My kids spit at each other. It’s the lip smacking kind, not the loogie kind. I don’t understand why they do it. For some reason they think its funny, I guess. I find it offensive and disgusting. I think one of the most degrading things a person can do is spit at another person. Whenever they do it I tell them, “Don’t spit. It’s disgusting.”That’s a fairly straightforward message, right? The message is short and clear. This should be the same idea for your message(s) to your audience. It is much more beneficial and understandable if you keep it simple.
Have a Clear Message
The crux of any good presentation is its message. All talks need one (or two). Just be wary not to have too many, which could muddle the effectiveness of your talk. In research writing, the message is equivalent to your conclusion(s). What is the most important thing you want your audience to learn? This is your topic sentence in writing. It needs to address the “Why they should care?” or “How does this affect me?” curiosities of your audience. If you were to poll your audience after your talk and ask them what is the one thing they learned, this should be everyone’s response.
During your planning and preparation the message should be the first thing you incorporate into your actual presentation layout or design. And when you present, it should come up early and often with some emphasis. Don’t wait until the very end of your talk to reveal your message. It should be stated near the beginning of your talk. It should be clear and concise. You want people to know what they should care about and why. Then it is up to you to justify it with the rest of your talk.
If your aren’t good at public speaking, I have a little bit of advice for you. Next time you are required to speak in front of a class, I recommend presenting second or second to last. One huge benefit of the classroom setting is that to produce a successful talk all you really need to do is outperform the person before and afteryou. Want to know a dirty little secret coming from a college professor? We grade on a sliding scale based on how the students perform. We look at the best and worst presenters, the quality of their slides, etc., and then adjust everyone else’s grades to fall somewhere in the middle. Unless you know you have the best talk, you never want to be first or last. If you go first, everyone has an opportunity to outperform you, thus dropping your grade. And you don’t want to go last, because, frankly, most people are bored by that time and just want to leave, professor included. Complicating matters, if your talk sucks…woah…you will get hammered with a poor grade. However, if you slide in at #2, you know what you have to do to outperform #1 and reestablish the grade scale. You still have a relatively captive audience and, as an added bonus, you get your talk out of the way early. As for the benefits of second to last – you have a really good understanding of where you will fit in compared to all the preceding talks. That means you can set your performance accordingly. You can finish strong without being the a-hole that keeps the class late. It’s all about the psychology of the classroom presentation.
Bare Necessities of Successful Design
Once you have considered visuals, data, and consequences, you can move on to the preparation of your presentation. This opens up a very dangerous Pandora’s box of options for you. The ease of using presentation software like PowerPoint, Keynote, and Prezi (to name a few) gives way too much power to the novice speaker. The opportunity to mix in cool fonts and awesome animations is very appealing. Try your best to avoid diving into that rabbit hole until you better understand graphic design. Start smart. Start easy. When laying out presentation slides, here are a few things to pay attention to:
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…