Your Next BIG Speech
There are three main considerations for laying out a presentation:
A presentation is made up of two key parts: spoken word and visual aids. And since you only have one chance to make a first impression, what you show is truly important. Most people are visual learners. They see first and then begin to listen. It’s why people can be distracted from a conversation by something shiny or new. Our eyes feed our brains. Pictures are worth a thousand words…yada yada. Point is, what visuals you choose to aid your presentation are vital to conveying your message successfully. Presentations are a heavily visual medium. Because the visuals are such an important part, let’s spend a little time covering what kind of imagery would best suit your talk. Whenever I give examples of content for visual aids – written, oral, or video – I jokingly cite that all good presentations need to have one or more of the following: destruction, beauty, personal story, or cats. So if you are giving a talk about giant kittens shooting lasers out their eyes destroying the Golden Gate Bridge, you have one hell of a presentation. Chances are you are not that lucky.
So what visuals do you have to use? You should spend time in pre-production prior to your talk thinking about this. Consider what imagery or material is available. See what other good presenters have done. What you finally put into your slides will directly represent your attention to detail, your style, your charisma, and your desire to relay your content. If you have slide after slide of text, that says something about you. If your presentation has absolutely no text and only pictures, that says something entirely different about you. So, how do you want to be seen? What is the right version of your presentation for your chosen audience? Once you decide you are ready to begin moving forward with your presentation.
You can say that time flies when you are having fun. You can state unequivocally that blondes have more fun. You may even argue that 60% of the time it works every time (Thank you, Anchorman!). Regardless of your claims, the truth lies in the facts. In this case, facts mean data. Data is the meat of your presentation. The “what’s what” of what you are trying to present. The information you used to weave your story and base your conclusions. The information that justifies decisions and shows what really is happening. Data is necessary to persuade, educate, and inform. You can’t just go up on stage and spout off random false facts and figures. You need cold, hard, real data if you expect to retain any credibility with your audience. Just remember, data doesn’t have to be boring. The key is to keep it simple stupid. Avoid complex figures with intense graphs and complicated conceptual models (aka, “spaghettigrams”). Make the data as concise and direct for your audience as possible. The audience should be able to look at your slide and know within 5 seconds why it matters. It may take another 15 seconds to fully dig through what you are showing and get its deeper meaning. But at first glance, the main purpose should be readily apparent.
There is always a reason why we do what we do. We care. But, why should we? That is a very pivotal question and the driving force behind the category of consequences. It’s great to be awed by beautiful imagery, or to be informed that 9 of 10 dentists recommend something, but if truth were told, the consequence of the presentation matters most. Understanding the consequences addresses questions like – How does this relate to me? Why should I care? What do expect me to do about it? Consequences make your presentation real, tangible, or actionable. It gives the purpose of your presentation more weight and meaning. It emphasizes what you are saying matters and that people in the audience should want to be invested in your tale. Consequences make your material meaningful. Tying consequence to your audience is very powerful. Your message and intended reaction should be tied to the consequences you are highlighting. Make them clear, concise, and relatable. That is how you garner your desired response. Make the consequences seem real to your audience. Otherwise, they probably won’t care what you are talking about.
Parenting & Public Speaking. Together
The behaviors, experiences, and techniques parents use everyday can improve YOUR NEXT BIG SPEECH. Whether it be using silly voices or just playing with the kids, these actions improve self-confidence, stage presence, and audience engagement. And that’s just the beginning…