A film about home office productivity. How does this relate to a presentation? It's a story that introduces a situation and is followed by the solution.
Notice that there is a focus on showing, not telling. The audience stays engaged because we are not including details or information they already know. That's why the film just gets right into the topic. This is especially important when the audience already has some knowledge about the topic. For example, in this video the audience most likely knows how a cup of coffee is made so we don't need to show everything in complete detail.
And also notice the message to the audience when you see the mug I use.
A presentation must guide the audience along but not bore them with too much irrelevant information. This is also exactly what a corporate promo video or explainer video must also do. And it's why those types of videos are essentially presentations.
One of the best ways to improve your presentations is to think about your message and make it clear and easy for your audience to understand. To do that, sometimes all it takes is looking at your current presentation and taking out the stuff that's unnecessary. You can also use the following techniques while going through each draft of your presentation.
The 3 ways I talk about in the video are:
In this video I'm going to show you three ways to create a lean, mean presentation by taking the garbage out of your presentations.
In Korea, we have one of the best recycling and garbage management systems that I know of.
When we take out the garbage at home, we get to live in a cleaner, healthier environment. The same can be said for presentations when you take out some of the unnecessary stuff that's in there. What you'll get is a presentation that's clear, concise, and that moves along at a good pace.
So here are three ways to take the trash out of your presentation.
First, take out any unnecessary repetition or filler words. It's good to have a key message that you repeat, which is something I've talked about before. But you might be overusing certain words. For example, words like "basically" or "actually". And when you're practicing, see if you use certain filler words a lot, such as "like" or sounds such as "um". Get rid of those because they make you sound unprofessional and unprepared, two of the biggest presentation sins.
Second, take out content that doesn't support or add to your presentation's message or purpose. In other words, you have to put your thinking cap on and consider what your audience really wants to hear. For example, it's probably unnecessary to have an extended introduction if your audience is already familiar with you or your company. A lot of times, it's better to just get to the point.
And the third and final way to take the garbage out of your presentations is to make your presentation shorter. Whatever length your presentation first appears to be, edit the content for clarity and flow and shorten the presentation. For example, if your presentation is 10 minutes long, I'll bet you could trim it down to seven or eight minutes, or even 5 minutes if you think about how to better communicate your message. This not only leaves you with extra time for Q and A, but your message will be clear to your audience and they'll thank you for not making them sit through a presentation that's too long.
There you go! Three ways to take the trash out of your presentations. And those three ways were:
First, take out any unnecessary repetition or filler words.
Second, take out content that doesn't support or add to your presentation's message or purpose.
And third, make your presentation shorter by editing the content for clarity and flow.
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
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.
In this video about starting a presentation, I interview Gavin McMahon, co-founder of fassforward consulting group and blogger on the topics of PowerPoint, presenting, communication and message discipline at http://makeapowerfulpoint.com. Gavin shares some excellent tips, ideas, and insight on what presentations really are and how to make sure you start a presentation on the right foot. I learned a lot and I'm sure you will, too.
One of the most powerful takeaways was how Gavin talked about when you only consider what you want to say and not what the audience wants to hear, you automagically create a monologue. Yep, it's magic and it's automatic… Instant monologue in a poof of PowerPoint pixels. But that's exactly what happens to most presenters.
Most presenters are so concerned with what they want to say, that they completely forget that it's the audience that will sit and listen. And if what you're saying doesn't matter to them, then they're gone, both emotionally and mentally. That means they've stopped paying attention and stopped caring. Don't let it happen to you!
A Client's Tale
In fact, it did happen to a client. He gave a presentation to over 100 officials from around the world, assuming that what he wanted to say was what the audience wanted to hear. After talking to him about it, the light came on… But it was too late. He had already given the presentation. Live and learn. Anyway...
There are a couple other gems in the interview. I don't want to ruin the moment by putting them all down here. Watch the video and find out for yourself.
Thanks to Gavin for taking the time to talk to me.