Structure

Are Stories in Presentations Always Persuasive?

Using stories in presentations In today's video, I briefly discuss using stories in presentations to be more persuasive. The idea of using a story to help get your audience across the 'persuasion and influence' line is very common. Whether we're aiming to change people's mood, change their mind or get them to take real action. And when I talk about a story, I don't mean a cosy, fluffy tale, like someone reading to us in primary school or before we go to sleep! I simply mean using what I call 'humanity' to balance out facts, data, statistics. Most great presentations have...

Audience Brains Need Structure When You Speak In Public

Audience brains need structure when you speak in public Audience Brains Need Structure What's one thing that your audience really needs from you when you speak in public? A structure. It's so important to give them a clear framework for your content. Our brains are pattern-making machines. We're constantly scanning new information for patterns which we can relate to our current knowledge base, and we subconsciously try to create a logic by comparing and sorting information. If there's no logical flow, we'll be unhappy, even though we may not consciously know why. (Of course, if the presentation we've just sat through was a...

9 Mistakes Presenters Make

9 Mistakes Presenters Make Mistakes Presenters Make Do you want to be a more dynamic presenter? You will be if you avoid these frequent mistakes. I've discussed all of these ideas in previous articles, but thought it was worth clustering them together for a 'common mistakes' overview.  1. Forgetting the WIIFM filter  One of the most common mistakes that presenters make is forgetting to run their whole presentation through their audience’s No.1 filter – and that is always WIIFM (what’s in it for me?)  From the moment you open your mouth, to the summing-up, you’re being judged through this filter, and in...

Two Great Ways to Open your Talk, Especially if you’re Nervous

Make your Audience Think to Focus and Engage Them The opening of your presentation is often the part where you're most nervous or self-conscious. You're faced with pairs of eyes looking at you, the audience feels like it's one big stare, and you're not enjoying the sudden attention. What can you do to take some of the unwanted focus off yourself, and create an engaging, effective start to your speech? Here are two ways which really work: Make a statement Ask a question Keep reading, because I probably haven't convinced you that these ideas are all that startling or great just  yet! I'll explain why...

7 Ways NOT to Open your Presentation

The opening of your talk is crucial: your main goal is to capture your audience's attention and show them why they should listen to you. It also sets the tone and direction of your presentation. This is often the time where you're most edgy, and the audience is most focused on you, so you don't want to get it wrong! So with that mind, here are some suggestions for what NOT to do at the opening of your speech. With these tips, I'm assuming that you're speaking to a group for the first time, or one which you don't know...

My CRISPER Formula for Good Public Speaking

CRISPER Formula for Good Public Speakers People often ask me "what makes a good public speaker?" And on my journey from dreadful to competent presenter, I've done a lot of thinking about this - as well as working with all my clients. A couple of years ago I had fun (yes, I'm quirky like that!) creating an acronym for good presenters which I still like: the CRISPER formula. I would be fairly certain that even if you think you’re not a good speaker, when you read the list below you’ll find that you already exhibit one or more of these 7 skills when you...

How Good Speakers Always Get Their Point Across Effectively – And You Can Too

Use a simple speech structure Have you ever been asked to present something at short notice and not really known where to start? Or walked out of a meeting after addressing your team and gone "oh #%^*, I forgot to point out what I'm expecting from them regarding __"? At these two pivotal points - when you have to prepare a talk quickly and don't know where to start, or during your actual address -  it's very easy in the stress or distraction of the moment to get confused or lost in your topic. So how do you get your point across in the...

How to Open a Business Presentation Strongly

Business presentations need a strong opening, without being dramatic or hyped-up. When a more punchy, 'wow' opening is required for a group, there are various ways to do it: you could ask a powerful question, give a startling statistic, or tell a short anecdote, to name just a few. But if you're giving a quarterly update to your team, or presenting to senior management, for example, these openings are not appropriate. In this case, you need to deliver a solid, clear, concise position statement that connects your content to your audience: why you're all there in the room or virtual space. The opening sets the...

Creating a New Speech: 7 Tips To Get You Started

Do you have to write your own speeches or talks? Ever struggled to get going? I used to spend far too long getting a first draft out of my head (weeks, months anyone?) until I learned these tips: Mind mapping is a great way to begin generating content; it's a method which uses the brain’s natural tendency to create patterns and connections, and frees you up to just get your initial ideas down on paper/screen.  I use it all the time now. Here's how to do it: start with a large sheet of paper (if you're using paper); as large as you can handle...

How to Practise Your Presentation: Practical Tips (And What Not To Do)

Group of Practice Golf Balls - vorakorn There are many different ways to prepare: today I'm going to talk about practising your talk in the outer world, but working with your inner world  - using mental rehearsal and relaxation techniques - are also important if you're nervous. Practising can help in showing you: what you need to fix in order to make your talk flow logically what you need to edit for clarity the possibilities for connection with your audience when you know your material so well that you get out of your own head how to feel more confident and comfortable (see my previous article on the neuroscience...