You probably know people who feel like a fish in water during public appearances. They easily hold the attention of listeners, clearly state the information, quickly respond to tricky questions and manage to joke. The audience always listens to such speakers, even if they are not preparing to speak. Moreover, they may be of interest to listeners with topics like “Dynamics of increase in cattle population in the 80s”.
Also, you just saw the grief-speakers, like a schoolboy who did not learn homework. They are afraid to take their eyes off the screen, leaf through PowerPoint slides and read the text written there verbatim. After completing the presentation, they timidly say something like “nagoprosovonnet” under their breath and leave the stage to the deafening whispering of the audience, figuring out where the buffet is and when there will finally be a coffee break.
Virtually every businessman would give a lot to belong to the first category of speakers. The ability to publicly speak and conduct high-quality presentations is an invaluable resource for entrepreneurs, salespeople, managers. However, many business people all their lives blame on some innate qualities that they do not have, explaining their fear of presentations or mediocre performances.
Of course, many successful speakers have a natural charisma. To understand what is at stake, remember the bright politicians, public figures or even pop stars. But the lack of an appropriate set of personality traits, character traits, and other mental characteristics that determine a person’s ability to attract attention and lead, is not an obstacle to successful performances.
Virtually anyone, even shy and tongue-tied, can compensate for the lack of charisma with good preparation for presentations and training. But do not rush to pick up sea pebbles in the mouth, like Demosthenes.
Today, speakers must first learn to use the tools for presentations. After all, because of the ignorance of users, the same PowerPoint program often turns into a speaker from a convenient tool to a hindrance. Then the speakers need to learn how to fill their report with useful information for the audience. Finally, speakers should master public speaking techniques that make the audience listen and hear the speaker.
How to make a presentation of slaughter
Unlike Demosthenes, modern speakers have access to tools that facilitate the transfer of information from the speaker to the audience. First of all, these include acoustic systems and microphones that save people from the need to train their voices using the method of an ancient Greek speaker. In addition, modern developments can visualize their performance using a computer, projector, screen, and presentation software. But the same Demosthenes could not even dream of markers and flipchart.
A person perceives visual information 60,000 times faster than words or written text. In this regard, the recipe for a classroom presentation looks simple: it is necessary to prepare important information and enhance it with the help of visualization tools. This is convenient to do with PowerPoint or similar programs.
You will be absolutely right if, after another mention of a popular program for creating slide presentations, remember to ban its use in some units of the US Army. You may also recall, for example, Artemy Lebedev’s negative attitude towards PowerPoint.
Presentation programs really interfere with the speaker and the audience if they are turned from money into money. As noted above, many speakers often roll down to mechanical reading of slides, forgetting that every listener can read. Moreover, some speakers spend a lot of time and money on the visual design of slides. Probably, they seriously hope to "break" the audience with the help of some kind of magical design.
In fact, there is nothing wrong with presentation software. Moreover, when used properly, they perform two useful functions. First, the slide presentation serves as a floor plan or outline presentation. Secondly, it helps to visualize information, which is identical to facilitating its transmission and assimilation.
The following recommendations will help you prepare a lethal report and format it using programs for creating slide presentations:
- Determine the topic of the report. It should correspond to the theme of the event where you will speak. Find a way to submit information so that participants want to listen to you. To do this, your report should be as useful as possible to the audience. For example, if you are speaking at a conference of search marketers with a report on a new search algorithm, you should not be limited to the banal "Features of the Google Hummingbird algorithm." The topic of your report should sound like this: "How to use a new search algorithm in the interests of your business."
- Write down on the paper theses of your speech. Structure the report to ensure easy perception of information. The following items should be indicated in your presentation: description of the problem, ways to solve it, proof of their effectiveness and opportunities for the audience. Please note that the report should not be a banal advertisement for your product.
- Use the program to create slide presentations.to prepare a performance template. Slides should replace your notebook, which speakers hold in front of them during the presentation. Think about what needs to be included in the slides.
- When planning the number of slides, pay attention to the estimated duration of the presentation. The optimal number of slides can be calculated from the formula of one slide for 2-3 minutes of performance. Do not forget the time for discussion and answers to questions from the audience.
- Visualize the information you included in the slides. Use for this infographics and / or photos. Note that the visual component of the slide should dominate. And the text component of the slide should include only important facts and theses, which you will explain during the presentation.
- Brand presentation slides. Use corporate colors as your background, add your company logo and name. Make sure that these elements do not interfere with the reading and perception of information.
- Always rehearse performances. Ask loved ones to be in the role of listeners.
So, you have created a useful report and issued it using the program for slide presentations. Now is the time to think about techniques that will help the audience to listen and hear your words.
How to make the audience listen to you
From the first minute of your speech, it depends on whether the audience will listen to your report. It is at this time that listeners decide whether your performance is worth the attention. It is easy to understand that this decision practically does not depend on the characteristics of the report itself. Is that his name is able to attract the attention of the audience.
To decide whether your report is worthy of attention, the audience uses non-verbal information. Listeners instantly evaluate your appearance, clothes, way of holding and talking. Even the height and timbre of the speaker's voice affect the audience's opinion. Note again, the audience assesses you in the first few seconds of the performance, including a walk from the place in the hall to the podium.
The following recommendations will help you non-verbally show the audience that you deserve attention. Yes, it is you, as the personality and the words of the speaker, and not the slides and photos, are the most valuable part of the speech. So that the audience listened and heard you, follow these guidelines:
- Your clothes must meet two criteria. First, wearing it, you should feel absolutely comfortable and confident. Secondly, clothing must fit the setting. Relatively speaking, if you are in the State Duma, it is better to wear a business suit. And if you are going to a conference of young IT entrepreneurs, feel free to wear jeans and a t-shirt. Remember, the first criterion is more important than the second. If you feel like an idiot in business clothes, leave the damn tie and jacket at home.
- Psychologists say that posture and demeanor reflect the actual mental state of a person. Therefore, before going to the podium, straighten and lower the shoulders, lift the chin. During the speech, keep the natural posture. If you are standing, do not lean on a table or a tribune. Your arms and legs should not interbreed when you sit.
- Pay attention to facial expressions. When a person is worried, his face involuntarily stretches out and his mouth opens. It is clear that you should not go to the audience in this form. Smile yourself before going on stage. A natural half-smile will perfectly help you during a performance, even if you are talking about a serious problem. During the speech, make sure that your face is not played with nodules - this is a negative non-verbal signal.
- Try to control the voice. A person's respiratory muscles respond to stress with a spasm, which is why the voice becomes higher. To overcome this physiological effect, it is necessary to stand up and breathe in several times with the help of the abdominal muscles. Keep a glass of water on hand - a sip of water helps fight the drying out of the throat and relaxes the breathing muscles.
You should not relax, even if you caught the attention of the audience in the first seconds of the presentation. You will have to fight for the attention of the audience during the entire performance. Otherwise, after some time you will see something like the following:
How to "break" the audience during the presentation
There are many techniques, using which, consciously or unconsciously, successful speakers control the attention of the audience. Some of them need to learn for a long time, while others simply remember. The techniques listed below simultaneously belong to the simplest and most effective ways of interacting with listeners. Use them during a performance:
- Gesturing Remember a simple rule - listeners should see your hands during the entire performance. You send a negative non-verbal signal to the audience if you hold your hands at the seams, hide them in your pockets or under the table. Confident man naturally gesticulates while talking. Therefore, train yourself during a speech to keep your hands not below the level of the solar plexus.
- Silence. Many speakers masterly use this technique to attract the attention of listeners. For example, a self-confident speaker can be silent, waiting for absolute silence in the hall. He will surely thank the hall when all the listeners fall silent.
- Enumeration or numbering. This simple technique helps to structure the performance. Phrases such as "first" or "first" facilitate the perception of information by listeners.
- Personal appeal. If you know some of those present in the hall by name, do not miss the opportunity to contact them during a speech. This reinforces the involvement of the audience in what is happening.
- General questions to the audience. Asking the listeners something and getting an answer, you also increase their involvement in the discussion. Try asking provocative questions to get a lively response. Consider that you are an excellent speaker, if during the presentation the audience speaks on a par with you.
- Feedback. Be sure to get a response at the end of the speech. These may be questions from the audience or their impressions of the presentation. In order to get feedback for sure, prepare a few questions that will definitely make the listeners speak. For example, ask your audience to criticize you.
To make your performance successful, make it informationally valuable to listeners. Use programs for creating slide presentations as a hint for yourself and a visualization tool for your audience. In no case do not limit yourself to reading slides.
Remember the importance of the first seconds of the performance. The audience greets you "on clothes", assessing the appearance, posture, facial expressions, voice, and even the very clothes. Therefore, watch for non-verbal signals that you send during a speech. Use eloquence to control the attention of the audience and get feedback.
And as a bonus
We suggest you read this material here - "The structure of a short speech: 13 ready-made schemes and video samples." In fact, this is a ready-made plan of action for those who need to write a short speech for 1-3 minutes. Very useful article with lots of examples!