How To Give A Killer Presentation

June 10, 2013 § Leave a comment

How to Give a Killer Presentation

Source: Harvard Business Review

I’m convinced that giving a good talk is highly coachable. In a matter of hours, a speaker’s content and delivery can be transformed from muddled to mesmerizing……..the lessons we’ve learned are surely useful to other presenters—whether it’s a CEO doing an IPO road show, a brand manager unveiling a new product, or a start-up pitching to VCs.
For more than 30 years, the TED conference series has presented enlightening talks that people enjoy watching. In this article, Anderson, TED’s curator, shares five keys to great presentations:

1) Frame your story (figure out where to start and where to end).

We all know that humans are wired to listen to stories, and metaphors abound for the narrative structures that work best to engage people. When I think about compelling presentations, I think about taking an audience on a journey. A successful talk is a little miracle—people see the world differently afterward.

2) Plan your delivery (decide whether to memorize your speech word for word or develop bullet points and then rehearse it–over and over).

Remember that the people in the audience are intelligent. Let them figure some things out for themselves. Let them draw their own conclusions.

Many of the best talks have a narrative structure that loosely follows a detective story. The speaker starts out by presenting a problem and then describes the search for a solution. There’s an “aha” moment, and the audience’s perspective shifts in a meaningful way.

3)  Work on stage presence (but remember that your story matters more than how you stand or whether you’re visibly nervous)

the physical act of being onstage can be the most difficult part of giving a presentation—but people tend to overestimate its importance…..the biggest mistake we see in early rehearsals is that people move their bodies too much…..the single best advice is simply to breathe deeply before you go onstage.

Acknowledging nervousness can also create engagement. Showing your vulnerability, whether through nerves or tone of voice, is one of the most powerful ways to win over an audience, provided it is authentic

4)   Plan the multimedia (whatever you do, don’t read from PowerPoint slides)

Many of the best TED speakers don’t use slides at all, and many talks don’t require them. If you have photographs or illustrations that make the topic come alive, then yes, show them. If not, consider doing without, at least for some parts of the presentation. And if you’re going to use slides, it’s worth exploring alternatives to PowerPoint. For instance, TED has invested in the company Prezi, which makes presentation software that offers a camera’s-eye view of a two-dimensional landscape.

5)  Put it together (play to your strengths and be authentic)

Presentations rise or fall on the quality of the idea, the narrative, and the passion of the speaker. It’s about substance–not style. In fact, it’s fairly easy to “coach out” the problems in a talk, but there’s no way to “coach in” the basic story–the presenter has to have the raw material.

The single most important thing to remember is that there is no one good way to do a talk. The most memorable talks offer something fresh, something no one has seen before. The worst ones are those that feel formulaic. So do not on any account try to emulate every piece of advice I’ve offered here. Take the bulk of it on board, sure. But make the talk your own. You know what’s distinctive about you and your idea. Play to your strengths and give a talk that is truly authentic to you.

The full article here:

http://hbr.org/2013/06/how-to-give-a-killer-presentation/ar/1

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