3 presentation tips you don’t often hear from the experts

Business colleagues clapping hands in learning seminar office classroom

Presentation tips are everywhere. Put those two words into Google as I did this morning and you will get 1,190,000,000 results.

Tell stories

Pause,

Make eye contact

Slow down

Know your audience

Prepare

‘Cut the fat’

Smile

Breathe

Move

Practice

Start strong

Close stronger

Show passion

Ditch the bullet points.

Following those 15 tips alone will serve you incredibly well each time you stand to speak. It’s all perfectly good advice which we here at Mindful Presenter share and encourage too.

That said, there is more, much more to high impact presenting and public speaking. If you set out with the pure intention of connecting with your audience instead of presenting to them they will be extremely grateful.

Here are 3 tips you won’t often here:

1. Don’t be yourself

I’m tired of hearing presentation coaches tell speakers to “just be yourself”. Being yourself is all well and good but for some people it may not be enough. If your normal self isn’t conducive to engaging, inspiring and connecting with an audience then why would they want to listen to you?

Often, adopting an “I’m just going to be myself” attitude stifles growth, creativity and can end up being an excuse for complacency.

You don’t have to lose your authenticity but if you have the attention of a room full of people who have given their valuable time to listen to you, then you owe it to them to be your very best self.

2.  Embrace PowerPoint

The only reason PowerPoint and other visual aids are so often shunned is that people abuse them. PowerPoint was never intended as an aide-memoire for speakers to read from and yet that’s what even some of the most experienced presenters are doing every day.

Used correctly, PowerPoint can bring more energy and visual impact to your presentations helping your audience to use their imaginations and make your presentation more memorable.

The old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” is still true today. So don’t listen to the PowerPoint critics – just learn how to use it to help your audience.

3. Don’t be so serious

Prior to coaching presentation skills, I spent many years as an executive and what seems like a lifetime in the boardroom. During that time it often seemed to me a very large number of leaders and professionals carry the mistaken idea that being professional means that you have to be deadly serious all of the time.

Not only is it not true, it’s not a good look for  most of us.

Unless you’re making people redundant, informing them of a death, the building is on fire or your £12m project has run horribly over budget you can still smile; especially in business presentations.

Our priority as presenters is to connect with our audience on an emotional as well as an intellectual level and it is hard to do that with a deadpan face.

We wouldn’t get very far at home with our partners and children if we were so stately all of the time; sometimes we need to relax, add a little humour, charm, grace and fun.

The world has changed

Cast your mind back to the last business presentation you attended.

– What do you remember?

– How much do you remember?

– How did you feel the moment the presenter finished speaking?

– How did you feel when you returned to your desk or car?

At mindful presenter we believe that after a typical business presentation most people will forget around 90% of what they heard by the time the get back to their car or desk.

At best they will feel indifferent.

The world has changed radically in the last 3 decades:

– Technology

– Education

– Medicine

– Transport

– Engineering

– Psychology

Everything has changed apart from the way we speak and present to each other in business.

In many of the biggest, most successful and influential brands in the world, highly creative, intelligent and talented professionals are still:

– Reading slides fraught with bullet points, text and data

– Donning the ‘corporate spokesperson’ voice and demeanour

– Speaking in a monotone voice

– Telling people how clever they are, how much the know and how hard they work

– Leaving fellow professionals feeling bored, numb, indifferent or disinterested

That’s mindless presenting

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Mindful Presenter shows you how to:

– Speak with confidence, clarity and impact

– Speak with purpose, power and humility

– Add value and to make a difference each time you speak

– Connect with your audience emotionally as well as intellectually

– Find and value your voice

– Use your voice effectively with the courage to challenge the status- quo and lead real and positive change

I really hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please feel free to share it through your preferred social media channels below and subscribe to our mailing list so you won’t miss any future posts.

If this article has inspired you to learn a little more about how effective your presentation skills are you may want to take a look at our presentation training and presentation coaching pages to see how we may be able to help you. You will also find a great deal of really helpful ‘free’ information in our Learning Centre.

Image courtesy of: www.istockphoto.com

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