Advertising
Advertising

Tricks to Deliver an Impressive Presentation Every Time

Tricks to Deliver an Impressive Presentation Every Time

According to Forbes, 70% of Americans agreed that delivering good presentations has been critical for their success at work.[1] Delivering presentations and the communications skills which go along with it are a big part of not only work life, but college, and school too. Yet it is something a lot of us struggle with.

I recall one time, in college, I had to deliver a presentation on a topic, and the person before me was so pro, and covered so much of what I intended to cover, that I was left there, in front of the class mumbling and stumbling my pre-prepared speech. Fear of public speaking (Glossophobia) is so common that a stunning 75% of people suffer from it.[2]

Of course, fear of public speaking is only one aspect of why delivering a great presentation can be tough. You may find yourself having to condense weeks of research and pages of information and data into only a handful of minutes.

On top of this you could worry about the format and structure of your presentation (this is a big issue for me).

As it is important for professional or academic success, all these stresses can make presentations seem nightmarish. But they don’t need to be. In fact, your presentation and public speaking skills can be improved tenfold thanks to a handful of tips and considerations.

Many, many books have been published about tackling public speaking, many therapists specialize on helping people with this anxiety (of course, if you feel like seeing one may help, go for it!) but great improvement can be made without too much effort. See the tips below.

Drop Verbal Fillers

Every-day conversation and talk is actually pretty strange if you really pay attention and focus on it. We speak in run on sentences, sometimes don’t quite make sense, make points that don’t lead anywhere, and most of all, fill our talks with little verbal ticks and filler words.[3]

Filler words fill our spoken sentences with words like “um”, “ah” “like”, and “you know?” words, that don’t mean anything, and are only there so you can keep making a sound when you figure out what to say next. Its perfectly natural and pretty much everyone does them.

Advertising

We are all so accustomed these elements of casual conversation that we don’t notice them. However during a high pressure activity like delivering a presentation we can start to become really aware of it all, and start to kick ourselves for making them. Whats worse, is that they may have a genuinely negative effect on our presentations.

The solution?

Get rid of them.

But how?

A good tip is to record yourself in numerous conversations, then repeatedly listen to them. This will make you much more aware of how you use filler words and will be good step towards dropping them.

Though we don’t like silences, sometimes not saying something for a second, and taking a breath may make you sound more confident than filling your presentations with fillers.

If you need a little bit more help, there is actually an app designed to coach you out of using filler words called Likeso. [4]The app is programmed to pick up your use of filler words when you talk and reveal them to you as a percentage of your overall speech.

Getting rid of filler words will also improve your communication skills generally and make you much more articulate, merely by clearing away unnecessary filler.

Advertising

    Inform, Educate, and Entertain

    These three intentions should be core to your presentation. The same ideas were the foundation of the BBC, and were big parts of all of Steve Jobs ‘ presentations and product launches.[5]

    Entertaining those viewing your presentation (perhaps by adding an element of humor to your presentation or other elements) will ensure they won’t be bored during your presentation. Also if you entertain well, they will be drawn to you.

    Informing and educating is where you convey the substance of your presentation.

    Practice, Practice, Practice

    This is by far the most obvious bit of advice, but it is also by far the most important. Before delivering your presentation, you need to know it backwards, forwards, left right, up down, every way.

    If you can, try to memorize as much as possible. This might both help with nerves, but also make you come across as more confident and knowledgeable.

    People are naturally drawn to those they perceive as confident. So, if you deliver your presentation with confidence brought from practice, you may turn those people you’re presenting to, from intimidating judges, to a captivated audience.

    When practicing consider not only the words you’re saying, but how you’re saying them, and your movements and posture. A presentation is pretty much a performance. A piece of theater, and you are the lead actor.

    Advertising

    Consider your body language

    Though we tend to think that communication is all about what we say, and perhaps tone. It is thought that 94% [6] of how we communicate is actually non verbal, this is a myth, however your gestures and body language are important parts of your communication.[7]

    You could be delivering the most beautifully written presentation ever, but if you deliver it without moving, timidly in the corner with your hands in your pockets. You will seem uninspired and well..boring.

      The good news is, gesturing is perfectly natural, if you make effort to deliver your conversation with confidence, this will show itself in your gestures.[8] All you need to really do is loosen up and the rest will take care of itself.

      If we begin to pay attention to our use of gestures, we may initially begin to feel a bit self conscious and may fight the natural urge to gesture. Don’t pay attention to these feelings, and your presentation will be all the better for it.

      Don’t be afraid to bring in sources and ideas that aren’t directly relevant

      This really only works in presentations when you have a decent amount of time in a presentation. But if a part of your presentation reminds you of something in history, science, or literature and it seems relevant. Don’t be afraid to work it into the presentation. Mark Levy, president of the branding firm Levy Innovation,[9] and the writer of Accidental Genius: Using Writing to Generate Your Best Ideas, Insight and Content[10] says the following :

      ““If you’re talking about, say, workplace productivity, it’s fine to talk about Pickett’s Charge [in the Battle of Gettysburg] or black holes or an idea from an Elizabeth Gilbert book that, in some way, relates to workplace productivity. Bringing in ideas from other domains keeps people awake and interested, and it’s actually how paradigm shifts are born”[11]

      This makes sense, after all, why are books like Machiavelli’s The Prince or Sun Tzu’s The Art of War still so popular?

      Advertising

      I don’t believe its because Renaissance era Florentine politics and ancient Chinese warfare are common interests. But instead the lessons contained within (though I’d be wary of those who pay too much attention to Machiavelli) have been used and adapted successfully by those in business.

      Whether to read out loud?

      The advantages of reading your presentation from a pre-written script are at first, pretty clear.

      Focusing on the script will ensure everything you say is valid and appropriate, will help eliminate filler words as you no longer need to think about what to say, and means you don’t need to spend the whole time looking at everyone’s faces and wonder what they’re thinking.

      The advantages are obvious…however they are deceptive.

      It is always a good idea to have something on hand like a script or sheet of notes. However, relying on notes or a script completely will suck out all life from your presentation.

      Also if you are just standing there and reading, you will seem as if you haven’t practiced, and by extension have little interest or knowledge in what you are presenting. This can kill off your presentation entirely. As such, if you don’t think you can memorize the whole thing, you should work hard to find a good mid point.

      Featured photo credit: Judson University via flickr.com

      Reference

      More by this author

      Arthur Peirce

      Lifestyle Writer

      A Negotiation Is Like a Game, You Can’t Get the Best Deal Without a Strategy Signs of a Commitment Phobe and How to Deal with Him/Her How to Be Your Own Boss with Little (or No) Money Keep A “Friend Bank” So You Can Maintain The Right Kind Of Friendship! How to Leave a Great Impression with a Confident Handshake

      Trending in Psychology

      1 4 Simple Ways to Make Boring Work Become Interesting 2 How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing 3 How to Be Happy: Why Pursuing Happiness Will Make You Unhappy 4 The Desire to Be Liked Will End You up Feeling More Rejected 5 Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

      Read Next

      Advertising
      Advertising
      Advertising

      Last Updated on March 17, 2020

      4 Simple Ways to Make Boring Work Become Interesting

      4 Simple Ways to Make Boring Work Become Interesting

      Are you bored at work right now?

      Sitting at your desk, wishing you could be anywhere other than here, doing anything else…?

      You’re not alone.

      Even when you have a job you love, it’s easy to get bored. And if your job isn’t something you’re passionate about, it’s even easier for boredom to creep in.

      Did you know it’s actually possible to make any job more interesting?

      That’s right.

      Whether it’s data entry or shelf stacking, even the most mind-numbing of jobs can be made more fun.

      Advertising

      Understanding the science behind boredom is the first step to beating it.

      Read on to learn the truth about boredom, and what you can do to stop feeling bored at work for good.

      VIDEO SUMMARY

      I’m bored – as you’re watching the same film over and over again, even though it’s your favorite one

      When you experience something new, your brain releases opioids – chemicals which make you feel good. [1]

      It’s the feeling you might get when you taste a new food for the first time, watch a cool new film, or meet a new person.

      However, the next time you have the same experience, the brain processes it in a different way, without releasing so many feel-good chemicals.

      That’s why you won’t get the same thrill when you eat that delicious meal for the tenth time, rewatch that film again, or spend time with the same friend.

      So, in a nutshell, we get bored when we aren’t having any new experiences.

      Advertising

      Now, new experiences don’t have to be huge life changes – they could be as simple as taking a different route to work, or picking a different sandwich shop for lunch.

      We’re going to apply this theory to your boring job.

      Keep reading find out how to make subtle changes to the way you work to defeat boredom and have more fun.

      Your work can be much more interesting if you learn these little tricks.

      Ready to learn how to stop feeling so bored at work?

      We’ve listed some simple suggestions below – you can start implementing these right now.

      Let’s do this.

      Make routine tasks more interesting by adding something new

      Sometimes one new element is all it takes to turn routine tasks from dull to interesting.

      Advertising

      Maybe there’s a long drive you have to make every single week. You get so bored, going the same old route to make the same old deliveries.

      Why not make it a routine to create a playlist of new music each Sunday, to listen to on your boring drive during the week?

      Just like that, something you dread can be turned into the highlight of your day.

      For other routine tasks, you could try setting a timer and trying to beat your record, moving to a new location to complete the task, or trying out a new technique for getting the work done – you might even improve your productivity, too.

      Combine repetitive tasks to get them out of the way

      Certain tasks are difficult to make interesting, no matter how hard you try.

      Get these yawn-inducing chores out of the way ASAP by combining them into one quick, focused batch.

      For example, if you hate listening to meeting recordings, and dislike tidying your desk, do them both at the same time. You’ll halve the time you spend bored out of your mind, and can move onto more interesting tasks as soon as you’re done.

      Advertising

      Break large tasks into small pieces and plan breaks between them

      Feeling overwhelmed can lead you to procrastinate and get bored. Try breaking up large tasks into lots of small pieces to keep things manageable and fun.

      Try breaking up a 10,000 word report into 1000-word sections. Reward yourself at the end of each section, and you’ll get 10 mini mood boosts, instead of just one at the end.

      You can also plan short breaks between each section, which will help to prevent boredom and keep you focused.

      Give yourself regular rewards, it can be anything that makes you feel good

      Make sure you reward yourself for achievements, even if they feel small.

      Rewards could include:

      • Eating your favourite snack.
      • Taking a walk in a natural area.
      • Spending a few minutes on a fun online game.
      • Buying yourself a small treat.
      • Visiting a new place.
      • Spending time on a favourite hobby.

      Your brain will come to associate work with fun rewards, and you’ll soon feel less bored and more motivated.

      Boredom doesn’t have to be a fact of life.

      Make your working life feel a thousand times more fun by following the simple tips above.

      Reference

      [1] Psychology Today: Why People Get Bored

      Read Next