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Bored With Business Presentations? 10 Refreshing And Engaging Tactics To Rock The Stage

Bored With Business Presentations? 10 Refreshing And Engaging Tactics To Rock The Stage

Are you fed up of creating the same old PowerPoint presentations and losing your audience within the first 10 minutes? You need to up your game and try something new! Here we will share a list of ten techniques and out of the box presentation skills that go beyond the use of ineffective PowerPoint slides.

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    Change things up by hosting your presentation somewhere unique and interesting, rather than just another conference hall.

    1.    Choose a unique location for your presentation

    One of the best ways to attract and engage an audience for your presentation is to choose a unique and interesting location. Conference halls have a corporate and somewhat boring feel to them and if you don’t want that projecting onto your innovative idea or product, choosing an exciting, yet relevant setting for your presentation is key.

    A company called The Lost Lectures demonstrates just how effective it can be to choose a unique location for a presentation. The concept behind their business idea is to host enchanting talks from secret locations that take the audience away from traditional corporate or academic environments and into more inspiring and imaginative places.

    Another great way to engage your audience and heighten their expectations of your presentation is to keep the location a secret until the day before or even the morning of the event. This will get people talking about it and add a shroud of mystery to your idea or product.

    2. Share the stage

    Far too many CEOs and entrepreneurs think that they have to carry out their presentation alone, when in fact sharing the stage with members of their team would make for a more interesting and effective presentation format. As a general rule (which we will go on to talk more about later) you should not be speaking for more than ten minutes at a time. A great way to break up your presentation and keep your audience engaged is to have multiple speakers contributing with their expert knowledge. Even if you can’t necessarily have multiple members of your team on stage, you could always include them via video link to add another element of interest to your presentation.

    3. Tell a story

    Whilst PowerPoint slides have long been used in presentations, they are not the greatest tools for engaging and exciting an audience. Something that is far more interesting and appealing to audiences is the stories you have to tell. Telling your audience the story of your business or how you came up with an idea or project is a great way to engage with them on a more personal level. It will be like you are sharing ‘behind the scenes’ knowledge with them and giving them an insight into how your mind works.

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    Telling a story will also help you to show the love and passion you have for the idea you are presenting. After all, if you are not enthusiastic about your product, service or idea, then your audience isn’t going to be either.

    When preparing your presentation, remember that all good stories have a hero and a villain. Your villain will be the problem that you are aiming to solve and your hero will be your idea or product – the solution to the problem.

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      Make your headline, the opening sentence to your presentation, Twitter-friendly.

       4.  Create a Twitter-friendly headline

      A fantastic technique to remember when preparing your presentations is to create a Twitter-friendly headline. This is a sentence that summarises your idea or the purpose of your presentation in 140 characters or less. By creating this headline and repeating it a few times throughout your presentation, you will give journalists, bloggers and any other attendees of your presentation a line they can easily tweet.

      A company that is renowned for creating Twitter-friendly presentation headlines is Apple. For every product launch they announce, they will create a Twitter-friendly headline to use in their keynote presentations. For example, when Tim Cook announced the launch of iOS 7 he used the headline ‘iOS7 is the biggest change to iOS since the iPhone.’ Needless to say, this exact sentence was tweeted by multiple individuals and outlets immediately after the presentation.

      Image 3

        Steve Jobs was arguably one of the best keynote speakers, known for his Twitter-friendly headlines such as ‘Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone.’

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        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-zMRPZpvcw

        5.    Make your presentation multi-sensory

        Let’s face it; no one at your presentation is going to capture all of the stats and data you provide in the charts and graphs on your boring PowerPoint slides. Data is more memorable when it’s visually interesting. Rather than trying to explain challenging stats and data, why not spend time converting it into a format that is easier for your audience to digest? Breaking the monotony by using multi-sensory tools and visual aids like mood boards and infographics is a great way to highlight the points you are trying to make, without confusing your audience with unnecessary clutter.

        6. Fuse online and offline content

        Another fantastic way to engage your audience is to fuse online and offline content and make your presentation interactive. For example, you could build a simple app for your presentation that people can download on their smartphones for free and use to participate. Possible interactions could involve submitting questions, answering questions or even simply providing feedback. Getting your audience involved in any way will help to keep them focused and interested in your idea.

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          Widen your audience and provide a reminder for attendees by uploading your presentation online.

          6.  Upload your presentation for the world to see

          The presentations you make will be a key part of your brand’s story and will help to deliver a marketing message, so rather than simply giving a presentation and moving on, why not milk it for all it has to give? One of the ways you can generate a greater return from the work you have put into your presentation is to video it and upload it online. That way you will be able to share your presentation with a much wider (or even global) audience and also provide a reminder to attendees.

          You could also consider re-purposing some of the content from your presentation and creating a series of blog posts to run along side it or even a webinar.

          www.youtube.com/embed/yGENcskRGRk

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          8. Stick to the 10 minute rule

          We mentioned earlier just how important it is to break up your presentation so that you are talking for no more than ten minutes at a time. The reason that the ten minute rule exists is because it is thought that the average person’s attention span lasts no longer than ten minutes. This means that if you continue talking about the same thing for over ten minutes, you are likely to lose the majority of your audience.

          Aside from introducing guest speakers to contribute their knowledge, another way you can stick to the ten minute rule is by inserting short video clips for your audience to watch. This could be a video demonstration of the product in action or even a humorous video outlining the problems that your product or idea can solve. Alternatively you could re-capture your audience’s attention by asking them to participate in your presentation using a mobile app or do a quick Q&A session.

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            Heard of a silent disco? Capture your audiences’ attention by creating a silent presentation!

            9. Try your hand at silent conferencing

            Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the last few years, it is likely that you will have heard of silent discos. A silent disco involves giving participants headphones, which are linked up the DJ’s sound system, so only they can hear the music playing. Well believe it or not, this concept is actually being introduced to the world of business conferences. Yes, many people are now trialing this innovative presentation method in hope that it will captivate their audience’s attention and prevent them from getting distracted by their surroundings.

            This concept would work particularly well if you were given a presentation at an exhibition, trade show or another busy environment with a lot of footfall. It would eliminate the distractions surrounding your audience and ensure they are focused on you and your idea only.

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              Practice, practice, practice so when you step up in front of that microphone, you know exactly what you want to say and how to deliver it.

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              10. Practice makes perfect

              Whilst you may think we are ending our list on a rather obvious point, what we really wanted to stress is that even the best and most natural presenters in the world practice their presentations and speeches again and again. Although you may have thought that Steve Jobs was naturally great at presenting, it may not have been the case if he didn’t practice so much! Jobs spent hours and hours practicing his presentations to empty conference halls to ensure that when it came to actually giving his keynote speech, it was delivered in a casual, yet polished and effortless manner.

              www.youtube.com/embed/i68a6M5FFBc

              In order to deliver a successful presentation you need to be able to speak it word for word without needing to refer to notes. The odd hidden bullet point behind the mic stand is fine, but no one wants to see you holding sheets of paper or reading word for word off your PowerPoint slides (your audience can do that themselves). Instead take the time to thoroughly prepare yourself to give your presentation. You will find it extremely helpful to break your content down into smaller sections. Another great thing to do is to use different visual aids and formats. Not only will they help your audience to stay engaged, but they will also help you to remember what’s coming up next.

              Conclusion

              The idea behind any presentation is to educate, entertain, inform and inspire an audience, no matter whether they are prospective customers, co-workers or investors. A great presentation requires extensive creativity, careful planning and a hell of a lot of practice, but if someone is willing to take the time to listen to your ideas, it only seems right that you put effort into making your presentation the best it can possibly be.

              Image credits: Access Advertising, Kooroshication, dfarber, clasesdeperiodismo, Media-Saturn and kelbycarr

              Featured photo credit: Freevector.com via freevector.com

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              Last Updated on November 5, 2020

              Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Overcome It)

              Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Overcome It)

              Nobody enjoys failing. Fear of failure can be so strong that avoiding failure eclipses the motivation to succeed. Insecurity about doing things incorrectly causes many people to unconsciously sabotage their chances for success.

              Fear is part of human nature. As an entrepreneur, I faced this same fear. My ego and identity became intertwined with my work, and when things didn’t go as planned, I completely shut down. I overcame this unhealthy relationship with fear, and I believe that you can, too.

              Together we’ll examine how you can use failure to your advantage instead of letting it run your life. We’ll also look at how to overcome fear of failure so that you can enjoy success in your work and life.

              What Is Fear of Failure?

              If you are afraid of failure, it will cause you to avoid potentially harmful situations.

              Fear of failure keeps you from trying, creates self-doubt, stalls progress, and may lead you to go against your morals.

              What causes a fear of failure? Here are the main reasons why fear of failing exists:

              Patterns From Childhood

              Hyper-critical adults cause children to internalize damaging mindsets.[1] They establish ultimatums and fear-based rules. This causes children to feel the constant need to ask for permission and reassurance. They carry this need for validation into adulthood.

              Perfectionism

              Perfectionism is often at the root of a fear of failure.[2] For perfectionists, failure is so terrible and humiliating that they don’t try. Stepping outside your comfort zone becomes terrifying.

              Over-Personalization

              The ego may lead us to over-identify with failures. It’s hard to look beyond failure at things like the quality of the effort, extenuating circumstances, or growth opportunities.[3]

              False Self-Confidence

              People with true confidence know they won’t always succeed. A person with fragile self-confidence avoids risks. They’d rather play it safe than try something new.[4]

              How the Fear of Failure Holds You Back

              Unhealthy Organization Culture

              Too many organizations today have cultures of perfection: a set of organizational beliefs that any failure is unacceptable. Only pure, untainted success will do.

              Imagine the stress and terror in an organization like that. The constant covering up of the smallest blemishes. The wild finger-pointing as everyone tries to shift the blame for the inevitable messes onto someone else. The lying, cheating, falsification of data, and hiding of problems—until they become crises that defy being hidden any longer.

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              Miss out on Valuable Opportunities

              If some people fail to reach a complete answer because of the lure of some early success, many more fail because of their ego-driven commitment to what worked in the past. You often see this with senior people, especially those who made their names by introducing some critical change years ago.

              They shy away from further innovation, afraid that this time they might fail, diminishing the luster they try to keep around their names from past triumph.

              Besides, they reason, the success of something new might even prove that those achievements they made in the past weren’t so great after all. Why take the risk when you can hang on to your reputation by doing nothing?

              Such people are so deeply invested in their egos and the glories of their past that they prefer to set aside opportunities for future glory rather than risk even the possibility of failure.

              High Achievers Become Losers

              Every talent contains an opposite that sometimes turns it into a problem. Successful people like to win and achieve high standards. This can make them so terrified of failure that it ruins their lives. When a positive trait, like achievement, becomes too strong in someone’s life, it’s on the way to becoming a major obstacle.

              Achievement is a powerful value for many successful people. They’ve built their lives on it. They achieve at everything they do: school, college, sports, the arts, hobbies, work. Each fresh achievement adds to the power of the value in their lives.

              Gradually, failure becomes unthinkable. Maybe they’ve never failed yet in anything that they’ve done, so they have no experience of rising above it. Failure becomes the supreme nightmare: a frightful horror they must avoid at any cost.

              The simplest way to do this is never to take a risk, stick rigidly to what you know you can do, protect yourself, work the longest hours, double and triple check everything, and be the most conscientious and conservative person in the universe.

              If constant hard work, diligence, brutal working schedules and harrying subordinates won’t ward off the possibility of failing, use every other possible means to to keep it away. Falsify numbers, hide anything negative, conceal errors, avoid customer feedback, constantly shift the blame for errors onto anyone too weak to fight back.

              Loss of Creativity

              Over-achievers destroy their own peace of mind and the lives of those who work for them. People too attached to “goodness” and morality become self-righteous bigots. Those whose values for building close relationships become unbalanced slide into smothering their friends and family with constant expressions of affection and demands for love in return.

              Everyone likes to succeed. The problem comes when fear of failure is dominant, when you can no longer accept the inevitability of making mistakes, nor recognize the importance of trial and error in finding the most creative solution.

              The more creative you are, the more errors you are going to make. Deciding to avoid the errors will destroy your creativity, too.

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              Balance counts more than you think. Some tartness must season the sweetest dish. A little selfishness is valuable even in the most caring person. And a little failure is essential to preserve everyone’s perspective on success.

              We hear a lot about being positive. Maybe we also need to recognize that the negative parts of our lives and experience have just as important a role to play in finding success, in work, and in life.

              How to Overcome Fear of Failure (Step-by-Step)

              1. Figure out Where the Fear Comes From

              Ask yourself what the root cause of your negative belief could be.[5] When you look at the four main causes for a fear of failure, which ones resonate with you?

              Write down where you think the fear comes from, and try to understand it as an outsider.

              If it helps, imagine you’re trying to help one of your best friends. Perhaps your fear stems from something that happened in your childhood, or a deep-seated insecurity.

              Naming the source of the fear takes away some of its power.

              2. Reframe Beliefs About Your Goal

              Having an all or nothing mentality leaves you with nothing sometimes. Have a clear vision for what you’d like to accomplish but include learning something new in your goal.

              If you always aim for improvement and learning, you are much less likely to fail.[6]

              At Pixar, people are actually encouraged to “fail early and fail fast.”[7] They encourage experimentation and innovation so that they can stay on the cutting edge. That mindset involves failure, but as long as they achieve their vision of telling great stories, all the stumbling blocks are just opportunities to grow.

              3. Learn to Think Positive

              In many cases, you believe what you tell yourself. Your internal dialogue affects how you react and behave.

              Our society is obsessed with success, but it’s important to recognize that even the most successful people encounter failure.

              Walt Disney was once fired from a newspaper because they thought he lacked creativity. He went on to found an animation studio that failed. He never gave up, and now Disney is a household name.

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              Steve Jobs was also once fired from Apple before returning as the face of the company for many years. [8]

              If Disney and Jobs had believed the negative feedback, they wouldn’t have made it.

              It’s up to you to notice your negative self talk and identify triggers[9]. Replace negative thoughts with positive facts about yourself and the situation. You’ll be able to create a new mental scripts that you can reach for when you feel negativity creeping in. The voice inside your head has a great effect on what you do.

              How To Be A Positive Thinker: Positivity Exercises, Affirmations, & Quotes

                4. Visualize all Potential Outcomes

                Uncertainty about what will happen next is terrifying. Take time to visualize the possible outcomes of your decision. Think about the best and worst-case scenarios. You’ll feel better if you’ve already had a chance to mentally prepare for what could happen.

                Fear of the unknown might keep you from taking a new job. Weigh the pros and cons, and imagine potential successes and failures in making such a life-altering decision. Knowing how things could turn out might help you get unstuck.

                5. Look at the Worst-Case Scenario

                There are times when the worst case could be absolutely devastating. In many cases, if something bad happens, it won’t be the end of the world.

                It’s important to define how bad the worst case scenario is in the grand scheme of your life. Sometimes, we give situations more power than they deserve. In most cases, a failure is not permanent.

                For example, when you start a new business, it’s bound to be a learning experience. You’ll make decisions that don’t pan out, but often that discomfort is temporary. You can change your strategy and rebound. Even in the worst case scenario, if the perceived failure led to the end of that business, it might be the launching point for something new.

                6. Have a Backup Plan

                It never hurts to have a backup plan. The last thing you want to do is scramble for a solution when the worst has happened. The old adage is solid wisdom:

                “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.”

                Having a backup plan gives you more confidence to move forward and take calculated risks.

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                Perhaps you’ve applied for a grant to fund an initiative at work. In the worst-case scenario, if you don’t get the grant, are there other ways you could get the funds?

                There are usually multiple ways to tackle a problem, so having a backup is a great way to reduce anxiety about possible failure.

                7. Learn From Whatever Happens

                Things may not go the way you planned, but that doesn’t automatically mean you’ve failed. Learn from whatever arises.[10] Even a less than ideal situation can be a great opportunity to make changes and grow.

                “Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.”

                Dig deep enough, and you’re bound to find the silver lining. When you’ve learned that “failure” is an opportunity for growth instead of a death sentence, you conquer the fear of failure.

                For more tips on how to overcome fear of failure, check out the video below:

                Final Thoughts

                To overcome fear of failure, we can start by figuring out where it comes from and reframing the way we feel about failure. When failure is a chance for growth, and you’ve looked at all possible outcomes, it’s easier to overcome fear.

                Stay positive, have a backup plan, and learn from whatever happens. Your failures will be sources of education and inspiration rather than humiliation.

                “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” -Thomas A. Edison

                Failures can be blessings in disguise. Go boldly in the direction of your dreams and long-term goals.

                More Tips for Conquering Fear

                Featured photo credit: Patrick Hendry via unsplash.com

                Reference

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