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Presentation Hacks – Four Tips to Effective Presentation

Presentation Hacks – Four Tips to Effective Presentation

I occasionally gather lots of bloggers and host events for my clients (this is part of blog marketing that works in Japan). After the event, people often tell me I am good at presentations. Although I think I still have lots to improve, here are four tips I would like to share with you all.

1. Using shortcut keys on PowerPoint

There are shortcut keys for the PowerPoint when you are in the “slide show” mode (after you hit “F5”). Although these are written in the manual/help, I barely see people using these useful shortcuts.

  • # + Enter
  • When in the slide show, you can directly jump to the page by pressing the page number and then the enter key. For example, if you have to go back to page 24, just type “24 + Enter” and you are there! It’s so much better than hitting arrow keys many times. I usually remember key slides by page numbers so I can go back and forth easily. This is especially effective in the Q&A session when you need to stress your point showing certain key slides.

  • B / W
  • During your presentation, you sometimes need people’s full attention on you, not on anything else. In this case, “B” / “W” keys are very effective. “B” key means black, and “W” means white. You hit these keys and the screen will instantly go black or white. Naturally, people then have to look at you, since there’s nothing they can see on the screen.

    If you are interested in more useful shortcuts, press “F1” key when in slide show mode.

2. How to receive applause

Have you ever wondered, “I think it was a good presentation, but s/he did not receive much applause…”.

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This happens when the presenter did not properly set up the audience to do so (unless the presentation was pretty bad…). From my experience, there are many presenters who make this mistake. Many times, people just do not know when to applaud. To avoid this, you have to make sure you do the followings at the end of your presentation.

  1. You have to clearly tell them it’s going to end. (ex. “the last thing i want to say is …”).
  2. When you say the above, say it s-l-o-w-l-y.
  3. Bow as long as you wish to receive applause (people give applause to those who bow).

All’s well that ends well. One of the keys to successful presentations is to let your audience know when to applaud. I see many presenters who are good at making their points but not good at receiving the applause they deserve.

3. ( ) methods

Although it’s easier to talk, spelling out all of your points on your PowerPoint slides is not a good move. People read slides before you talk and they get bored.

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To avoid this, I often use so-called “( ) methods”. This is to use “( )” in your slides.

For example, write the “Three most important things in agile development are ( ), ( ), and ( )” instead of writing everything you are going to say.

By doing so, you can turn boring slides into interesting quizzes. People want to know what you are hiding.

Also, the side effect to this method is that people take memos as you reveal answers. What happens when they take memos? If they do, you get motivated!

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4. Collecting surveys

When you do the presentations, you want the feedback but people rarely write enough if you hand out a survey at the end. Also, nowadays people are used to typing, not to hand-writing. So is sending out email afterwards better? Not quite. People are so busy in everyday life that they do not return your email.

So here’s what I do. At the end of the presentation, I’ll tell them, “if you would like to have a copy of this presentation, please fill out the survey at [URL].” If you have already handed out a copy of your presentation, offer them something extra (ex. useful links, additional information on the topics you talked about). This way, the chances of getting your feedback are much higher.

These are some of the tips I learned from my experience. If you know more tips you would like to share, please let us know!

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Gen Taguchi is Japanese and a systems engineer/blogger who lives in Tokyo, Japan. You can read his lifehack ideas at Idea * Idea

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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