I’d like to let you in on a little secret.
A secret that can hold a key to more confident, joyful presentations and presentation presence. Ready? Here it is:
Keep a secret in your shoe.
A penny, a piece of paper, a picture, anything. You decide.
“Keep a secret in your shoe, smile about what you know that others could never guess, and use it to keep you in contact with the ground. Feel the secret in your shoe, to help you keep in touch with the gift you’re trying to deliver. Perhaps most importantly, use the secret to keep you from taking yourself so seriously.”
This was the advice I received from a dear mentor of mine before a big presentation a few weeks ago.
I wrote, “This will be awesome” on a small scrap of paper and could feel it nestled under my left foot as I facilitated my session.
Keep a secret in your shoe that’s only for you to know about. Shhhhh. Is it working?
Great presenters know how to inform, inspire, and motivate – they know how to reach an audience because they focus on their audience during all steps of the presentation process.
What makes a presentation resonate with you?
Here’s what we know:
- Research shows an audience enjoys, learns more and retains more of your presentation when it’s bite-sized. Keep your presentation to 20 minutes or less (TED talks, anyone?!) – or if it’s longer, be sure to change it up every 20 minutes.
- Take away the sensory channel competition – an audience is learning and listening with their eyes and ears. A presentation with text-heavy slides distracts from your talk. If the audience is reading they aren’t listening. A trick – prepare your presentation first without the help of slides – if you still need visuals, then opt for some power point back up. Slides should complement your talk, not replace it or mimic it.
- What you say is only part of your message – we unconsciously make 1 second or less decisions about others. Beware of your body language and tone. Non-verbal communication matters.
- You’ve motivated, inspired, and informed your audience to do … what again? Don’t forget a call to action. Get specific about what you want your audience to do next.
- Monkey see, monkey do – audiences imitate emotions and feel what you feel – so, lead with passion! Your body language will be a big give-away if you’re not feeling your topic.
For more tips, in fun-to-watch illustrated form, check out this video!