29th Jun29th 2021
Stop Making Presentations More Difficult

We all know that presenting in public can be scary; online presentations nowadays can be just as nerve-racking. We all know the standard top tips for presenting,but still many presentations are uninspiring. So, focusing on webinars, what else could we do that's really simple and yet super-effective? Here are a few thoughts: 1. Make a strong beginning. That means no starting with "ok"! it's poor style and does not make your audience feel important, or as if they are about to hear something astonishing. Why not "good afternoon" or even just "hello"? 2. your topic has brought people in, and that's what they want to hear. Don't keep them waiting with a long and dreary introduction. The worst I ever heard was 19 minutes, after which I didn't care about the topic any more. 3. your audience might be interested in your background, but not if it detracts from the reason they turned up! Mention it briefly or later. 4. for online presentations, there may always be technical problems. Be prepared to keep talking, even if your slides disappear. Once people engage in the topic, they don't like interruptions. 5, in the same way, I wouldn't run polls unless it adds real value. If it's a matter of curiosity to you, it might not be to your audience. 6. sorry to sound old-fashioned, but be grammatical. Grammar is not a nuisance, it's the means by which things make sense. Therefore, remember the basics: you can't have "less people", it's "fewer". You can't have an "amount of people", it's a "number" of people, (but an "amount" of time, for example). One I heard today came out with a "significant less amount of people " 7. make your words meaningful: we tend to overuse some words, like "amazing" and "incredible". Unless something was completely beyond all belief (which it probably wasn't), then make your words clear and appropriate. These words have somehow become detached from the emotions that accompany them, and now lack weight and sincerity. 8. even though many presentations have limited time, we hear people too often say the same thing two or three times. Say something once. If you've said it well, people will understand. If you say it again with slightly different words, will they understand better? No, they'll be wondering why you're repeating yourself. None of us are immune from such mistakes, but let's raise our game with our online presentations, and make them really worthwhile for our audience.