Blog #21: Presentation Tips

I am in love with the idea that the best communicators are storytellers. This is why it is important when giving a presentation of any kind to be an effective storyteller. Give people something that sticks. I’ve been the recent victim or rather perpetrator of bad storytelling in an award acceptance speech, and I am definitely more determined to be a better presenter and orator. After reading an article from , here are some of the best tips to use when crafting a presentation:

  • Take advantage of the the curious minds of your audience: Begin your speech with something that will cause intrigue, sort of like how you would use the oddity piece of an upcoming event to qualify its newsworthiness.
  • Visual, audio and kinesthetics are important: Take audience to the destination you want them to reach with these three strong cues. They become more active participants in your story when you talk about “the adrenaline racing through your body, or the tragedy that brought you to tears.”
  • Don’t forget about conflict and resolution: We don’t like loose ends in any speeches. Start with a problem and tell your audience how you plan to solve that problem. Also, think about what it’s like to be in your audiences’ shoes and how your story could empower them to solve their own conflict, or rather how your company/org/client/etc. could help them.
  • Self-interest is good if it points to how you get there: Talk about how you or the client you are presenting on behalf of achieved significant goals.
  • Use shock and awe: We can pick up on patterns in speech and presentations fairly easily, so it’s good to add a twist at some point in your presentation to make sure people are paying attention. “That’s why movies like The Sixth Sense, Fight Club, Romeo & Juliet are capturing. The twist endings created a mental pattern break.”
  • Metaphor and illustrations: Turn personal experiences into a parable of some sorts. Jesus was the ultimate master of this (followed closely by the Apostle Paul). Keep them simple and easy to remember.
  • Have both internal and external components: There should be some obvious takeaways from your presentation, but to be extra effective, place something in your story that takes a little further thinking. The example in the article was great: someone could just show the feature of FaceTime and what makes it work, but it would be better to show a father and daughter talking face to face using the technology. Show, not tell.



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