3 presentation tips you don’t often hear from the experts

Presentation tips are everywhere. Put those two words into Google as I did this morning and you will get 924M results.

Tell stories

Pause

Make eye contact

Slow down

Know your audience

Prepare

‘Cut the fat’

Smile

Breathe

Move

Practice

Start strong

Close stronger

Show passion

Ditch the bullet points

Following those 15 presentation tips alone will serve you incredibly well each time you present. It’s all perfectly good advice which we here at Mindful Presenter share and encourage too.

That said, there is more, much more to high impact presenting and public speaking. If you set out with the pure intention of connecting with your audience instead of presenting to them they will be extremely grateful.

Here are 3 powerful presentation tips you won’t often hear:

1. Don’t be yourself

In addition to the above list, one of the most common presentation tips you will here is to ‘Just be yourself”. Being yourself is all well and good but for some people it may not be enough. If your normal self isn’t conducive to engaging, inspiring and connecting with an audience then why would they want to listen to you?

Often, adopting an ‘I’m just going to be myself’ attitude stifles growth, creativity and can end up being an excuse for complacency.

To truly ‘be yourself, you have to ‘Know yourself’. It’s with that level of awareness that you get to be ‘Your best self’; not just yourself.

Let’s put presentation tips aside for a moment and consider how to ‘Know yourself’.

– Be still — Take a few moments each day to be quiet. Learn to become comfortable with silence and sitting quietly with your self. Find a meditation or breath practice which allows you to slow down and calm down. Don’t set an objective or goal other than to be as still and as quiet as you can for a few minutes.

– Remember who you are. Take the time to remember just how far you’ve come. Recall all of your achievements, successes and the challenges you’ve overcome. Look at how much you have learned, grown and changed.

– Ditch the idea of perfection. — In the article, ‘8 Ways to Stop Being a Perfectionist,’ the author shares an important truth: ‘Perfectionism puts you under greater stress and is just plain bad for your health. All of which makes you less efficient and effective. It’s a downward spiral, and not a sustainable way to do business or live your life.’

– Get some feedback — Find out what you’re good at and not so good at. One of the best presentaion tips I could offer you is to book yourself onto a powerful public speaking course.

2. Embrace PowerPoint

The only reason PowerPoint and other visual aids are so often shunned is that people abuse them. PowerPoint was never intended as an aide-memoire for speakers to read from and yet that’s what even some of the most experienced presenters are doing every day.

Used correctly, PowerPoint can bring more energy and visual impact to your presentations helping your audience to use their imaginations and make your presentation more memorable.

The old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” is still true today. Don’t listen to the PowerPoint critics — just learn how to use it to help your audience.

Following these ’21 Powerful PowerPoint Tips you really need to know’, will serve you and your audience extremely well.

3. Don’t be so serious

Prior to coaching presentation skills, I spent many years as an executive and what seems like a lifetime in the boardroom. During that time, it often seemed to me that a very large number of leaders and professionals carry the mistaken idea that being professional means that you have to be deadly serious all of the time.

Not only is it not true, it’s not a good look for most of us.

Unless you’re making people redundant, informing them of a death, the building is on fire, or your £12m project has run horribly over budget you can still smile; especially in business presentations.

Our priority as presenters is to connect with our audience on an emotional as well as an intellectual level. It is hard to do that with a deadpan face.

We wouldn’t get very far at home with our partners and children if we were so stately all of the time; sometimes we need to relax, add a little humour, charm, grace and fun.

The world has changed

Cast your mind back to the last business presentation you attended.

– What do you remember?

– How much do you remember?

– How did you feel the moment the presenter finished speaking?

– How did you feel when you returned to your desk or car?

At mindful presenter we believe that after a typical business presentation most people will forget around 90% of what they heard by the time the get back to their car or desk.

At best they will feel indifferent.

The world has changed radically in the last 3 decades:

– Technology

– Education

– Medicine

– Transport

– Engineering

– Psychology

– Politics

Everything has changed apart from the way we speak and present to each other in business.

In many of the biggest, most successful and influential brands in the world, highly creative, intelligent and talented professionals are still:

– Reading slides fraught with bullet points, text and data

– Donning the ‘corporate spokesperson’ voice and demeanour

– Speaking in a monotone voice

– Telling people how clever they are, how much the know and how hard they work

– Leaving fellow professionals feeling bored, numb, indifferent or disinterested

That’s mindless presenting

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Mindful Presenter shows you how to:

– Speak with confidence, clarity and impact

– Speak with purpose, power and humility

– Add value and to make a difference each time you speak

– Connect with your audience emotionally as well as intellectually

– Find and value your voice

– Use your voice effectively with the courage to challenge the status- quo and lead real and positive change

If you would like to learn the very best presentation tips:

– Book yourself onto a powerful public speaking course.

– Invest in some really good one to one public speaking coaching.

– Get yourself some excellent presentation training

If this article has inspired you to learn a little more about how effective your presentation skills are you may want to take a look at our presentation training and public speaking coaching pages to see how we may be able to help you. You will also find a great deal of really helpful ‘free’ information in our Learning Centre.

Image courtesy of: www.istockphoto.com

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Author, speaker, trainer, presenter - former corporate executive passionate about personal leadership, people and results.

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Maurice DeCastro

Maurice DeCastro

Author, speaker, trainer, presenter - former corporate executive passionate about personal leadership, people and results.

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