Over the years, Decca has partnered with many organizations to provide speaker training and presentation design. We know how much hard work it takes to elevate yourself from a good speaker to a great one. Presentation is everything, and if you’re looking to sharpen up your skills, these tips will help get you there.
Less Is More
Great presenters use fewer slides and fewer words. Don’t try to impress your audience with all of your knowledge by creating massive PowerPoint decks. Instead, use visuals to replace words and lower your slide count. It’s important to reduce clutter wherever you can.
Don’t Use Excessive Bullet Points
Follow the “five by five” rule – no more than five words per bullet point, and five bullet points per slide. Complement text on slides with photos, videos, and graphics instead. Experiments in memory and communication find that information presented in graphics and images is more likely to be remembered than details delivered in text alone.
Enhance Vocal Delivery
Speakers who vary the pace, pitch, and volume of their voices are more effective. Research states that effective persuaders modulate their voice, and by doing so, appear to be more confident in their argument. For example, they raise their voice when emphasizing a key message. Or they pause after delivering an important point. If you raise and lower the volume of your voice, and alternate between higher and lower pitches while delivering key messages, your presentation will be more influential and persuasive.
Engage Your Audience
Studies have shown you only have about 20 seconds to engage your audience before you lose them to multi-tasking. So, it’s important to grab the attention of your audience right from the start and create captivating moments throughout your presentation. Most presentations are now delivered virtually, which can make it even harder to grasp and keep your audience’s attention. You can engage your audience with unexpected moments, a shocking piece of information, or by creating an emotional connection.
Rehearse. Rehearse. Rehearse.
Most speakers don’t practice nearly as much as they should. There’s no question that the world’s greatest speakers have put in the time to go from good to great. So, put in the time to make yourself great, too.
Never underestimate the power of great communication. While there are plenty of good speakers in the world, using the above tips to sharpen your skills is the first step to setting yourself apart. Stand out by being the person who can deliver something great, again and again.