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4 Game-changers for Presentations

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4 simple things you can do to lift your next presentation onto a whole new level. From a deepdive talk at Dotconf 2011 in Dublin.

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4 Game-changers for Presentations

  1. 1. All the worldis a stage ... and most of us are desperately unrehearsed
  2. 2. PRESENTINGto humans in the offline world A deep-dive session at dotconf 2011 with Rowan Manahan (@PresenterMentor)
  3. 3. These  drop-­‐in  text  boxes  are  intended   to  provide  a  narrative  voice  for  this   stand-­‐alone  presentation
  4. 4. Good  presentation,  great  presentation,   is  all  about  deferred  grati9ication.
  5. 5. And  humans  aren’t  very  good  at  deferred  grati9ication  –  because,  for  99.9999%  of   our  evolution,  we  haven’t  needed  to  be.
  6. 6. When  it  comes  to  presentations,  this   lack  of  ability  to  defer  grati9ication is  most  obvious  in  four  areas.  Most  presenters  and  presentations  are:
  7. 7. (Starting with the biggest one)They are underrehearsed or (more typically)completely unrehearsed
  8. 8. They are unfocused – rambling, incoherent,& overcrowded with info
  9. 9. They don’t use theavailable technology
  10. 10. They don’t look like theyare in charge of the room
  11. 11. “All the world’s a stageand most of us aredesperatelyunrehearsed (Sean O’Casey)
  12. 12. On  the  subject  of  rehearsal,  here  is  the  sum-­‐total  of  my  20+  years’  experience:
  13. 13. Professionals rehearse, amateurs do not.
  14. 14. Professionals rehearse, amateurs do not. Any  questions?
  15. 15. FAQSo  how  much  time  should I  spend  on  rehearsal?
  16. 16. “100  hours  in  the  garage  for  every  hour   you  will  spend  on  stage”  (John  Lennon)
  17. 17. 100 : 1
  18. 18. FAQBut  we  are  sooooo  busy  around  here!  That’s  way   too  much  time  ...
  19. 19. FAQYou’re  right,  it  is  way  too  much  time  –   unless  the  presentation  has  the  potential  to  transform  your  business. But  we  are  sooooo  busy   around  here!  That’s  way   too  much  time  ...
  20. 20. I  wonder  how  much  time  Steve  Jobs  spent  getting  the  iPhone  launch  preso  that  good?
  21. 21. How  much  time  would  you  spend  getting  ready   for  a  pitch  preso?  What  if  losing  that  pitch   meant  your  business  would  collapse?
  22. 22. Rehearsal should be proportionate toREWARD
  23. 23. FAQ Yeah,  rehearsal  is  great,  but  I  don’t  want  to  end  up   sounding  too  stale  ...
  24. 24. FAQ I’m  sure  you’re  right.  I’m  sure  all  the  actors,  musicians,  thinkers,  politicians   and  comedians  who  pour  weeks  and  months  of  their  lives  into  rehearsing  ... Yeah,  rehearsal  is  great,   but  I  don’t  want  to  end  up   sounding  too  stale  ...
  25. 25. I’m  sure  they  all  sound  stale  as  a  result  ...
  26. 26. So  how  about  ensuring  that  your  opener  is   memorable?  Rehearse  it,  say,  10  times. Opener X 10
  27. 27. And  your  closer,  your  call-­‐to-­‐action.  How   about  if  you  rehearsed  that  20  times? Closer X 20
  28. 28. Primacy RecencyAttention Time
  29. 29. Primacy Recency Because  audiences  tend  to  Attention remember  the  9irst  thing  you  say  and   the  last  thing  you  say.  Make  sure  both   of  those  things  are  worth  hearing. Time
  30. 30. I  guess  how  much  you  rehearse  can   depend  on  how  smart  and  well-­‐informed  about  your  subject  you  are.
  31. 31. I havent heard the president statethat were at war. Thats why I too am not knowing – do we use theterm intervention? Do we use war? Do we use squirmish?
  32. 32. If God had not intended for usto eat animals, how come He made them out of meat?
  33. 33. If God had not intended for us to eat animals, how come He made them out of meat?That  line,  by  the  way,  is  from  her  book.   Someone  proofread  that  remark.
  34. 34. The  comedian  Jeff  Foxworthy  talks  about  how  a  long   applause  break  could  have  ruined  his  chances   during  his  9irst  appearance  on  network  television.
  35. 35. I’m  smiling  and  I’m  going  into  Joke  #4;  but  my  mind   is  3  minutes  ahead,   thinking  about  how  I’m   going  to  cut  my  set  back  down  to  exactly  6  minutes.
  36. 36. So  when  I  say  rehearse,  I  mean  REHEARSE!   Rehearsal  does  not  mean  9iddling  with  your  slides.  You  ‘lock’  your  slides  in  advance  of  your   preso  and  then  you  start  rehearsing.  Actors   are  not  rewriting  lines  in  Macbeth  during   rehearsal  –  they  are  imbuing  the  text  with   emotion,  with  meaning,  with  relevance. REHEARSE!  March  up  and  down  in  your   pyjamas  every  night  for  a  while.  If  you  think   it’s  worth  presenting,  then  believe  me   when  I  tell  you,  it’s  worth  rehearsing  ...
  37. 37. I  still  remember  when  ‘Slide  Sorter’  meant  spreading  your  slides  out  on  a  big  table  and  sorting  them  into  piles.
  38. 38. SELF-VITAL NICE INDULGENT TO HAVE CRAP See  if  you  can  guess  which  was   always  the  biggest  pile?
  40. 40. I  recommend  taking  three  bites  of  the  cherry   when  you  are  deciding  what  to  include  and   what  to  omit  from  a  presentation. 1. START  AT  THE  END. When  you  are  9inished  presenting,  what do  you  want  your  audience  to  say?
  41. 41. I  understand. Im  buying. Im  investing. Youre  appointed.Approved.  Now go  and  do  it.
  42. 42. Clarity  of  purpose,   clarity  of  intention, makes  the  process  of  distilling  your  message a  whole  lot  easier.
  43. 43. 2.HUMANS  ARE  VERY  SELF-­CENTRED.What  are  your  audience  interested  in?
  44. 44. Level of Meinterest Everybody else on the planet Subject Matter
  45. 45. Therefore,  your  audience’s  internal   dialogue  is  fairly  easy  to  predict. What’s  in  it  for Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeee?Does  your  preso  re9lect  that  understanding?
  46. 46. 3.HUMANS  DON’T  RESPOND  WELL  TO  FACTS. We  like  to  think  that  we  do,  but  we  don’t.
  47. 47. What  medium  piques  our  interest,  holds  our  attention   and  makes  us  feel  safe,   secure  and  clever?
  48. 48. “Communication isthe transfer ofemotion (Seth Godin)
  49. 49. “Communication isthe transfer ofemotion What  medium  allows  for  the   “transfer  of  emotion?” (Seth Godin)
  50. 50. There has to be a STORYFind  your  story  and  re9ine  it  until  you   have  found  the  best  way  to  tell  it.
  51. 51. Just  the  facts   E=mc2 ma’am.
  52. 52. Just  the  facts   E=mc2 ma’am. Facts  are Logic  isnot  enough not  enough
  53. 53. No-­‐one  should  smoke,  drink,  eat  junk  food  or   drink  9izzy  drinks.
  54. 54. But  we  do;  because  facts  and  logic  alone   are  not  really  effective  persuaders. So,  no  matter  how  technical,  how   apparently  dry,  your  core  information   might  be;  Qind  your  story  and  tell  that  to  your  audience  as  you  share  your  facts.
  55. 55. “People will forget what yousaid, will forget what youdid, but they will neverforget how youmade them feel. (Maya Angelou)
  56. 56. Professionals masterall the available tools.
  57. 57. Smart  guy.  Great  speaker.   But  guess  what  ...  ?  
  58. 58. He’s  not  making  it  up as  he  goes  along  ...
  59. 59. Smart  guy.  Great  speaker.   But  guess  what  ...  ?  
  60. 60. He’s  not  making  it  up  as   he  goes  along  either  ...
  61. 61. The  tools  that  enable  you  to  do  this  are   built  into  your  presentation  softwareThey  will  make  your  life  immeasurably  easier
  62. 62. Here’s  a  slide  from  a  presentation  on  pitching
  63. 63. And  here  is  the  verbiage  that  goes  with  it: “There’s  quite  a  difference  between  a  pitch  in   which  there  is  zero  for  second  place  and  a  pro   tennis  player  who  suffers  the  indignity,  the   anguish,  of  losing  a  grand  slam  9inal.Maria  still  gets  to  pocket  a  fat  cheque  for  second  place,  she  holds  on  to  her  sponsorship  deal  with   Nike,  and  she’s  back  out  at  the  next  ATP  tournament  a  few  days  later  –  you  have  no  such   consolations  when  you  are  just  beaten  out  in  a   pitch  for  a  piece  of  business. You  get  precisely  nothing  for  second  place.”
  64. 64. That’s  a  whole  lot  of  words  to  remember,  so  most  people  build  slides  that  look  like  this  ...
  65. 65. Pitching is Binary!• Pitching: • Win or Lose - no middle ground • No points for second place• Pro tennis player: • Big prize money • Sponsorship continues • Next tournament
  66. 66. Pitching is Binary!Wordy  –  even  if  you  introduce  the  bullets   • Pitching:sequentially.   • Win or Lose  t-he  image  lgroundlike  an  Unbalanced  – no middle ooks   • No points and  loses  place of  its  impact  afterthought   for second much   • Pro tennis player:because  it’s  so  small. • Big –  this  is  an  SelQish  prize money AutoCue  slide  for  the   • Sponsorship continuespresenter’s  bene9it,  not  for  the  audience’s. • Next tournament
  67. 67. Alternative  –  your  audience   sees  a  powerful  image
  68. 68. And  you  see  this:
  69. 69. All  the  important  elements  on  your  prompt   screen,  including  your  speaker’s  notes If  a  top-­‐notch  tennis  player  loses  a  match  in   a  grand-­‐slam  tournament  ... (a)  she  s9ll  gets  a  sizeable  paycheque  ... (b)  she  doesn’t  lose  her  sponsorship  deal   with  Nike So  it’s  painful,  it’s  unpleasant,  but  it’s  not   the  end  of  the  world  ...
  70. 70. FAQHow  do  I  avoid    showing  what’s  “under  the  hood”  if   I  have  to  skip  slides  or   move  to  another  app   during  a  demo?
  71. 71. Good  question,  because  it  is  amazing   how  often  you  see  a  speaker  frantically  scrabbling  around  trying  to  9ind  something   in  the  middle  of  a  presentation  ...  
  72. 72. Use  the  ‘Extended  Desktop’  setup  and  turn  off  display  mirroring  –  that  way  you  can  use  your  Presenter  View
  73. 73. Use  the  second  monitor  (in  this  case  a  projector)  for  your  slides  and  the  laptop   monitor  for  your  Presenter  View.
  74. 74. Change  the  second  monitor’s  desktop  to  white
  75. 75. That  way,  any  time  you  ‘escape’  from  Slideshow  view,  all  your  audience  sees  is  a   blank  white  screen  –  zero  clutter.
  76. 76. RTFM
  77. 77. When  you  are  delivering  your  preso,  you  must  look  like  you  know  what  you’re  doing
  78. 78. Wherever  possible,  get  in  touch  with  your  inner  diva  and  use  your  own  kit
  79. 79. Check  the  room  and  the  equipment  well  in  advance  of  your  talk.  The  night  before  a  major   conference  in  2010,  I  should  have  seen  this.
  80. 80. Instead  I  saw  this.It  took  2  technicians  over  90  minutes  to  9ix.
  81. 81. “Excuse me? ... What doyou mean? ... But I sentthem to you two weeks ago! (Presenter at a tech conference, London, March 2011)
  82. 82. “Excuse me? ... What doyou mean? ... But I sentthem to you two weeks ago! Don’t  be  this  guy  –  who  never  checked  that   his  slides  were  loaded  on  the  day  of  the   conference  and  the  organisers  just  assumed   he  was  going  to  talk  without  slides  ... (Presenter at a tech conference, London, March 2011)
  83. 83. Get  a  zapper  so  you  don’t  have  to  keep  bending  over.  Use  it  discreetly;  don’t  draw   attention  to  animations  and  transitions.
  84. 84. Bring  your  own  cables  and  extensions
  85. 85. VGA  adaptors  are  particularly  useful
  86. 86. And  if  you  want  to  be  the  best  presenter   in  the  world,  9inish  your  talk  early.
  87. 87. Oh,  and  one  more  thing  ...
  88. 88. I  reckon  Steve  Jobs   robbed  that  line   from  Colombo
  89. 89. They  say  you  should  never  say  “Never”,  which  presumably  means  you  should  avoid   saying  “Always”  too.  Nevertheless  ...
  90. 90. Who are these people?What do I want to happen?What’s my core idea (20 words)?What are my 3 supporting points?Will that convince them?Why? When  you’ve  decided  what  you   want  to  say,  always  ask  Why not? yourself  these  questions
  91. 91. When  you’ve  9inished  creating  your  slides,  always   look  at  each  one  and  ask  yourself  this  question   WHO is this slide for?
  92. 92. “If you wish to persuade me,you must think mythoughts, feel myfeelings, and speakmy words.  Always  remember  what  Cicero   said  about  persuading  people (Marcus Tulius Cicero)
  93. 93. And  when  it  comes  to  presenting,  never  go  for  the  easy-­‐way-­‐out,  instant  grati9ication.  
  94. 94. Rehearse!
  95. 95. Find your story
  96. 96. Master your technology
  97. 97. Take charge of the room
  98. 98. @PresenterMentor
  99. 99. fortifyservices.compresentingissimple.blogspot.com