Following are twenty plus tips that were listed by the audience as the biggest take-aways from our two-day intensive effective presentation skills training. This is a great list to bookmark and keep handy as a reminder before and during your next presentation planning moment.
Top Learning Lessons from a Recent Effective Presentation Skills Training
* CAKE - The four techniques for controlling nerves.
* PowerPoint Upgrading - Less content, full-bleed/high-res images, keep lights on, use stark contrast in colors between font and background.
* Give Larger Packet At The End - This helps with focus. If you need to give them something during the meeting, give them pads to take notes and/or a one-sheet with the most important content over viewed in bullet-point form.
* It’s Always My Fault - Take full responsibility for whatever happens in the presentation room. Never blame the audience, the time of day, the environment, the projector, etc. Learn how to leverage and make the most of every situation. Remember the example I gave about giving a presentation at the end of a conference where only 25% of the attendees are left. Celebrate that - those are the committed ones.
* Pay The Debt - Leaders give unconditionally and step up with a smile on your face and love in your heart to help where others can't or won't.
* Simple is Good - Keep the moving parts of your presentation to a minimum. Only include a prop, PowerPoint, handouts, etc. if it is the absolute best way to communicate that portion of the presentation.
* Small Things Add Up - Everything in the room either adds, subtracts or distracts from your credibility.
* SPG - Debrief/processing technique. Solo, Pair, Group. Most times when I use it I leave off the Solo.
* Use Beliefs and Values as Evidence - If you need to convince someone to implement a change in meeting or presentation technique, you will need evidence that is convincing. The best kind takes you and that person out of it.
* Positive Self-Talk - Biggest barrier for most professionals to take their speaking abilities to the next level is the words, "I am not good in front of people." Stop using these words. If you can't stop, just add the words "right now". I am not good in front of people right now. You can get there.
* 7-Minute Rule - Most important single strategy to increasing audience engagement and content retention. 7-Minute Rule - Change the way the audience inputs information every seven minutes or so. Options: listen to you, listen to a peer, think, take notes, read notes, read flip chart, watch video, watch PowerPoint, do an activity, partner talk, group work, etc.
* Have a List Goal When Flip-Charting - When getting group ideas on a flip chart, set a goal for the number of submissions the group needs to give. This creates an open loop in the room that everyone will naturally want to help close.
* Emotional Connection - To increase engagement, include the human element in every presentation. Tell a story, let us know you better, etc.
* Engagement Options - Emotional, Intellectual, Social, Physical.
* Just the Right Amount of Data - Less is more.
* Metaphors - Use easily recognizable metaphors to explain concepts that not many people in the room (or the elevator) understand.
* Put Yourself in Their Shoes - Think about how you would like to be approached or spoken with if you were an audience member. Also, plan your presentation according to their barriers, understanding level of your content, how they can connect with you, what you have in common with them, how they will want to or need to apply your content, etc.
* CVS - Every time you see this pharmacy, you will think of this tip. CVS - Concrete, Visual, Simple. Keep your content and presentation structure simple and easy to follow.
* Know Your Enemies - Understand what will be barriers to the audience checking in fully and plan strategies to leverage these.
* Hook it - Use acronyms, list, etc. to provide the audience a better chance to remember your content a week later. Give them hooks to hang your content on.
* Have a Clear Purpose - Start with this. Why are we here? What is the purpose of today's meetings or presentation. Be specific and audience-focused here.
* 30/7/90 - The three Flow time rules. 30-Seconds - The audience decides in the first 30-seconds whether they want to fully check-in or not. 7-Minute Rule. 90-Minutes - Take a full break every 90-minutes.
* List of Questions - http://authenticityrules.blogspot.com/2012/12/questions-to-ask-before-your-next.html
* 7 Authenticity Rules
* Gravity Rule - Know your self
* Iceberg Rule - Know your content
* YourSpace Rule - Know your audience
* Surgeon Rule - Know your tools
* 7-Iron Rule - Know your flow
* Mask Rule - Know your enemies
* Mavericks Rule - Know your difference-makers
* Misc. Resources Mentioned