Presentations 101: The Importance Of Practicing

Presentations 101: The Importance Of Practicing

Growing up, there were three words we lived by: “practice makes perfect”. Whether it had to do with properly throwing a baseball, learning to do algebra, or even as simple as tying our shoes, those three words came into play more often than not.

As we’ve gotten older, it seems that most of us have outgrown that motto for numerous reasons. We’re too busy and simply don’t have time, we have no reason to practice because we’re already a subject matter expert on our topic, and well, who needs to practice when we have the World Wide Web sitting in our pockets?

All valid reasons, but they can’t be applied in all situations. Sometimes, we need to revert back to our childhood days and remind ourselves that “practice really does make perfect”, especially when it comes down to nailing your next presentation.

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Presentations 101: The Importance of a Q&A

Presentations 101: The Importance of a Q&A

The debate… to Q&A, or to not Q&A? Let’s be honest, if everyone in your audience felt like they were an expert on your presentation topic, would they really be listening to you in the first place? Most likely not. Your audience is there for one reason, and one reason only: to learn, absorb and become knowledgeable about your topic.

Your audience has devoted time out of their busy schedules to listen to what you have to say. Therefore, allowing your audience to ask you questions, dig deeper, and feel listened to, will only help both parties be successful in the long run.

If you disagree and are rooting for team “NO Q&A”, read a few reasons why we believe you should always set aside time for your audience to ask questions: Continue reading “Presentations 101: The Importance of a Q&A”

A Note From Our Owner: Things That Will Cause The Audience To Start Checking Their Instagram While You Are Presenting

A Note From Our Owner: Things That Will Cause The Audience To Start Checking Their Instagram While You Are Presenting

I’m a PowerPoint lover. I admit it. I’m not ashamed of it. I cut my teeth on PowerPoint when it first came out because I worked for an SVP of Marketing who LOVED IT. So, HE decided I was going to become an expert at developing presentations that made him look great. Though I could develop presentations that would showcase the story he was trying to tell in a way that made it visually impactful and appealing, what I couldn’t do is make him a good presenter. He did that all by himself. I’m here to tell you… he was outstanding (not that I would ever tell him that). By watching him, I learned how someone can tell a story with slides behind them in complete synchronicity while causing the audience (myself included… and I’m the one who designed it in the first place) to remain riveted, attentive, interested, and invested.

Here’s just one example: While giving a presentation on marketing warfare, he put a General Patton military cap on and literally paced the stage in the same fashion George C. Scott did in the movie Patton. Using a pointer stick to point to the screen for key strategic points in various slides and talking in calm tones that crescendoed to yelling, he then motioned me at the perfect time (right when the Patton-like speech was getting old) to start handing out books to every single attendee. And then he closed with a quote from Yoda. Yes… Yoda, from Star Wars.  

Continue reading “A Note From Our Owner: Things That Will Cause The Audience To Start Checking Their Instagram While You Are Presenting”

Presentations 101: The Importance of Fonts

Presentations 101: The Importance of Fonts

As much as we all try to “not judge a book by its cover”, and focus on the fact that “it’s whats on the inside that matters, not the outside”… When it comes down to the visual component of your presentation – it ABSOLUTELY does matter.

There are a few things that are stressed when designing an effective and appealing presentation, one being the most obvious, your visuals. Incorporating rich images and graphics are definitely crucial, but what about the words that are on each slide? They are the most important component of your entire presentation. Without your words, your PowerPoint is well… Pointless.

So what should you pay attention to when working with fonts? Follow these three tips when creating your next presentation:  Continue reading “Presentations 101: The Importance of Fonts”

3 Things You Need To Start Your Speaking Career

3 Things You Need To Start Your Speaking Career

So you’ve watched some TED Talks and you’ve decided you want to start a speaking career! You’ve got this! But before you jump in head first, make sure that you have these 3 key things in place:

1. Find Your Niche

This one is pretty straightforward – find a topic to speak about. Chances are if you are seriously considering a speaking career, you’ve already got this one nailed down. But if you don’t, sit down and strategize. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I an expert on this topic? If not, how can I become one?
  • Am I passionate about this topic?
  • Who is my audience?
  • Does my audience care about this topic? How do I connect with them?

Continue reading “3 Things You Need To Start Your Speaking Career”

Presentations 101: Know Your Audience

Presentations 101: Know Your Audience

Whether you’re talking to your team, presenting a big sales-pitch, or speaking in front of a huge group of strangers, knowing who is in your audience is the key to delivering a powerful presentation. The most important question to ask yourself when preparing a presentation is: Why is my topic important to my audience? Your audience is there to hear you speak for a reason, so establish what that reason is.

Who is in your audience? Do your research.

Before showing up, do some research. Having a team meeting? Create an outline of topics that need to be discussed. Ask your employees or coworkers what they want to focus on so that everyone can be on the same page. Giving the biggest sales pitch of the year? Do your due diligence, and learn about the company you are pitching to so that you can make personal references on how your product will help them. Giving a speech at a conference? Really consider the point of the conference and why your audience bought tickets and showed up to your talk in the first place. Continue reading “Presentations 101: Know Your Audience”

The Benefits of a Short Presentation

The Benefits of a Short Presentation

When it comes to public speaking, the last thing the majority of us want to do is memorize an entire long speech by heart. So, there are two options to make sure you nail your presentation:

Option 1) Practice, practice, practice and then practice some more. Do your speech in front of the mirror, speak to your friends or family, practice in front of your dog, etc. But let’s be honest, who has the time for that in our busy lives?

Option 2) Realizing Option 1 isn’t going to happen, you cram as much text as humanly possible onto each PowerPoint slide and pray that everyone in the audience brought their reading glasses to the speech.

A solution – but a terrible presentation tactic. Here are a few reasons why you can benefit from shortening your lengthy presentation down to under 15 slides: Continue reading “The Benefits of a Short Presentation”