Part 2: Seven hacks for a killer presentation
In my last article we looked at three hacks to a killer presentation. Today, let’s look at seven more.
Got an important presentation coming up? Invited for a prestigious keynote delivery? Read on.
Seriously, no one likes to see you talking from behind the podium. People want to: connect with you, know you better and give you a chance to make a difference. Don’t make it hard for them.
Come out of your “zone”, move your hands as you talk and embrace your stage. Walk around and move a lot, both across and in between the rows if possible.
Pace during an exciting part of the presentation. Each presentation will have its highs and lows, but you’ll always be able to lead your audience into different positive states of learning.
5. Embrace your uniqueness
What differentiates you from the next speaker? Your personality.
"Come out of your “zone”, move your hands as you talk and embrace your stage."
6. Employ the 10-20-30 rule
You’ll love this simple rule by Guy Kawasaki. If you’re using slides for your presentation (and especially if it’s a business proposal): don’t go over 10 slides, don’t make it longer than 20 minutes and don’t use font smaller than size 30.
Why? Firstly, a human mind loses focus easily. Secondly, you want to pitch your ideas in 20 minutes and discuss (engage) for the remaining time. Thirdly, you want your slides to cover just the most important points – not the whole thesis. And finally, 30-point font works well for bullet points.
Want more articles like this? Check out the presentation skills section.
7. Use the 4-Mat
4-Mat is a cool system to learn anything, and you can use it to give killer presentations too. Simply put, it lets you divide your presentation into four parts: Why, What, How and What if.
First, why is it important that participants learn what you’re teaching? This is where you press some pain points so that your audience gets excited to learn more.
This is followed by how, the actual learning, which is arguably the largest chunk of your presentation.
Lastly, you close the session by addressing what if. This is where you address any questions, give them a demo and so on.
8. Be early
Make it a habit to be early on the day of your presentation.
Get a feel for your room, the stage and the seating arrangements. Make any changes you want. Do a test-run of all your audiovisual equipment. The last thing you want is to have everyone settled and realise your projector doesn’t work!
9. Breathe, really.
If you’re into the habit of using a lot of “umms” and “aahs”, try catching yourself and just breathe. Pausing for a breath will also let people digest what you’ve said. It’s always better to pause than ramble, right?
10. Seize opportunities
There is a sure-fire way to fail at presentations, and that is saying “No” to a speaking opportunity. If you want to beat the fear of public speaking and emerge as a super speaker, look for more opportunities to speak.
Do you have tons of presentation ideas swimming in your head now?
Go on, share them with us in the comments below!