Do you sometimes follow the design trend of using uppercase text for headings or other short labels on your slides?
Recently, I’ve twice seen presentations with very modern-looking slides using all-uppercase text in brief captions.
Even if you’re a regular reader here, it’s quite unlikely you know what my logo looks like. So check it out:
The logo’s shape and colours represent techniques you can use
The logo’s shape and colours represent techniques you can use to make your public speaking more effective. In this post, you’ll find:
If you’ve read my last post, you’ll know I was inspired by Aaron Beverly (World Champion of Public Speaking 2019) to write a self-critique of one of my talks.
Why not watch my 5-minute presentation below, and judge for yourself?
Then, feel free to share your viewpoint in the comment box at the bottom of this post.
Here’s what you’ll find in the rest of this post – you can click any of these links to skip ahead:
Short of time? Skip the intro
If you’re thinking of speaking at an Ignite night, this post can help you avoid the mistakes I made in my own Ignite talk.
In this post and my next, you’ll find a critique of various aspects of my talk on this 3-point scale:
Have you ever heard a presenter say something that stood out – but for all the wrong reasons?
I wonder how you would’ve reacted if you’d heard those speakers.
To me, it made them sound dated, and out of touch with how audiences speak. (Gaffs like that damage the speaker – and their message.)
Yet all the speakers did was say 3 letters and the word “dot”. (In fact, one letter 3 times in a row.)
You’ve probably guessed what they said:
Suppose you’re presenting online. You might be using Zoom, or Microsoft Teams, or one of the older tools like Adobe Connect or WebEx.
Whatever the platform, if you want to share your screen, what do you say?
Most presenters I’ve heard – myself included – say something like this:
“I’ll just share my screen…
Can you see it yet?”
But thinking carefully about it, I realised that approach has 3 problems:
In this 3-minute video by Kelly Decker, you’ll see a quick way to form an extremely high-level view of your talk or presentation:
And read below for tips to fix the problem that Kelly describes.
Kelly’s the president of Decker Communications, whose content I’ve featured before. (Years ago I shared a post of theirs about pausing when you present, and last year I published a video from them about speaking on a panel.)
I love the way Kelly’s “roadmap” makes you think of your talk in 2 dimensions:
Have you seen Pat Flynn’s great video about making slides? Right now, it’s had almost 1½ million views, and it’s called:
How to Create an Awesome Slide Presentation
(for Keynote or PowerPoint)
In his video, Pat shares pro tips to make your slideshows more engaging. So I highly recommend you watch it. (You’ll find it at the bottom of this post.)
Meanwhile, in the 1st of the videos below, you’ll see the precise steps you can use to implement one of Pat’s tips. That is, to add what he calls a “roadmap” to your slides.
So, watch my 6-minute, hands-on video to see what’s meant by a roadmap, and learn exactly how you can add one in PowerPoint:
Short of time? Skip to the tips
When you present at work (or at a conference or other speaking event), do you aim to make people feel something specific?
If you do, you’ll have a far higher chance of engaging people, and therefore of achieving your talk’s goal. But if you don’t, your talk’s likely to be quickly forgotten – in less time than it took you to present!
Not convinced? Well, many speaking professionals suggest using emotional elements. For instance, in his book The Naked Presenter, Garr Reynolds writes:
“Content alone is never sufficient.
We need an emotional connection…”
When you present (or give a speech), do you struggle to have the impact you’d like?
If so, you’re not alone – I’d say the vast majority of presenters have that problem.
And I’m one of them!
So I was stoked to see a recent TEDx talk that shares a simple yet powerful tool to fix that issue.
The talk’s by speaker-coach Phil Waknell, who says your presentation should transform your audience – not just inform them.
Phil sees the process like this:
Yes! People’s starting point – that’s one of the keys to making your talk truly audience-focused.
A few years ago, Chris Anderson (curator of TED) shared a similar thought:
“You’ve got to start where they are, and you’ve
got to give them a reason to come with you”
Phil’s TEDx talk gives you a neat technique that lets you do exactly that. So, want to see his talk?
To save you time, the clip below’s just 4 minutes long, because it jumps straight to Phil’s main point (skipping both the first 5 minutes and last 5 minutes of his talk).
But if you want, you can always click the progress bar to jump to other parts of the full 15-minute video. (For instance, he goes on to finish the example he started.)