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How To Give A Killer Presentation

FOR-BUSINESSI just completed a great Harvard Business Review article by Chris Anderson – curator of TED Talks – on how to give a killer presentation.

TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) is a global set of conferences owned by the private non-profit Sapling Foundation, under the slogan "ideas worth spreading". It has created a world renowned forum for the exchange of ideas all across the ideological spectrum.

Chris Anderson knows how killer presentation are developed and delivered. Here are some of the insights he shared in his HBR article:

Frame Your Story

Ad Chris Anderson says “There is no way you can give a good talk unless you have something worth talking about. Conceptualizing and framing what you want to say is the most vital part of the preparation”. Everybody loves to hear a great story. Acknowledge this and deliver your presentation in terms of:

Description of a problem and how you arrived at a solution

Relating interesting stories and how they relate to the main topic you are delivering. Human interest or personal stories are very effective in drawing the audience in

Plan Your Delivery

Anderson explains that there are essentially three ways to deliver a presentation

Reading from a script – this is the less preferred option because it will distance you from your audience and also risk losing their interest.

Speaking in the moment and commenting from your slides – this is the most common and can be very effectives as long as you are prepared, know the slide sequence and do not read word for word from the slides

Memorizing your entire delivery – this can deliver a very polished presentation but is risky because you may lose your place and then lose your composure. A fully memorized script can also come across as canned and will create a barrier between you and the audience

Develop Stage Presence

Being up in front of people – especially if you do not do it often – can be nerve wracking. Some simple tips to combat your unease are

Avoid moving too much – moving around the front stage can be distracting. Pick a spot to stand and use your hand gestures for emphasis

Make eye contact – making eye contact is vital to drawing people in and engaging them. Pick a d=few friendly faces in your audience to speak to and rotate your attention during your talk

Understand and embrace your nervousness – nervousness is natural. Deep breathing and some stretching before delivery will help. Also remember that the audience expects some level of nervousness and will be supportive

Plan The Multimedia

Keep Your PowerPoint presentation simple – PowerPoint is a highly effective presentation summary tool but we all know its abuse can do. Keep your PowerPoint presentations simple, consistent and easy to follow.

Explore Other Media – video, images, etc. - Other medium such as video or sound can be powerful because the provide you with a point of difference versus the expected PowerPoint delivery

Put It All Together

Prepare – preparation is key to success. Rehearsing will help you get the delivery perfected and will help identify areas that can be improved

Get advice and input – seek out other people’s opinion on how to improve it. Realize that they will be commenting from an audience point of view