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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.

        Image 5

          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.

          Image 5(1)

            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 January 21, 2020

              How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

              How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

              We all have those days when completing our assigned tasks seems beyond reach. With the temptation of social media, mobile games, and the internet in general—not to mention the constant bustle of people in the office—it’s easy to fall prey to disruptions and distractions at work.

              So, what can we do about it? How to be productive at work?

              While we don’t have a foolproof system that can completely eliminate disturbances and diversions, we do have 9 ground rules that can be applied to help give your productivity levels a boost.

              Keep reading to find out our tips on work productivity.

              What Does It Mean to Be Productive?

              How to be productive at work?” is the age-old question plaguing employees and employers alike around the world. Regardless of where you work and what you do, everyone is always looking for new ways to be more efficient and effective.

              But what does being productive actually entail?

              Completing more tasks on your list or working longer hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being more productive. It just means you’re more busy, and productivity shouldn’t be confused with busyness.

              Productivity means achieving effective results in as short amount of time as possible, leaving you with more time to enjoy freely.

              It involves working smarter, not harder. It means refining processes, speeding up workflows, and reducing the chances of interruptions.

              Productivity is best achieved when looking at your current way of working, identifying the bottlenecks, flaws, and hindrances, and then finding ways to improve.

              9 Ground Rules on How to Be Productive at Work

              1. Avoid Multitasking

              Multitasking can give the impression that more tasks can be accomplished as you’re doing multiple things at once. However, the opposite is true.

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              Research has shown that attempting to do several things at the same time takes a toll on productivity and that shifting between tasks can cost up to 40 percent of someone’s time.[1] That’s because your focus and concentration is constantly hindered due to having to switch between tasks.

              If you have a lot of tasks on your plate, determine your priorities and allocate enough time for each task. That way you can work on what’s urgent first and have enough time to complete the rest of your tasks.

              2. Turn off Notifications

              According to a Gallup poll, more than 50 percent of US smartphone owners admit to checking their phones a few times an hour.[2]

              Switching off your phone—or at least your notifications—during work hours is a good way to prevent you from checking your phone all the time.

              The same applies to your computer. If you have the privilege of accessing social media on your work desktop, switch off the notifications on there.

              Another good tip is to logout from your social media accounts. Therefore when you feel the urge to check it, you might be swayed because your page isn’t so easily accessible.

              3. Manage Interruptions

              There are certain disruptions in the office that are unavoidable such as your manager requesting a quick meeting or your colleague asking for assistance. In order to deal with this, your best approach is to know how to handle interruptions like a pro.

              Be proactive and inform the people around you of your need to focus. Turn your status on as “busy/unavailable” on your work chat app.

              If you’re on a deadline, let your colleagues know that you need to concentrate and would really appreciate not being interrupted for the moment, or even work from home if that’s a feasible option for you.

              By anticipating and having a plan in place to manage them, this will minimize your chances of being affected by interruptions.

              4. Eat the Frog

              Mark Twain once famously said that:

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              “if it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

              What this basically means is that you should get your biggest, most urgent task out of the way first.

              We all have that big, important task that we don’t want to do but know we have to do because it holds the biggest consequence if we don’t complete it.

              Eat the frog is a productivity technique that encourages you to do your most important, most undesirable task first. Completing this particular task before anything else will give you a huge sense of accomplishment. It will set the ball rolling for the rest of the day and motivate you to eagerly complete your other tasks.

              5. Cut Down on Meetings

              Meetings can use up a lot of time, which is time that can be used to do something useful.

              You have to wait for everyone to arrive, then after the pleasantries are out of the way, you can finally get stuck into it. And sometimes, it may take a whole hour to iron out one single issue.

              The alternative? Don’t arrange a meeting at all. You’ll be surprised at how many things can be resolved through an email or a quick phone call.

              But that doesn’t mean you should eliminate meetings altogether. There are certain circumstances where face-to-face discussions and negotiations are still necessary. Just make sure you weigh up the options prior.

              If it’s just information sharing, you’re probably better off sending an email; but if brainstorming or in-depth discussion is required, then an in-person meeting would be best.

              6. Utilize Tools

              Having the right tools to work with is crucial as you’re only really as good as the resources you have at your disposal. Not only will you be able to complete tasks as efficiently as possible, but they can streamline processes. Said processes are essential to a business as they manage tasks, keep employees connected, and hold important data.

              If you’re the manager or business owner, ensure your team has the right tools in place.

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              And if you’re an employee and think the tools you currently have to work with aren’t quite up to par, let your manager know. A good team leader understands the significance of having the right tools and how it can impact employee productivity.

              Some examples of tools that could be used:

              Communication
              • Slack for team chat and collaboration.
              • Samepage for video conference software.
              • Zendesk for customer service engagement.
              Task Management
              • Zenkit for task and project collaboration.
              • Wunderlist for listing your to-do’s.
              • Wekan for an open source option.
              Database Management
              Time Tracking
              • Clockify for a free tracker.
              • TMetric for workspace integrations.
              • TimeCamp for attendance and productivity monitoring.

              You can also take a look at these Top 10 Productivity Tools to Help You Achieve 10x More in Less Time.

              7. Declutter and Organize

              Having a disorganized and cluttered workspace can limit your ability to focus. According to researchers, physical clutter can negatively impact your ability to concentrate and take in information.[3] Which is why keeping your work environment well ordered and clutter-free is important.

              Ensure you have your own system of organization so you know what to do when the paperwork starts to pile up.

              Being organized will also ensure that you know where to find the appropriate stationery, tools, or documents when you need it. A US study reveals that the average worker can waste up to one week a year looking for misplaced items.[4]

              Here’s a useful guide to help you declutter and organize: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

              8. Take Breaks

              Taking regular breaks is essential for maintaining productivity at work. Working in front of a computer can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which can place you at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Even a 30 second microbreak can increase your productivity levels up to 30 percent.

              As well as your physical health, breaks are also crucial for your mental and emotional wellbeing. That’s because your brain is like a muscle, the more it works without a break, the easier it is for it to get worn out.

              Ensuring you actually take your breaks can prevent you from suffering from decision fatigue. It can also help boost creativity.

              Take a look at this article and learn why you should start scheduling time for breaks: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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              9. Drink Water

              Although we know we should, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water during the working day.

              Many of us turn to tea or coffee for the caffeine hit to keep us going. However, like taking breaks, drinking water is essential for maintaining productivity levels at work. It’s simple and effective.

              Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration and also headaches, tiredness, and weight gain.

              A good tip to avoid dehydration is to keep a water bottle at your desk as it can serve as a reminder to constantly drink water.

              If you find the taste of water a little bland, add some fruit such as cucumber or lemon to give it a better taste.

              You can also get more ideas on how to drink more water here: How to Drink More Water (and Why You Should)

              The Bottom Line

              The preceding 9 ground rules on work productivity aren’t the be-all, end-all. You and the company you work for may have other tips on how productivity is best increased and maintained.

              After all, it’s something that can be perceived differently depending on the exact job and work environment.

              In saying that, however, the 9 ground rules serve as a good foundation for anyone finding themselves succumbing to disruption and distraction, and are looking for ways to overcome them.

              A good tip to keep in mind is that change doesn’t happen overnight. Start small and be consistent. If you slip up, just dust yourself off and try again.

              Developing habits happens gradually, so as long as you keep up with it, you’ll soon start to notice the changes you’ve been making and eventually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

              More About Boosting Productivity

              Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

              Reference

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