The only thing more terrifying than giving a presentation is the thought of losing business by forcing prospects to sit through a presentation that is badly conceived and executed. Some presenters try to stand out with original twists and departures from the norm, but sometimes a good presentation methodology is all it takes to shine.
Here are a few presentation tips you can use as a springboard to stand out in front of your audience.
Big Images Couple with Quick, Short Bursts of Text
The Takahashi method and the Lessig method (devised by Stanford professor Lawrence Lessig) both advocate the use of the images and short bursts of text. However, while the Takahashi technique delivers a concise message which is drilled home using ‘impact’ text, Professor Lessig opts for a longer, image orientated, slide show. Watch him charm his audience with the refreshing, fast slide-changing technique below.
Venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki, who spends his days listening to business pitches, agrees with the aforementioned idea of very little text. Kawasaki insists that over-loading an audience with text is a sure-fire way to lose their interest. “The reason people use a small font is twofold,” he says. “First, that they don’t know their material well enough; second, they think that more text is more convincing.”
Knock it Out of the Park with Simplicity
Despite the text-laden PowerPoint presentations we see so often, simplicity is key for experts across the board. Apple isn’t just the most valuable company in the world, they are also one of the best at keeping people glued to their presentations.
Whether delivered by CEO Tim Cook or the late Steve Jobs, Apple’s presentations use clever, yet simple images to illustrate their point in an engaging and informative manner. Every presentation features the same dark background and easy-to-read white text. Any fact that involves numbers or statistics are put into context using images and illustrations.
Apple also integrates humor and surprise into their presentations, but only when it serves their point. In 2012, while the audience expected to see Cook emerge onto the stage, they were instead treated to the company’s new innovation, the voice activated search facility Siri. Not only did this make the audience laugh but it also helped inform them about the product.
Engage Your Audience From the Start
This brings us to the most important part of the presentation; the start. It is crucial to grab the audience’s attention right away. Remember, you are only speaking for a short time so it is imperative that you win over the crowd instantly.
One unconventional method presenters use to engage their audience instantly is the Monta Method. Created and popularised in Japan, this method relies on audience participation via questions and answers thoughout. For instance, the presenter will generally pose a question at the start of the talk. By the time the presentation ends, the audience will know the correct answer. This method is innovative and effective because the audience understands the subject simply because they have played a part in the process.
Ready to woo your audience? Remember the tenants of the aforementioned presentation methods and you’re sure to deliver your next talk with confidence and enthusiasm.