmasters and practice your speaking skills regularly in front of an audience. Not only is it a fun time, but it will make you more competent and confident when you need to approach the podium.
  18. 18. #16 - Don’t Apologize • Apologies are only useful if you‟ve done something wrong. • Don‟t use them to excuse incompetence or humble yourself in front of an audience. • Don‟t apologize for your nervousness or a lack of preparation time. • Most audience members can‟t detect your anxiety, so don‟t draw attention to it.
  19. 19. #17 - Do Apologize if You’re Wrong • One exception to the above rule is that you should apologize if you are late or shown to be incorrect. • You want to seem confident, but don‟t be a jerk about it.
  20. 20. #18 - Put Yourself in the Audience • When writing a speech, see it from the audiences perspective. ▫ What might they not understand? ▫ What might seem boring? • Use WIIFM (What‟s In It For Me) to guide you.
  21. 21. #19 - Show your personality • It doesn‟t matter if you are presenting to a corporate crowd or to senior citizens, you need to show some character when presenting. • If you don‟t do this you‟ll probably sound like Agent Smith from the Matrix.
  22. 22. #20 - Don’t abuse your visuals • Usually your visuals are posters, charts, or even a PowerPoint presentation. • Whatever your visuals may be, keep them simple and don‟t put too many words on them. • The audience isn‟t there to read your slides, they are there to listen to you present.
  23. 23. #21 - Have Fun • With a little practice you can inject your passion for a subject into your presentations. • Enthusiasm is contagious