Some people have heard that myth that how you look is more important than what you say. In this episode, I address this myth, describe in detail why what you say is the most important part of your presentation, and give practical advice for how to assemble presentation content. You can build a good presentation, even if you don't feel that you have professional delivery skills.
I begin this episode by speaking about the often misunderstood study from Dr. Albert Mehrabian that is often cited as evidence by those who claim that how you say something is more important that what you say. Olivia Mitchell from Speaking About Presenting has an excellent article that addresses this issue head on. In addition, this video provides great perspective:
The bottom line? What you say is far more important than how you say it.
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” -Leonardo da Vinci
Article I published last week: How One Key Question Gets Audience Results
“…I would rather a really plain PowerPoint, and an authentic, passionate speaker that was engaging, regardless of how many “umms and ahhs”. I've been completely bored with some of the fancy presentations, because the speaker wasn't fired up about his or her topic…” -Comment from Jenn Swanson
Build your presentation around the answer to the question: What do I want people walking out of the room doing differently?
Here are some key content components:
- Opening – Tell a story or get the audience involved in some way
- Storytelling / examples – Tell it like you were already there. The best advice I ever received on this was to tell a story like we were watching the video of it happening.
- Evidence – It's not enough that just you say it…who else provides support for your conclusions?
- Call to action – What do you want us to do?
- Closing – Finish strong so the audience remembers you in a positive mindset
Don't memorize your talk – and have more available than you can use!
Presentation Zen (2nd edition) by Garr Reynolds (affiliate link)
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