In today’s short attention span world, communicating clearly and succinctly is no longer enough. You need to “up” the value quotient and make your message memorable with a UP. In presenters’ terms, think of your UP as a single sentence that clearly summarizes the essence or purpose of your presentation, providing focus and differentiating your “story” from others.
At first, I dismissed James Humes’ Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln, assuming it would be full of historical platitudes and anecdotal stories rather than actionable advice. Instead, I discovered a terrific reference tool for novice and seasoned presenters alike – including me.
Each of the 21 chapters in this surprisingly quick read offers solid advice for enhancing your presentation skills, using examples from some of history’s most powerfully memorable speakers.
I’m often surprised that many speakers still fall prey to the fallacy that preparation means memorization — and that bringing notes to the podium might make you appear ill-prepared in the eyes of your audience. To the contrary, top presenters know it’s not what you bring to the podium but how you use it that sets apart good and great speakers.
I decided to take a step back to see exactly how this presenter was creating such a powerful experience for his listeners. To tell you the truth, he wasn’t doing every single thing right — and somehow it didn’t matter. My lesson that day was that he did three things exceptionally well — and those were enough to captivate his audience. And you can start doing those same three things today.
If you’re like many speakers, you view Q&As in one of two ways: you dread them, worried about being caught off guard, or you breeze through them, thinking that the “real work” is behind you. Wrong and wrong, and here’s why Q&A is often the most valuable part of any presentation — it invites dialogue, provides feedback, and, when properly handled, allows you to conclude on an energetic and powerful note.
A colleague recently auditioned to become a certified trainer for a well-known sales guru, delivering customized versions of his popular seminars under a licensing arrangement. Definitely a high-stakes scenario, as a successful audition would catapult Ernie’s career to the next level.
After three coaching sessions, I asked Ernie to share his thoughts on key takeaways before he headed off to the big audition. These are his lessons learned.
Imagine facing a room full of skittish investors and analysts to present your company’s management plan for the next quarter. Talk about high stakes presentation! In this type of meeting — one that’s likely to be packed with detailed data and statistics — it’s also likely that audience members will be focused on note taking or reviewing handouts rather than keeping their eyes on the presenters. And it’s natural to wonder — does my delivery style matter? The truth is that delivery always matters.
If you suffer from speaker’s anxiety, you’re in excellent company. Fear of speaking in public still ranks as one of the top — if not the number one fear — in the western world. But rather than attempting to eradicate it completely, you may be surprised to learn that many speakers learn to live with fear — and indeed, use it to their advantage to ensure effective presentations.
If you’re facing a high-stakes situation of your own, the question becomes, “What makes some presentations effective and others simply just OK?” To ensure that your next big presentation lands firmly in “brilliant” territory, learn about our four-step C.O.D.E.™ process for cracking the presentation code.