Recently, the latest James Bond film, Skyfall, was released. While some thought it wasn't that great, I loved it. It's safe to say I've loved every Bond film I've ever seen. And with the exception of a couple absolute duds, I am a big 007 fan. After seeing Skyfall, a friend mentioned that every Bond film is basically the same old storyline. I don't disagree, but it's what works. I then got to thinking what a systematic character James Bond is and how we could probably learn a few things about presentations from him.
The point is we all need someone to look to for motivation or inspiration. Hopefully, one of these tips will help you improve your presentations.
Let's have a look at three things you can learn from James Bond in the following video. The full transcript is below the video. If you can't see YouTube in your location, click the following link to download the video: 3 Things Every Presenter Can Learn From James Bond
Here are the links mentioned in the video:
- Gavin McMahon on understanding what the audience really wants
- Craig Hadden on opening PowerPoint automagically before giving a presentation
I have been a James Bond fan ever since I can remember. I've always loved the car chases, the cool gadgets, and who doesn't like the Bond girls, right? But on top of all that, I've always thought that James Bond is such a cool dude. Not only is he highly-skilled in driving, skiing, the martial arts and ahem…
Seducing Bond girls, he does everything while always remaining cool and in control. He's even cool just saying his own name!
Bond, James Bond.
How many people can do that?
Obviously, I can't.
But I also realized that he would be an awesome presenter. So I'm going to teach you "Three Things Every Presenter Can Learn From James Bond."
James Bond can handle any situation, enemy, or Bond girl because he's not only well-trained, but he's also well-prepared. He's practiced his skills over and over so that it seems almost effortless when he's out in the field.
I realize of course that it's just make believe, but hey, it's my video.
Anyway, before he goes out on a mission, he always knows who he will go up against and what the goal of his mission is.
As a presenter, you also have to be well-prepared by starting your preparation early and leaving at least a couple of weeks to practice so you can deliver your presentation as effortlessly as 007 skis backwards and shoots bad guys with his ski pole slash gun.
And you also absolutely have to learn about your audience and what the goal of the presentation is going to be. Just remember that your goal and the audience's goal is usually not the same so make sure you know what the audience wants. In fact, you never want to give a presentation without clearly understanding who your audience is and what they want.
Gavin McMahon gave a great technique for doing this in the interview he did for me, so check out that video.
No matter how many bad guys there are, no matter how dangerous the situation, or how close a laser comes to cutting him in half starting from the family jewels, James Bond remains cool under fire. He could be shaking and screaming like a little girl on the inside, but he always maintains a calm and cool exterior.
As a presenter, you may sometimes be very nervous, your throat might feel tight and dry, and your hands and legs can't stop shaking…
In other words, you're totally freaking out.
The interesting thing is that most of the time, the audience doesn't notice. And because of that, don't make the mistake of telling the audience how nervous you are, since they probably don't even know.
But if you're presenting for the first time, your voice might betray you and reveal your secret like a double agent in a Bond movie. So what you have to do is remember the first thing I said about preparing well in advance. In fact, it'd be a great idea to make a video of yourself giving the presentation so you can get instant feedback and work on being more calm.
Another thing you can do is speak a little slower because when we're nervous or excited, we tend to speak faster and faster, which is not good for a presentation because your audience is going to have trouble listening. And also remember to take nice, even breaths. Just focusing on breathing can help you calm down and remain cool under fire like 007.
And number three.
007 is famous for having the coolest gadgets to help him defeat his enemies or get out of trouble, like the ski pole slash gun I mentioned earlier. But having cool gadgets is one thing, knowing how to use them is another. Luckily for our super-spy, he's able to figure out how things work even though he tends to do what most guys do and ignore instructions on how to use the stuff.
However, as a presenter, it is extremely important that you know how to operate the equipment you will use when giving a presentation. Make sure you know how to turn on your laptop and how to connect it to a projector.
You should know how to start PowerPoint and get your presentation going in the shortest time possible.For that, you should check out my friend Craig Hadden's post on how to set up PowerPoint for Windows so your presentation opens up automagically when you turn on your laptop.
And if you're going to use a presentation remote control, please make sure you've got fresh batteries in it and make sure you've got spare batteries, too.
One final thing to say about knowing your presentation tools is to also know what to do if something goes wrong, like if the location has incompatible plugs, or the projector suddenly stops working or something. You should consider what to do as a backup in case something bad happens before or during your presentation.
There you go, three things every presenter can learn from James Bond.
And to recap, those three things were:
- Number one, be well prepared and know your audience.
- Number two, remain cool under fire because the audience likely doesn't know how nervous you are.
- And number three, know your presentation tools and have a backup plan, just in case.
Okay, so my question for you this week is, "Which fictional character do you think would be a great presenter and why?" Let me know by leaving your answer in the comments section below.
Thank you for watching and talk to you again soon.