Two years ago today I had the opportunity to share my thoughts on the power of storytelling with a TEDx audience. It was a wonderful weekend meeting inspirational people and experiencing the beautiful City of Vitoria Gasteiz. Here is me two years ago!
In this “Rapid Success” video series I deliver a top communication tip in 90 seconds or less. In this video I discuss the power of intention and why we need to start focusing on how we want our audience to feel.
In this video I want to share my PowerPoint do’s and don’ts…. and when I say PowerPoint I mean any presentation software including Prezi and Keynote.
I know that a lot of people use these presentation tools and used well they can be excellent. Unfortunately, all too often, I see people making easily avoidable mistakes with the software. In this video I’ll share with you some simple tips that will help you connect with your audience and get them to engage with your presentation.
Tip no.1: Don’t read the bullets!
Power point and other presentation tools are there to help you reinforce your messages, to give the audience the key points that you want them to take away. Don’t use your slides as a script. It’s distracting and boring for the audience, as they know what’s coming before the words have even come out of your mouth.
Tip no.2: Don’t have too many words on the screen
If you start to put lines and lines of text onto your slides your audience will try and read it. As soon as you flip to a new slide filled with words you lose the focus of the audience as people try and read all the information that you put on the screen behind you.
Tip no.3: Keep it simple
Use a maximum of three bullet points per slide. That’s plenty. Use three to five words per bullet point. Don’t over complicate things; leave people with the key messages
Tip no.4: Use images
I really encourage you to use pictures. Images stay with us much more powerfully than text and if we associate what you are saying with the image that you put on the screen, we are much more likely to remember it.
Tip no.5: Think of Power Point as your backdrop
Don’t let PowerPoint upstage you. We don’t want people to remember the PowerPoint, we want them to remember you and what it is you said. Use your Power Point to enhance your presentation, but remember, Power Point isn’t your presentation. You are your presentation: the words you speak and the connection that you make with your audience.
I’d love to hear your views on how to get the most out of PowerPoint, so please share your comments with me in the box below.
Breathing is really important for making you sound and feel confident when you are in front of an audience.
The first thing you should think about is the placement of your breath. A common mistake that people make when they are nervous is to start breathing up into the chest. This increases the adrenaline flowing around your system and you enter into ‘fight or flight mode’.
The best way to overcome your nerves is low breathing. Use your diaphragm by relaxing your stomach muscles and allow your breath to drop in and fill your lungs. Use your ribs and the intercostal muscles too, like you’re filling up a barrel!
The simple breathing exercise I share in this video will help you to calm yourself down before a presentation. What you are actually doing is lowering your cortisol levels (your stress hormone) and at the same time increasing your testosterone levels (your confidence hormone) so it’s an absolute win-win!
I hope that you find my video on breathing exercises for confident public speaking useful. Please share your comments with me in the box below and I’d love to hear about any other tricks that work for you.
Keep shining (and breathing)!
There are many things you can do to make your audience love you but in my opinion the simplest and most effective is to make brilliant eye contact.
In my latest video I give you my top three tips for connecting with your audience using your eyes. If you find eye contact a little uncomfortable or you’d just like more engagement with the people you’re talking to, then this video is for you.
I really appreciate the comments these posts have been getting recently. It’s been amazing to hear people generously sharing their experiences and their own ideas for how to be brilliant communicators. So, if you’d like to join the debate I’d love to hear from you in the box below.
I wanted to make some videos so that I could share with you some quick tips and tricks.
In this first video I talk about the topic that probably comes up most often in my presentation skills training sessions…. “what do I do with my hands?”.
I hope you find it helpful and would love to hear your comments so leave them in the box below or at my youtube channel.