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If You Want To Have A Killer Presentation, You Need To Pick Up This Skill Now

If You Want To Have A Killer Presentation, You Need To Pick Up This Skill Now

Do your palms get sweaty when you have to speak in front of a large group of people? Does your mouth dry out and you forget what you have to say? If you experience any or all of these feelings you are in the majority.

Public speaking is, surprisingly, the thing we fear the most. We fear it even more than death, according to many surveys and studies.[1]

The great comedian Jerry Seinfeld famously made light of people’s fear of public speaking by saying,

“Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”

But what can we do to calm this irrational fear and avoid our bodies going into the fight or flight response every time we stand up in front of an audience? There’s only one answer that will really work in the long run: practice and preparation.

The 10/20/30 Rule

With this in mind, here’s a tip from a man, who not only stood up in front of thousands of people, he did it very, very well. Guy Kawasaki popularized the concept of secular evangelism or evangelism marketing. He gives over fifty keynote speeches per year. People listen to what he has to say. Not least, Steve Jobs who he worked with at Apple.

But what does he have to say specifically about presentation preparation? According to Kawasaki, you can’t go wrong if you adhere to something he calls the 10/20/30 rule of PowerPoint.

As he put it,

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“it’s quite simple: a PowerPoint presentation should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points.”

Ten Slides

According to Kawasaki, you should use no more than ten slides as your average human being cannot comprehend more than ten concepts in a meeting. His advice is geared largely to entrepreneurial pitch presentations, however, his tips can be applied effectively to any type of presentation in which you’re trying to get a basic message across.

A guideline of the ten concepts a venture capitalist cares about, according to Kawasaki are:

1. Problem
2. Your solution
3. Business model
4. Underlying magic/technology
5. Marketing and sales
6. Competition
7. Team
8. Projections and milestones
9. Status and timeline
10. Summary and call to action

Twenty Minutes

Kawasaki’s advice is all about keeping the message clear, simple and concise. Present those ten slides in twenty minutes. As Kawasaki says,

“in a perfect world, you give your pitch in twenty minutes, and you have forty minutes left for discussion.”

This, of course, is a man who has to listen to hundreds of entrepreneurs pitch their companies. He’s jokingly blamed a barrage of terrible, 60-slide pitches for his tinnitus.[2] The message to take from this? Keep it simple. If your message is worth hearing, there’s no need for over explanation.

Thirty Points

Many pitchers and presenters frustratingly include small text in their slides and even read out large segments of what is on the screen. The problem with this is that human beings, in general, read faster than a person can speak. If you’re reading out what’s on your slides, your audience will realize this and start reading ahead of you. You will effectively become obsolete in your own presentation. Not a great impression to give if you want to communicate your message effectively.

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As Kawasaki puts it, using size 30 font on your slides works

“because it requires you to find the most salient points and to know how to explain them well.”

Not only is it possible to overcome a fear of public speaking, it’s possible to excel in front of an audience! Kawasaki’s 10/20/30 rule of PowerPoint can help you to do just that. If you focus clearly on what you want to say and practice delivering it with confidence, people will listen.

Reference

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Christopher Young

Freelance Blogger, Writer and Journalist

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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