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Why Passion Is An Essential Ingredient For Captivating Presentations (And How To Have It!)

Why Passion Is An Essential Ingredient For Captivating Presentations (And How To Have It!)

Have you ever wondered why a stamp collector can give a presentation to a crowd? Hint: It’s not necessarily because stamp collecting is riveting. It is because the speaker has so much passion that they make a rare find sound like walking on the moon.

Have you ever wondered why your well-prepared and factual presentations elicit nothing but polite yawns and a few high scores in Candy Crush? It is often because, despite all your hard work, you could not translate your love for your subject through the slides.

A presentation usually falls into two categories. It is either a great chance for a power nap or it becomes the most inspiring part of the day. To take your audience from lightly dozing to vigorously applauding, you need one thing: passion.

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It is not a secret that the things that you are best at are the things that you are passionate about. But beyond this, the things that you find so interesting are often the things that you can sell to other people if you put your mind to it. Chances are, you do sell something you love every day when you recommend books, movies, and restaurants to friends and family. But, delivering a passionate presentation goes beyond giving a talk that gives people a shot at staying awake. It allows people to buy into what you are saying. When you connect with your audience emotionally, they are more likely to remember the message of your talk.

It is one thing to understand that you need to be passionate on stage. It is another thing to make it happen. Follow these three tips for creating passionate and powerful presentations on whatever it is that you love.

Tell a Story

People cannot connect with facts, figures, and numbers when you spout them verbally. To get people to engage with your presentation, you need to put your passion to good use and turn your data into a narrative.

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The narrative is in there somewhere, even if the company or sector you are talking about isn’t the most exciting. The things you are talking about started out one way, changed somehow, and arrived at the present day in a linear way. What you need to do is turn that into a story that grabs people. Then, at the very least, the audience knows where they are and how they got there.

Storytelling is about more than just the story. It is in how you tell it. You do not need to infantilize your audience by pretending it’s story hour. You also do not need to exaggerate events by jumping up and down on the stage. Instead, let your emotions run through naturally. The best kind of storytelling comes from convincing acting that not only showcases your real feelings but lets the audience reach their own.

Don’t Hide Behind Your PowerPoint

Your PowerPoint is a prop. It is a tool that you use to give your audience something to look at. It is a nice place to put important facts, quotes, or charts. It is also a handy place to illustrate your jokes. But, your PowerPoint is not your presentation.

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Too many people use their PowerPoint as a crutch rather than a prop. It is tempting to read directly from your presentation when you are nervous. But, instead of relying on your visual aids, free yourself from them.

The best way to do this is to make a minimalist PowerPoint. Include only the most essential points of your presentation so that you and the audience can refer to them when necessary. When you do not have your whole presentation written out on the screen, there is no way you can rely on it.

When you use your slideshow as an aid, you have more room to connect with your audience through your speech. You may even end up improvising. This is not a bad thing. It may be that your improvisation turns out to be the most important part of your presentation.

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Act Like You Know It All

When you are passionate about something, you probably know a lot more about it than you realize. Instead of acting like you are moderately excited about something you’re interested in, act like you are the king of your presentation.

When you use your passion to create confidence, it is not only easier for your audience to believe in you but for you to believe in you. This will have an effect that results not only in a great presentation but in a great life and career as well.

Passion is the key to baking a soufflé and to giving a great presentation. If you can harness your own passion, you can turn your next talk into a crowd-pleasing attraction.

Featured photo credit: NASA Goddard via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life

7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life

What do I want to do with my life? It’s a question all of us think about at one point or another.

For some, the answer comes easily. For others, it takes a lifetime to figure out.

It’s easy to just go through the motions and continue to do what’s comfortable and familiar. But for those of you who seek fulfillment, who want to do more, these questions will help you paint a clearer picture of what you want to do with your life.

1. What are the things I’m most passionate about?

The first step to living a more fulfilling life is to think about the things that you’re passionate about.

What do you love? What fulfills you? What “work” do you do that doesn’t feel like work? Maybe you enjoy writing, maybe you love working with animals or maybe you have a knack for photography.

The point is, figure out what you love doing, then do more of it.

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2. What are my greatest accomplishments in life so far?

Think about your past experiences and the things in your life you’re most proud of.

How did those accomplishments make you feel? Pretty darn good, right? So why not try and emulate those experiences and feelings?

If you ran a marathon once and loved the feeling you had afterwards, start training for another one. If your child grew up to be a star athlete or musician because of your teachings, then be a coach or mentor for other kids.

Continue to do the things that have been most fulfilling for you.

3. If my life had absolutely no limits, what would I choose to have and what would I choose to do?

Here’s a cool exercise: Think about what you would do if you had no limits.

If you had all the money and time in the world, where would you go? What would you do? Who would you spend time with?

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These answers can help you figure out what you want to do with your life. It doesn’t mean you need millions of dollars to be happy though.

What it does mean is answering these questions will help you set goals to reach certain milestones and create a path toward happiness and fulfillment. Which leads to our next question …

4. What are my goals in life?

Goals are a necessary component to set you up for a happy future. So answer these questions:

Once you figure out the answers to each of these, you’ll have a much better idea of what you should do with your life.

5. Whom do I admire most in the world?

Following the path of successful people can set you up for success.

Think about the people you respect and admire most. What are their best qualities? Why do you respect them? What can you learn from them?

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You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.[1] So don’t waste your time with people who hold you back from achieving your dreams.

Spend more time with happy, successful, optimistic people and you’ll become one of them.

6. What do I not like to do?

An important part of figuring out what you want to do with your life is honestly assessing what you don’t want to do.

What are the things you despise? What bugs you the most about your current job?

Maybe you hate meetings even though you sit through 6 hours of them every day. If that’s the case, find a job where you can work more independently.

The point is, if you want something to change in your life, you need to take action. Which leads to our final question …

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7. How hard am I willing to work to get what I want?

Great accomplishments never come easy. If you want to do great things with your life, you’re going to have to make a great effort. That will probably mean putting in more hours the average person, getting outside your comfort zone and learning as much as you can to achieve as much as you can.

But here’s the cool part: it’s often the journey that is the most fulfilling part. It’s during these seemingly small, insignificant moments that you’ll often find that “aha” moments that helps you answer the question,

“What do I want to do with my life?”

So take the first step toward improving your life. You won’t regret it.

Featured photo credit: Andrew Ly via unsplash.com

Reference

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