Picture this: you’re standing off to the side, a crowd in front of you. You’re the next one to present your topic to the crowd. You’re nervous because you don’t know how it will go but you know you’re prepared for anything.
Presenting in front of an audience is an art. Good news is that presenting well in front of an audience can be perfected, with practice. If we look at the business community, Steve Jobs is a name that comes to mind when we speak of great presenters. Jobs had fantastic presentation skills owed to his charisma, charm and presence on stage.
As Carmine Gallo puts it in his book, The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs, Steve “transformed the typical, dull, technical, plodding slideshow into a theatrical event complete with heroes, villains, a supporting cast, and stunning backdrops.”
Another extraordinary speaker is charity: water Founder and CEO Scott Harrison. Harrison shares his story of how he found purpose in life and plays on the emotional threads of the audience.
Lastly we want to mention, Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering. Federighi engages the audience by delivering a captivating presentation hitting all the right notes.
We are giving you 5 specific presentation techniques that you should adopt to deliver a great presentation.
- Elevate the Energy
No one likes a presenter who delivers a monotone speech with no animation in their actions. Federighi has an infectious energy level that keeps you enraptured throughout his presentation. He strides across the stage, uses changing tones and hand gestures. A presentation is a performance and you should exude high, positive energy as soon as you walk in.
2. Welcoming Body Language is Key
Similar to the last technique, it is crucial that you have an ‘open’ body language. This means smiling while maintaining an open posture, which means no slouching or crossing your arms. People subconsciously respond to a person’s body language and you can use this to your advantage by projecting a commanding presence.
3. Make people laugh
Even though the presentation is about your product, engaging the audience ensures its success. During Apple’s annual WWDC Developers conference, Federighi poked fun at himself and his white hair, naming it ‘hair force one’.
Jokes and anecdotes that make the audience laugh humanize the presenter and characterize him in a good light making the whole experience remember-able and likable.
- Opt for simple, visual slides
Steve Jobs never used bullets in his presentation slides. Ever! The human brain is more likely to retain information more easily through images rather than text, also known as picture superiority. Design slides that are visually appealing and easy to follow. Let your slides complement the message that you are trying to convey through your words.
- Adhere to the 10-minute rule
According to a University of Washington’s brain researcher, John Medina, the audience naturally tunes out after 10 minutes. Introduce soft breaks between your pitch to re-engage the audience. For example, these could be a short video or a product demonstration. Keep the audience attentive by building in these swift and subtle soft breaks.
Try out these tips next time and see how you improve! Let us know your tried and tested presentations tips.