Visual aids can be great … but only if you use them correctly. In this fun little silent movie, I share with you a simple message about visual aids. – – – – – Do you have questions about public speaking? Just ask and I’ll answer in a future […]
Here is the second installment of excerpts from For the Love of Public Speaking, a 27-minute introduction to Toastmasters I produced during a Television Production Workshop at Santa Rosa Junior College in 1994. This week I cover “Presentation.”
The information in this video is targeted to people who are just starting in Toastmasters. But the basis of what I’m saying applies to anyone who wants to make public speaking a part of their business, as well.
Recently, SlideShare released its Zeitgeist 2010 report of the most popular presentations posted to its site. Many of the findings have applications to not only sharing your presentations online, but how you create slides for your live presentations, as well. Here are my interpretations of their findings.
Make your presentation robust
The average number of slides of the most popular presentations was 63. Which is in sharp contrast to the average number of slides in general, which was 19. Conventional wisdom is to keep your use of visual aids few and significant, but this statistic flies in that face of that. What does this say?
I believe it says that people want robust, information packed presentations. Those with fewer slides didn’t provide enough information so they weren’t shared and thus didn’t become as popular as those that were.
1. Use simple, easy to understand visuals.
Visuals often help make a concept clearer than mere words can. This is especially true of difficult to understand and/or visualize scientific or technical information.
2. Use clear and natural body language.
Often, if you can “show what you mean” via body language — hand gestures, body stance — it can make a concept more clear. It is very important, however, that the gestures seem natural and not forced. Also, using body language can put you and your audience at ease. When people are more relaxed, they can convey and understand scientific and technical information more easily.
3. Use easy to hear language, make it more conversational.
Many times words that are perfectly understandable when read, can be misunderstood when heard. Also, a person who is reading can always go back and read an unclear sentence, however, when someone is talking, they can’t go back and listen to the sentence again. This is even more important when you are trying to convey difficult information.