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7 Awesome Tips About Presentation Your Teacher Wouldn’t Tell You

7 Awesome Tips About Presentation Your Teacher Wouldn’t Tell You

The ability to deliver a great presentation is not something that is exclusively useful for corporate meetings and business pitch presentations. In fact, the ability to express an idea in a clear and entertaining way can be used in your professional and personal life. Even trivial conversations you have can benefit from your ability to deliver a great presentation!

1. You’re telling a story

Remember that you are telling a story. It may seem odd to think of a business pitch or a presentation on a technical topic as a story, but the truth is, every presentation is a story. It’s your story, so you need to articulate a clear beginning, middle, and ending. Every good story has a protagonist and an antagonist, so make these players known. Once you translate your idea into a structured story, the audience can appreciate and grasp what you say much easier. Audience retention will increase significantly if you can transform your presentation into a story. This is especially important for business presentations and sales pitches.

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2. Take the Steve Jobs approach

Everyone knows that Steve Jobs is the king of delivering great presentations, so much so that his methodology is studied and taught in academia around the world. Here are a few actionable approaches you can use the next time you deliver a presentation or sell an idea.

  • Deliver the big picture before the details. Find a way to get the big idea across before you jump into your product, idea, or opinion. This initial step lays the foundation for the rest of your discussion and provides context for your thoughts.
  • Remember that you’re telling a story and introduce the antagonist. Every good story has a protagonist and an antagonist, be sure to introduce your characters clearly.
  • Once the audience is familiar with the antagonist, introduce the hero of your story and sell the benefits of your idea or product. Remember that you’re not selling a product directly, but rather the benefits that your product offers the users.
  • If you’re using numbers to convey your idea, put the numbers into context or embed their impact in a physical thing that is relatable to. Numbers that serve as simple statistics lack the impact that a physical item carries.
  • End with the “one more thing…” idea. Shock your audience when they think you’re done and have said everything you have to share. This will turn a great presentation into an unbelievable one.

3. The audience wants you to be great

If you’re speaking to your family and friends or in front of an audience in which you’re a guest speaker, the people in front of you care enough to listen. If your audience cares enough to listen, then they want to see a great presentation. Walking to the stage with the notion that the audience wants you to succeed is a reinforcing thought to help you maintain confidence and deliver an awesome presentation.

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4. If you’ve opted to use power point, pictures trump text

No one wants to watch you read information off a slide. This means you need beautiful photos that cue you to say what you want to say. A photo with a few words accompanied with a rehearsed delivery is a much better slide than one filled with bullet points. In fact, never use bullet points. Bullet points should be weaved into a story that captivates the audience. A story is much easier to recall for your audience and is likely to have a much larger impact.

5. Quotes are a powerful way to drive a point home

Including quotes in your presentation help to drive a point home. Typically, it is better to use quotes that are noteworthy or originated from a wise person who is perhaps a respected or well-received person in a field. This helps the audience to confirm that what you are saying is logical and valid, even if you don’t have quantifiable evidence. This doesn’t mean you should falsify information, but it does serve as a simple way to reassure the audience that you’re correct, especially when you are restricted by time. The inclusion of a powerful quotation can also provide depth and insight into your presentation. Using a proper quote to back an idea up can create inspiration and truly captivate your audience.

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6. Pace the stage, don’t be caught frozen

Do NOT stand in one spot and regurgitate a speech or presentation from memory. If you pace the stage in a comfortable way, your audience will feel more relaxed too. This is natural and is important to deliver a powerful presentation. When you learn to pace the stage, you as the speaker will feel more relaxed and probably more enjoyable to watch.

7. Transitional language is equally important as the content in the headlines

If your presentation is broken up by a number of unnecessary transitional words and you don’t properly transition from idea to idea, your audience will lose interest and miss the essence of your presentation. Eloquent transitions to weave multiple ideas together will have a jaw dropping effect on your audience. Try it and see what happens. This requires practice and unless you have a wicked command over the English language, winging this part will leave you with a mediocre presentation and an overly polite, pitiful audience.

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Published on January 7, 2021

How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

Some people see the trees for the forest, and some see only the forest, meaning they lack strong attention to detail. But even if you’re one of the people who take a macro rather than a micro view, true professionalism requires balancing both.

If focusing on the fine points is not your forte, you will benefit from training yourself to pay attention to details. You will profit by saving yourself time, effort, money, and credibility.

Why Training Yourself in Attention to Details Pays Off

You add value to your organization when you make the effort to ensure that you performed your work thoroughly and effectively. This is why job postings often list “attention to details” among the required skills.

When you present your supervisor or client with well-completed, high-quality work the first time, it maximizes your value and minimizes wasted time. Detail-oriented people are also more adept at catching mistakes that could lead to costly blunders.

Moreover, attention to detail is an indicator of possessing other in-demand employee qualities, such as organization, thoroughness, and focus. In some professions, such as accounting, engineering, medical research, and more, you can only excel if you have trained yourself to pay attention to details.

In other professions, possessing strong attention to detail is the very quality that will get you promoted to a position where you will be asked to consider the big picture.

Finally, if you are the “go-to” details person, everyone else on the team can relax a bit. They know the project is in good hands and will likely throw you more projects as a reward. This will ultimately lead to your advancement.

3 Important Aspects of Becoming More Detail-Oriented

Here are the 3 important things you need to learn if you want to remedy your lack of attention to detail:

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  1. Respect deadlines
  2. Understand the work-flow plan
  3. Build in time to mess up

1. Respect Deadlines

Deadlines lend all projects a finish line. One smart idea is to take the given deadline and work backward from it, calculating when your piece of the project is due. Then, if you stick to the proscribed schedule for completing the mini-projects that you have, you will never miss a deadline.

One important note on this: It is smarter to stick to the deadline and turn in work that merits a “B+” than to blow the deadline with “A” work. Chances are, through revision and suggested changes from others on the team, you can bring up your B+ work to an A later. But if you disregard deadlines, you will lose the respect of your boss and fellow teammates.

2. Understand the Work-Flow Plan

Your team is developing work in conjunction with other teams who have projects and deadlines of their own. When you grasp the whole work-flow plan, you may be able to either add insight to the greater project or to your own smaller piece of it that others at the firm will consider valuable.

3. Build in Time to Mess Up

You can expect that “what can go wrong will go wrong.” Don’t overpromise on deadlines. Something likely will mess up, but when it does if you built in the time to fix it, those around you won’t freak out.

Chances are, you already give your attention to several details. Take heart. You can do this! You can overcome your lack of attention to detail and become more detail-oriented.

For starters, consider this: Most people take the time and put in extra effort into the activities or undertakings that matter to them most. Training yourself to become more detail-oriented can mean adopting a similar pattern of behavior.

Apply the same attention you give to your appearance. Are you a meticulous dresser? Do you pay attention to how you pair patterns and colors, and how you accessorize a particular outfit?

This is the same system to use when you lack attention to detail with your work. Give every item careful consideration so that each one contributes to the perfectly pieced-together whole.

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Assemble the ingredients the way you do when you cook. Cooking and baking from scratch require close attention to details as you measure and add each ingredient in sequence, and you time everything so that the meal comes together at the same time.

Similarly, your work product requires you to gauge whether all the ingredients have been added and that your final product is delivered on time.

Organize your business network like you do your social contacts. If you follow a broad base of friends and acquaintances on social media, you can apply similar skills to stay up-to-date on details associated with business acquaintances.

When you meet somebody who could be influential to your career or a resource for improving your skills, follow that person on social media. Respond to their posts to keep the lines of communication flowing.

12 Tips to Help You if You Lack Attention to Detail

Teaching yourself to take note of important details involves sharpening your perceptions and thinking ahead. The following tips will help you adopt these practices. Master these habits when training yourself to become detail-oriented.

1. Learn to Listen Well

You will pick up relevant information and needed nuance when you apply the skills of active listening. In conversations, train yourself to make eye contact, give your undivided attention to the speaker, and ask pertinent follow-up questions.

Training yourself to pay better attention to details in conversations includes learning to fully concentrate on what others have to say. If you find it hard, there’s no harm in taking notes on what they say.

2. Pay Attention to Social Cues

Make a point of noticing body language and facial expressions that provide insights into how others perceive a situation. Social cues offer details that give you an understanding of how words and actions impact others. The infamous character Michael Scott of the television show “The Office” epitomizes the consequences of not paying attention to others’ body language.[1]

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3. Follow Rules

Rules and protocols usually come about from lessons learned and are put in place to avoid further mishaps—whether from a safety or efficiency standpoint. If you’re given step-by-step procedures to follow, check them off as you go. Also, return to the rules at the project’s end just to make sure you adhered to them all.

4. Take Notes

Note-taking is a way to boost your retention and gives you something to refer back to when you need to keep track of pertinent details. You will also heighten your focus as you listen for relevant information. Review your notes shortly after the meeting or conversation and highlight the content that you intend to apply.

5. Prioritize What Needs Your Attention Now

When you have a full slate of work that demands your attention, take a few moments to sort assignments from most to least urgent. Keep a calendar, spreadsheet, or project planning software up-to-date with schedules and deadlines to help you stay organized.

As you tackle each urgent assignment, give it your full attention so no details are missed. Give yourself ample time—especially if you tend to be someone who waits until the last minute—as rushing can make you overlook important details.

6. Have a Detail-Oriented Assistant Check Your Work

If you lack attention to detail, then it makes sense to seek help from someone detail-oriented. If you have this option, take advantage of it. Two sets of eyes are better than one. Just be sure to credit your assistant for their help once the project is completed.

7. Learn the Rules of Writing Well

English is a difficult language, and grammar, punctuation, and spelling can all sabotage you unless you pay attention to detail. When in doubt, look it up. Free to use website services such as Grammarly can help.

8. Proofread Before You Hit Send

Nothing is perfect in its first draft. If you lack attention to detail, then put in the extra effort before submitting things. Before you send off any written work, check carefully not only for misspellings and incomplete sentences but also for improper tone, inappropriate colloquialisms, and inconsistent formatting. When your written communications are error-free, they will have their intended impact.

9. Minimize Distractions

It is impossible to stay focused when colleagues carry on conversations nearby or your mobile notifications ding you throughout the day. Do your best to limit distractions.

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If you are working where there is a lot of noise or side activity, try wearing noise-canceling headphones or seeking out a quiet corner. Disable your notifications when you need to focus, and resolve to only check them after you have completed your assignment.

10. Take Breaks

It may sound counter-intuitive to stop and take a walk, but it’s necessary. Walk away from the screen. Moving from one task to the next across the span of your workday is a recipe for brain fatigue. Give your brain a recess time when you come to a natural stopping place or after you complete one project and before you start the next. These short pauses are necessary for sorting through all the details needed for coming up with successful solutions.

11. Make Time for Reflection

At the end of a workday, take a few minutes to go over the day’s events in your mind. What was said or relayed in conversations? What is the status of the projects you worked on? What else occurred that you should pay attention to? Could there have been any details you might have missed that you should address tomorrow?

12. Keep a Detailed To-Do List

This simple organizational tool is your best ally for getting your work done on time and for paying attention to the details. If you are pressed for time (and who isn’t?), write your list to coordinate with dayparts.

Allot a certain number of hours to complete each task, do it, and then check it off. Nothing feels more rewarding than completing all the tasks on your list. But if you can’t finish them, then carry them over to the following day.

Final Thoughts

Details may seem small, but they can become a lot larger when they are overlooked. If you know you lack attention to detail, commit to training yourself to embrace the many facets that can help you consistently excel in the tasks you set out to accomplish.

When you begin to catch your mistakes in advance or apply the tidbits of information you gathered from paying close attention, you will know that you have trained yourself in the fundamentals of becoming detail-oriented. After that, you should start hearing the phrase “Great job!” more often.

More Tips on Boosting Your Attention to Detail

Featured photo credit: Cristina Gottardi via unsplash.com

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