If you are feeling anxious about giving a presentation or you’re nervous about how you will perform, then this video is for you. Giving a presentation can be thought of as a sort of performance. Think about it… You need to stand in front of a group of people, maintain their attention and hopefully, achieve the result you want.
It’s a performance
Any time you are standing in front of a group of people and talking to them, you are giving a sort of performance. And a performance requires you to play a certain role because you can’t necessarily just be yourself, or just let the content do the talking for you. If you treat the presentation like a performance and you are playing a certain role, it can help make your presentation much more interesting and engaging.
Who are you?
Decide what role or character you need to be when giving your presentation. You can be yourself, but think about adding something unique to this role you’re going to play.
Preparing for your role
A simple way to prepare for your role is to find a person, fictional or a real person, who has the same characteristics you want in your role when you give your presentation. Characters in movies and TV shows are always a good source of inspiration. But be careful not to copy that character. Instead, take what they do and somehow make it your own.
A presentation is a performance. It’s your time to shine. Why not give yourself a chance to do that and stand above everyone else?
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.
One of the most important things you need to do in any presentation is get the audience's attention. It's a topic that I've covered on many occasions but is something that needs to be repeated again because it is very important to understand how to get and keep the audience's attention during a presentation.
Using Videos In Presentations
So today, I'm going to talk about one such way of getting the audience's attention. There are several other ways that I will teach in the coming weeks but today we will start with using video to get and keep attention during a presentation. And notice that I say during the presentation and not at the beginning of the presentation.
Why Use Videos In Presentations?
The reason why is because we often forget how short a person's attention span really is. It's important to recapture a person's attention in the middle of your presentation, as well as at the start of your presentation.
Check out the video below for the full details of using video in a presentation. You can also read the full transcript below the video. And be sure to leave a comment if you have any questions or feedback about what I taught. I would love to hear from you.
Quick! What is something you have to do more than anything else in a presentation?
(Buzz) Time's up!
If you said you have to know your audience, be well prepared, or practice a lot you would be correct. However, that's not the right answer in this case. The correct answer and the thing that is most important in any presentation, is getting and keeping the audience's attention. And I'm not just talking about at the beginning of your presentation. I'm talking about during your presentation because people have a limited attention span. So before you get bored, let me show you what to do.
You might not like TV commercials during your favorite TV programs but a video is a great way to get the audience's attention and keep it for a short time during your presentation. You should prepare to use a video for every 3 to 5 minutes of speaking. That means that if your presentation is 20 minutes long you will need three to four videos. For a 10 minute presentation, one video will be okay.
The video should be short like a commercial, about 15 to 30 seconds or even 45 seconds at the most. It must also be relevant to your presentation topic and be interesting for your audience. The video could be an interview with somebody talking about your presentation topic, or a demonstration, or a story about somebody's experience related to your topic.
If there is already a video available, great. But if not, it's pretty easy to make your own video. Just make sure you have good lighting from a window or shoot the video outside in the morning or late afternoon. And if someone is speaking, try to get him or her close to the camera so the sound will be good and so you won't need any special audio equipment.
Making a video does take some preparation but the effort will be worth it because your overall presentation will be that much better.
And this is really important, make sure you get to the presentation venue early to test your video on the equipment. Make sure your video works before you give the presentation or else your efforts will go to waste and you could be really embarrassed during your presentation if the video doesn't work properly.
So there you have it. One of the most effective ways to get the audience's attention during your presentation. Next time, I will talk about another great way to get and keep the audiences attention during a presentation. Let me know what you think about getting the audience's attention by leaving a comment in the comments section below.
Thank you for watching and talk to you again next time.
Carl Kwan is a presentations, promo-video, and marketing consultant based in Seoul, South Korea. Carl specialises in presentations skills training, customised presentation design, video work to promote your company and marketing advice for local and global clients. Get in touch with Carl to discuss how he can help you and your organisation.