(Unsplash | @ miguel_photo)
Let’s do this!
First – ?The PODCAST
This ?episode is focused on the skill of preparing and delivering COMPELLING PRESENTATIONS or speech. As in – you standing in front of a room. It could be a small meeting or a massive audience. It could be a formal lecture or a toast at a wedding.
We could all use some tips on this, right?
At this point in my career, I honestly enjoy giving compelling presentations. But it wasn’t always that way. At the beginning of this episode, I share the story of when I was about 23 years old, working as a marketing assistant at Kraft Foods. I had to give a formal presentation to “the sales guys.” (Yes, that’s how we referred to them. They were almost all male, and they were definitely more experienced and confident that I was.) I don’t remember much about being onstage and delivering the presentation, but I do vividly recall what my boss said after I got off stage:
“Phew, you made it, Andrea.
I thought I was going to have to
get out there and save you.
Maybe pull you off stage with a cane
like they do in the Looney Tunes cartoon.
Are you ok?”
It took years of practice to improve my presentation skills. I certainly could have benefitted from coaching by our podcast guest – Andrew Musselman!
I met Andrew through a Talk About Talk listener who hired Andrew to coach her though an important speech she gave at a conference. Given her success, she suggested that I interview Andrew. (Thank you, Anne!)
Five of the many things you will learn about compelling presentations in this week’s episode:
- The most important thing? Your one key message. Your supporting points should all reference back to this message. Think cohesiveness. When preparing, grab a pen and paper and write your message out first. This works better than creating your presentation slide-by-slide.
- Do not start with a topic sentence. Instead, tell the audience at the very beginning what their key takeaway will be. Let your audience know that you will do the work for them.
- Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse, Yes, practice makes perfect. If you are pressed for time, focus on the above: namely your one key message.
- On keeping the audience engaged – use nuance and the 4Ps. Variation is what keeps our attention. Try the four P’s:
- Pitch – high and low register
- Pace – fast and slow speed
- Posture – move your body – but with purpose
- Projection. Pause and think on the inhale, project your voice on the exhale
- Keep it grounded in authenticity and passion. If you truly care about the key message, so will your audience.
Adding PIZZAZZ to Your Presentation
I asked Andrew about adding humour, storytelling, and video clips into compelling presentations. Here’s some of what he said:
- Back to the AUTHENTICITY and COHESIVENESS points above. Don’t add humour, storytelling or videoclips for the sake of pizzazz. It all needs to reinforce your key message. It needs to be organic. You (the speaker) are the primary vehicle for the information. The slides and other media are there to back you up.
- MULTI-MEDIA elements can reinforce the key message and lead to increased comprehension and retention.
- On HUMOUR: Andrew says, “stay in your lane.” Your job is to share information and a message. You’re not there simply to entertain them. That said, trust yourself. If there’s something you find it humorous, chances are people are going to find it humorous as well.
- On STORYTELLING: Andrew says, “If you have a point that you’re trying to make, and you can illustrate that with a story, then I think, go for it, go for it 10 times out of 10, it’s always going to be more effective telling a story, rather than just giving information. There’s an old saying, connect first, then convince, and that’s what stories do.”
I leave you with this:
…The video that Andrew Musselman himself often plays at the beginning of his speeches – perfectly demonstrating why you might want a speech coach!
? ? ?
RECOMMENDED Books & Videos
Here are a few of the books and videos recommended by Andrew Musselman:
by John Neffinger & Matthew Kohut
by Nancy Duarte
More to Come on PRESENTATIONS!
This week it’s about PREPARING & DELIVERING a Compelling Presentation. In two weeks, we’ll talk CONFIDENCE:
- #47 PREPARING & DELIVERING Compelling Presentations (this week)
- #48 Presenting with CONFIDENCE (2 weeks from now)
Mark Twain has something to say about both of these topics:
Have a great week!
Dr. Andrea Wojnicki
Chief Talker & Communication Coach
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