Thoughts from the BrightTALK Academy: How to Be a Presentation God
Do you change the world every time you present? According to Scott Schwertly, this should be at the forefront of our minds when we are planning and delivering presentations. In October, Schwertly, Founder of Ethos3, presented on the BrightTALK Academy, sharing advice from his recent book, How to Be a Presentation God. Schwertly covered three areas – building, designing, and delivering presentations, which will compel your audience and, potentially, change the world!
Here are my personal top three takeaways from the event.
1. When writing your presentation, keep it short and simple. Some of the greatest presenters use language that a child would understand. This is not to undermine the audience, but to allow them to follow your ideas easily. Over-complicating your language can confuse and alienate your audience. A good way to avoid this is to research your audience’s knowledge level, prior to writing your presentation. This will ensure that you are communicating at an appropriate level and using examples that the audience can relate to.
2. Simple slides can trigger the audience’s imagination, whereas filling a slide with text can cloud your key messages. Audiences become more susceptible to distractions when faced with a slide of text, causing them to miss information and lose interest in your presentation. Rather than creating slides with vast quantities of text, use an image that conveys your message or creates an impact. As it is famously said, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Using images also has the extra benefit of forcing you to speak freely, rather than reading off the slide.
3. Finally, the best way to combat fear of public speaking is to understand it. By acknowledging that you are going to feel nervous before a presentation, you can find ways to make yourself feel more comfortable. Schwertly provides a variety of tips that will make you feel confident, before you even begin speaking. They include simple actions, such as turning your phone off, arriving to the venue early and emptying your pockets. By settling yourself in your environment and removing distractions, you set yourself up to engage your audience with your presentation, not your jangling keys!
These are just a few of the many tips and best practices Schwertly shared. To hear more watch the free webinar or grab a copy of How to Be a Presentation God. What techniques did you find useful from the webinar and do you have any tips that weren’t covered?