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7 Things That Make Up The Best Presentation

7 Things That Make Up The Best Presentation

A presentation is a demo, or dialogue meant to inform, persuade, or construct good will. A presentation allows immediate interaction between all the participants like your clients, boss, management or colleagues. The success of a presentation is determined by the speaking skills, content selection, design of the presentation, self-confidence and many other things. A good presenter can attract the attention of the audience and forces them to take action.

I’ve written about having great presentations many times, but in this article I’ll discuss about the things that make up the best presentation.

1. Don’t deliver a speech.

You must be clear on the purpose of your presentation, don’t give a speech but always use a conversational tone while presenting. No one wants to listen to a boring presentation. Don’t just recite the information but deliver an engaging speech that connects with your audience. A best presentation demands more engagement and interaction. You have to provide specific knowledge to your audience that they can’t get anywhere else and deliver it in an interactive way.

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2. Get personal

Personalizing your speaking skills would allow your audience to perceive you as an individual, with a strong point of view. Generally, people respond to individuals who seem to speak as people. While giving a presentation, your objective should be engaging your audience, not to give a speech. Be self-confident and energetic to give the presentation in a conversational way. If your presentation failed to involve the audience, they will start to feel disconnected.

3. Use emotional appeals

Using emotional appeals in a presentation is one of the most effective ways to persuade an audience. The reason to use this tactic is; we all are driven by our feelings and thoughts, it is important to influence emotions and minds. Strong emotional appeals in a communication can help in changing attitudes and behaviors of the people. The emotions aren’t used to some reason, but they are always used to force an action. Best presentations are memorable. Use graphics, animations, images, and facts in your presentation to make it more understandable to your audience.

4. Telling Stories

The best speakers use stories and narratives to explain and strengthen the main points of the presentation. Stories are easier to remember and they make the presentation unique. People always tend to listen stories to perceive any information and hate lectures. Unlike facts and figures, stories speak to the heart, and a best presenter uses stories in his or her presentation to illustrate difficult points and to help people make an emotional connection to the message.

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5. Keep it simple yet attractive

Always try to keep the presentation simple, by examining the content on each slide. Make it attractive by building your presentation around the main idea and include related graphics and keep the formatting consistent. Identify the main three or four major points about your topic and illustrate them. The more you keep it simple the more easy your audience will perceive the information.

6. Use the 20/20 rule

Practice and time your presentation, to build more confidence and make a strong grip on it. Read your speech and watch your presentation at least 20 times or more. You should be familiar about next slide of the presentation and memorize your points to discuss the slide. Concise your presentation to 20 minutes or lesser. Practice your presentation to make sure you finish it within the allotted time, including questions at the end.

7. Use signposts

To make a presentation effective, attention-grabbing and easy to understand is to use signposts. ‘Signpost language’ is the words and phrases that a speaker use to guide the audience through the presentation. A good presenter usually uses a lot of signposts, which is usually fairly informal and relatively easy to understand.

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Here are some of the examples

To begin with, first of all, ‘secondly”, ‘finally’, ‘as you might know’, ‘that means’, ‘on the contrary’, ‘on the other side’, ‘moving on to’, ‘let us now turn to’, ‘furthermore’, ‘to sum up’, etc.

 

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Remember, a good presenter engages the audience and understands his topic. Use graphics, emotional appeal and signposts to reinforce your point. For your audience your slide show is not the presentation — you are the presentation.

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The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

It’s a depressing adage we’ve all heard time and time again: An increase in technology does not necessarily translate to an increase in productivity.

Put another way by Robert Solow, a Nobel laureate in economics,

“You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.”

In other words, just because our computers are getting faster, that doesn’t mean that that we will have an equivalent leap in productivity. In fact, the opposite may be true!

New York Times writer Matt Richel wrote in an article for the paper back in 2008 that stated, “Statistical and anecdotal evidence mounts that the same technology tools that have led to improvements in productivity can be counterproductive if overused.”

There’s a strange paradox when it comes to productivity. Rather than an exponential curve, our productivity will eventually reach a plateau, even with advances in technology.

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So what does that mean for our personal levels of productivity? And what does this mean for our economy as a whole? Here’s what you should know about the productivity paradox, its causes, and what possible solutions we may have to combat it.

What is the productivity paradox?

There is a discrepancy between the investment in IT growth and the national level of productivity and productive output. The term “productivity paradox” became popularized after being used in the title of a 1993 paper by MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson, a Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the Director of the MIT Center for Digital Business.

In his paper, Brynjolfsson argued that while there doesn’t seem to be a direct, measurable correlation between improvements in IT and improvements in output, this might be more of a reflection on how productive output is measured and tracked.[1]

He wrote in his conclusion:

“Intangibles such as better responsiveness to customers and increased coordination with suppliers do not always increase the amount or even intrinsic quality of output, but they do help make sure it arrives at the right time, at the right place, with the right attributes for each customer.

Just as managers look beyond “productivity” for some of the benefits of IT, so must researchers be prepared to look beyond conventional productivity measurement techniques.”

How do we measure productivity anyway?

And this brings up a good point. How exactly is productivity measured?

In the case of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, productivity gain is measured as the percentage change in gross domestic product per hour of labor.

But other publications such as US Today, argue that this is not the best way to track productivity, and instead use something called Total Factor Productivity (TFP). According to US Today, TFP “examines revenue per employee after subtracting productivity improvements that result from increases in capital assets, under the assumption that an investment in modern plants, equipment and technology automatically improves productivity.”[2]

In other words, this method weighs productivity changes by how much improvement there is since the last time productivity stats were gathered.

But if we can’t even agree on the best way to track productivity, then how can we know for certain if we’ve entered the productivity paradox?

Possible causes of the productivity paradox

Brynjolfsson argued that there are four probable causes for the paradox:

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  • Mis-measurement – The gains are real but our current measures miss them.
  • Redistribution – There are private gains, but they come at the expense of other firms and individuals, leaving little net gain.
  • Time lags – The gains take a long time to show up.
  • Mismanagement – There are no gains because of the unusual difficulties in managing IT or information itself.

There seems to be some evidence to support the mis-measurement theory as shown above. Another promising candidate is the time lag, which is supported by the work of Paul David, an economist at Oxford University.

According to an article in The Economist, his research has shown that productivity growth did not accelerate until 40 years after the introduction of electric power in the early 1880s.[3] This was partly because it took until 1920 for at least half of American industrial machinery to be powered by electricity.”

Therefore, he argues, we won’t see major leaps in productivity until both the US and major global powers have all reached at least a 50% penetration rate for computer use. The US only hit that mark a decade ago, and many other countries are far behind that level of growth.

The paradox and the recession

The productivity paradox has another effect on the recession economy. According to Neil Irwin,[4]

“Sky-high productivity has meant that business output has barely declined, making it less necessary to hire back laid-off workers…businesses are producing only 3 percent fewer goods and services than they were at the end of 2007, yet Americans are working nearly 10 percent fewer hours because of a mix of layoffs and cutbacks in the workweek.”

This means that more and more companies are trying to do less with more, and that means squeezing two or three people’s worth of work from a single employee in some cases.

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According to Irwin, “workers, frightened for their job security, squeezed more productivity out of every hour [in 2010].”

Looking forward

A recent article on Slate puts it all into perspective with one succinct observation:

“Perhaps the Internet is just not as revolutionary as we think it is. Sure, people might derive endless pleasure from it—its tendency to improve people’s quality of life is undeniable. And sure, it might have revolutionized how we find, buy, and sell goods and services. But that still does not necessarily mean it is as transformative of an economy as, say, railroads were.”

Still, Brynjolfsson argues that mismeasurement of productivity can really skew the results of people studying the paradox, perhaps more than any other factor.

“Because you and I stopped buying CDs, the music industry has shrunk, according to revenues and GDP. But we’re not listening to less music. There’s more music consumed than before.

On paper, the way GDP is calculated, the music industry is disappearing, but in reality it’s not disappearing. It is disappearing in revenue. It is not disappearing in terms of what you should care about, which is music.”

Perhaps the paradox isn’t a death sentence for our productivity after all. Only time (and perhaps improved measuring techniques) will tell.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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