iPad storyteller Joe Sabia introduces us to Lothar Meggendorfer, who created a bold technology for storytelling: the pop-up book. Sabia shows how new technology has always helped us tell our own stories, from the walls of caves to his own onstage iPad. Joe's passion is investigating new ways to tell stories -- meshing viral video and new display technologies with old-fashioned narrative.
When Steve Jobs passed away, not only did we lose a visionary, but we lost a world class speaker as well. In fact, all of us who speak in front of others can learn a lot from the man who turned business keynote speeches into an art form.
I haven't seen anything like this before. Presentationgym is a totally online system where you can record, upload, develop and practise your presentation, while also getting feedback from a coach. Lots of coaches to choose from.
In this Harvard Business Review article, Jerry Weissman, a leading corporate presentations coach, argues the case for 'Less is More' when crafting your presentation. "Eliminate excess baggage. Be merciless. Retain only what your audience needs to know. Once you have made that first cut, make another pass, and then another. Each time you do, you will see your draft with fresh eyes and find another candidate for your scalpel."
I confess. I'm not familiar with the music of Garth Brooks. It doesn't matter. The guy writing this article, top Communications Coach, Carmine Gallo, went to one of his concerts and looked beneath the surface. He discovered that the fundamental principles of giving an engaging musical performance also apply to the design and delivery of a great speech or business presentation. As I tell my own coaching clients, whenever you hear anyone present or perform, take that opportunity to analyse what's really happening beneath the surface regarding structure, variety, pacing and so on. Then work out how to apply those lessons to your own presentations.
One of the first points I make to new coaching clients is this: connect not just with the head, but also with the heart. All presenters must have an emotional effect on their audience, not just an intellectual effect. Many leaders in the corporate world think that communication is mainly about conveying information in a logical manner, with a bit of 'sports coach' motivation thrown in. This article points us down a different path.
Study what's going on in these speeches from Steve Jobs, J.K. Rowling, Meryl Streep and others. Notice how they use stories from their own lives to give us a deeper understanding of who they really are and why they do what they do. And see how they take us on an emotional roller coaster; one minute we feel great empathy, the next we are laughing. These are clips of US commencement addresses, where noted luminaries share advice ranging from the humorous to the profound.
As I tell my own coaching clients, a great presentation tells a great story. Savvy leaders are now embracing the art of storytelling to change a culture, build a brand, sell a product. Download this free pdf for a comprehensive introduction. Then craft your message around a solid story your audience can relate to.
In this video, communications expert, Suzanne Bates, talks about the "myth of the sales presentation" - and how to improve presentations to accelerate sales. Her advice is more about the strategic approach that's needed, rather than about tips on being creative. Be that as it may, my challenge to you is this: when you are crafting your presentation so that it ticks all the boxes Suzanne outlines, how can you also use your creativity to engage your audience, explain concepts simply, and deliver a client-focussed message that gets heads nodding – and gets you remembered?
Great tips from Mack Collier: "The first social media event I ever spoke at was SXSW in 2008. Think about that for a moment; Here I am, an introvert that hasn’t spoken in a public setting for 5 years previously, and I am making my social media speaking debut at the Super Bowl of ‘social media’ conferences. I was scared to death, and the funny thing is, if this had been a smaller event, I probably wouldn’t have gone through with it. But since it was SXSW it was ‘too big’ to ignore. I knew that being able to say I spoke at SXSW was too important to not have on my ‘speaking’ resume.
"So I bit the bullet, and did it anyway. Now 2 years later, I have gone from being an introvert that’s scared to death of speaking publicly, to an introvert that actually LOVES it. For any introverts out there that want to start speaking, here’s what I learned to make me more comfortable with the process"
Steve Jobs was regarded as a marvellous presenter, through traits such as: connect to the audience … be your authentic self … tell stories rather than facts … reveal your personal life struggles. See what you can learn from these examples.
The stunning designs you'll find via this blog post are proof that it's not PowerPoint or Keynote that are to blame for mediocre presentations, but the way they are used. To quote the author: "There’s a certain art to putting together a solid presentation and PowerPoint and Keynote are the primary tools of the trade. The “art” comes into play when you’re trying to set yourself apart; so how you use the tools is of great importance. Often it is the design of the presentation itself that does the trick. In an effort to help you put together a great-looking presentation, here are 28 examples of creative presentation designs using Powerpoint and Keynote."
On my blog 'Seriously Quirky', and buried in the post called, 'The Shed, The Elevator and Rembrandt', are some novel suggestions for making your Elevator Pitch more memorable and engaging. It's all about letting your mind go in some pretty weird directions, in order to unearth humorous or creative ways of telling people what you do, so that they want to hear more from you rather than less. Because an Elevator Pitch is so brief, and may need to be adapted on the spot, depending on who you're talking to and how they're reacting, it can actually be one of the most challenging presentations to design and deliver.
Some tips here I've not seen before. Doug Lawrence has been a professional singer, music director, and speech coach. He says singing and speaking have much in common. The main goal is to engage your audience and make them listen to you, so everything a singer does, a speaker ought to do too.
This free e-book really cuts to the chase, offering numerous tips in a straight-forward, succinct fashion. Matt Church has a talent for extracting key principles and expressing them simply. In other words, get it ... and you'll get it.
According to this guy, taking a peek at your slides is a SMART thing to do. It's all about directing your audience's attention. When coaching clients myself, I urge them not to look for rigid rules (eg NEVER look at your slides, or NEVER use notes). If you rigidly stick to a formula when presenting, you may just end up looking robotic and unreal, and therefore not truly connect to your audience.