Are there more efficient ways of getting your message across? Could you increase clarity and have more impact? Devote three minutes to watching Nancy Duarte, CEO of Silicon Valley’s largest design company Duarte, give you some suggestions:
Do you normally just put together some slides for a powerpoint presentation and are certain you will get your message across effectively? According to Nancy that usually doesn’t do the trick.
All audiences are different
What works for one group may not work for another. It’s essential to obsess about what kind of people will be listening to you and come up with stories and ways to make a heart to heart connection with them. Ask yourself what the main message you want to get across to them is. Once you know that, the content has to be built around getting that point across.
Simplify and use contrasts
What’s the order you would like your audience to process your information? How will their eyes move across it? Use contrasts, colours and shapes to come across clearly. If not, your ideas will be camouflaged and your audience will be confused. One idea only should pop out from each slide. So make sure that idea not lost in the mire of too many messages.
Most common mistake
Using your slides as documents instead of a visual aid. If you do and turn your back to the audience they will read faster than you speak. They then start thinking they already know what you are saying.
So make sure you use the slides either as a visual aid or a document they can read from. If you use it as a document with a lot of information don’t stand up and present it. Let the audience read for themselves. Using your slides as visual aids and perform like an actor in front of your audience will however, have much more impact.
Everyone is nervous before a presentation
Even the masters of rhetoric, Cicero and Aristotle, were nervous. Cicero even wrote that if you are not, you most likely don’t master the art of rhetoric. When you speak before an audience it is, according to Cicero, important that you truly master the subject at hand and know how to perform to make the audience react. If not, how can you influence and motivate your audience?
It’s important to memorize as much as you can. Today with powerpoint giving us a helping hand that’s easier than it was for Cicero when he spoke to the senate. Despite that he was a master of getting the senators to see things his way.
Did you find Nancy Duarte’s suggestions useful? Are you nervous before giving a presentation? Do you master the art of performing like an actor and merely use slides as a visual aid? Or do you normally use slides as documents? Do you tailor-make your presentations for different audiences? Do you simplify as much as you can to make sure you get your message across?
Video:StanfordBusinss – Picture: ImagineCup