Create slides that enrich your presentation rather than cause distractions. As a rule of thumb, audience members should garner the message of each slide in about three seconds.
Use minimum text so readers can easily skim. Simplify the visual appearance of your slide set by choosing only one typeface and the same color palette throughout. Make slides cohesive by using the same style for all photographs and illustrations.
Arrange the elements on each slide by following these design principles:
- Hierarchy. Properly size and arrange elements so people can quickly determine their importance.
- Contrast. Modify the size, shape, color and proximity of certain elements on the slide to make certain areas stand out.
- White space. Use open space to isolate elements and sharpen the focus.
- Flow. Lead people to process your slide’s message more quickly by directing their eyes to specific areas on the slide containing the important points.
— Adapted from “Do Your Slides Pass the Glance Test?” Nancy Duarte, HBR Blog Network, http://blogs.hbr.org.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dskley
I found this great list of 25 public-speaking quotes over at BigFishPresentations.com and thought I’d share some of my favorites with you. You can see the full list here.
Enjoy your weekend!
- “You can speak well if your tongue can deliver the message of your heart.” -John Ford
- “If you can’t write your message in a sentence, you can’t say it in an hour.” -Dianna Booher
- “There are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave.” -Dale Carnegie
- “A good orator is pointed and impassioned.” -Marcus T. Cicero
- “Oratory is the power to talk people out of their sober and natural opinions.” - Joseph Chatfield
- “The success of your presentation will be judged not by the knowledge you send but by what the listener receives.” - Lilly Walters
This is a guest post by Patricia Fripp, executive speech coach.
It never ceases to amaze me how many talented and well-educated people attend networking events yet overlook their big chance to be memorable by developing a mini-presentation for audiences of one to five. Here are some strategies that let you walk into a room with quiet self-assurance, confident that people will enjoy meeting you and will recall you afterward:
- Arrive looking your best. If you have a hectic day before going to a business meeting, keep a change of clothes in your office or car so you can arrive unwrinkled.
- Wear your name tag. We’re all more likely to retain information that we see and hear at the same time, so wear your name tag up on your right shoulder. That way, people can read it as they hear you say your name.
- Develop a memorable signature. Men can wear ties that people will comment on. An investment banker I know wears a money tie. At certain meetings, industry events and the National Speakers Association, I stand out because I wear distinctive hats. When people are asked “Do you know Patricia Fripp?” the usual reply is “Yes, she’s the one who always wears the amazing hats.”
- Develop an unforgettable greeting. When you introduce yourself, don’t just say your name and job title. Instead, start by describing the benefits of what you do for clients. A financial planner says “I help rich people sleep at night.” One of my responses is “I make conventions and sales meetings more exciting.” Almost invariably, my new friend has to ask “How do you do that?” Immediately, I get to market myself.
- Greet everyone. Don’t ignore people you recognize if you’ve forgotten their names. Smile and ask a provocative question like “What is the most exciting thing that has happened to you since we last met?” or “What are you most looking forward to?” And never be afraid to say: “The last time we met, we had such a great conversation. Will you remind me what your name is?”
- Overcome any shyness. For many people, mingling with a roomful of strangers can be an unpleasant or even scary experience. Focus on the benefits of meeting exciting new contacts and learning new information instead of focusing on any butterflies in your stomach. Until you’ve gained confidence, a good way to do that is to offer to volunteer for a job that requires interacting with other attendees, such as volunteering to be a greeter. You’ll meet many new people and receive cheery nods of recognition throughout the event, making it easy to stop and talk later. When you focus on helping others feel comfortable, you are not thinking about your being shy!
- Travel with your own PR agent. That is a powerful technique that maximizes your networking. Form a duo with a professional friend. When you arrive, alternately separate and come together, talking up each other’s strengths and expertise.
- Always send a note or brochure the next day to the people you have met. Keep business cards, and make notes of what you said for when you meet the people at another event.
Those are all positive, pleasant, easy ways to be memorable. Make yourself worth remembering!
Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE, keynote speaker, executive speech coach and sales presentation skills expert, works with organizations and individuals who realize they gain a competitive edge through powerful, persuasive presentation skills. She builds leaders, transforms sales teams and delights audiences. Fripp is past-president of the National Speakers Association. To learn more, contact her at http://www.fripp.com, (415)753-6556, @PFripp, or PFripp@ix.netcom.com.
Remove possible problems with the location where you will be delivering a speech. Well before you are scheduled to talk, examine the venue. Look for these elements:
- Room to set up your notes, laptop and props.
- A clear view from the audience. When you take the time to tour the room in advance, you can request a change in the seating or stage.
- Where the controls are. If you need to change the lighting or adjust the sound system, how will that happen?
- Amenities. If your host won’t be providing water at the lectern, carry a bottle with you.
— Adapted from “Supercompetent Speaking: Pre-Presentation Preparations,” Laura Stack, Training, http://trainingmag.com.
PowerPoint Power Tips: How to Make Sure Your Presentations Don’t Suck
1:00-2:00 p.m. (EST)
Let’s face it—most PowerPoint presentations stink! How can you make your point faster, better, and more convincingly with just a few simple tweaks to your PowerPoint presentation?
Join professional speaker and trainer Norman Wei, as he teaches you how to achieve your goals without putting your audience to sleep.
Give a better presentation—get better results. Sign up today to find out how!
• Why are the first 5 slides the most important?
• How to structure your slides to engage the audience
• How to convey your ideas without using those dreadful bullet points
• Practice makes perfect! Specific points for when you rehearse and prepare
• How to manage your stage fright before and during your presentation
Don’t allow your enthusiasm for a subject to undermine your authority when you speak about it. You will be more persuasive when you avoid these faults:
- Speaking too fast. Listeners don’t trust people who talk exceptionally fast. Speak at a moderate pace to hold your listeners’ attention.
- Being too animated. Hand gestures and inflection are important to convey your enthusiasm. However, if you look like you are trying too hard to make an impression, that will distract from your message.
- Not taking a break. It’s easy to become caught up in offering an explanation and forget to stop for air. People are more receptive to speakers who pause naturally for breath and approach their presentations as conversations.
— Adapted from “Pause & Pitch: The Surprising Keys to Persuasive Speaking,” Rebecca Mazin, http://www.allbusiness.com.
The professional presentation habits that you worked hard to cultivate can work against you. Your next speech may be better if you vary from these practices:
- Memorizing your remarks. Jot down the most effective lines you deliver instead of relying on your memory.
- Gesturing broadly. Go big to exaggerate and add humor. Tone down your motions when conveying drama or a similar emotion.
- Smiling. When your expression is a habit, you no longer convey warmth and emotion. Plus there are times when a smile is inappropriate.
— Adapted from “The 5 Bad Habits of Experienced Speakers,” Olivia Mitchell, Speaking About Presenting, http://www.speakingaboutpresenting.com.