One idea is all it takes. How will you turn it into a powerful presentation? Follow these tips! [Wednesdays: “Speak on the Shoulders of Giants”]
What comes into your mind when you hear the word, “idea”?
A scientific breakthrough?
A brilliant invention?
A complex legal framework?
All of the above are ideas, but ideas aren’t all as complex as those. When you’re pitching ideas to your audience, it doesn’t have to be that grand to be considered a great presentation idea…
You just need to have something valuable and worth sharing with your audience.
As a speaker, IDEA BUILDING is defined as:
“To take something that matters deeply to you and rebuild it inside the minds of your listeners.”
According to Chris Anderson in his book titled, “TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking,” anyone who has an idea worth sharing is capable of delivering a powerful talk.
That idea might be just a simple how-to, a beautiful image that has a deep meaning to it, or a reminder of the things that matter most in life―anything that can change how people view the world!
Here are some tips that will help you as you start building your presentation’s core idea:
Start with THE Idea.
You might think of yourself as someone who’s not particularly creative or a genius. However, that should not stop you from delivering a great presentation.
According to Anderson, it’s highly likely that you have something in you that’s worth sharing and you might not even be aware of it.
What, you might ask?
Something that no one else in the world has: Your unique first-person experience of life.
People love stories and as a speaker, you’ll learn to tell a great story through continual practice. Even if your audience is already familiar with the lesson or message that you want to convey, if it’s wrapped up in a fresh story and told in a new approach, it will still make a great and memorable presentation.
Say NO to Procrastination.
We all suffer from some form of procrastination or laziness. We tend to THINK about a lot of things we would like to do but even before we START doing it, different kinds of distractions and excuses come to mind such as:
“The Internet just has so many distractions!”
“I’d like to sleep first.”
“There are still other things I need to do.”
As a speaker, you can fight off any signs of procrastination by using your public speaking opportunity as a motivation to dive deeper and research more about your topic. Thinking about speaking in front of a lot of people might just be the boost you need to commit to serious research work.
Every time you feel your attention span flagging, just remind yourself that the actual day of your presentation is getting nearer, with hundreds of eyes and ears paying attention to what you have to say. If you don’t want to be humiliated in public or come off as disrespectful to your audience taking the time to hear you speak, then you have to work, work, and work!
Don’t Underestimate the Efficacy of Language.
As a speaker, one of your primary goals is to recreate your presentation’s core idea inside your audience’s minds. How will you do that?
Here’s an example from Anderson’s book:
“Imagine an elephant, with its trunk painted bright red, waving it to and fro in sync with the shuffling steps of a giant orange parrot dancing on the elephant’s head…”
Are you able to imagine it as you read along?
Since you already know what an elephant and a parrot look like, the color concepts of red and orange, as well as the meaning of the words painted, dancing, and in sync, you are able to form an image in your mind.
What if the command is stated this way?
“Imagine a member of the species Loxodonta cyclotis, with proboscis pigmented Pantone 032U, conducting oscillatory motions…”
Chances are you may not be able to form the same image as you did with the first one, even if this is just the same command but in a more scientific language (unless your profession makes you familiar with these terminologies).
The bottomline is language works its wonders only to the extent that it is shared by both the speaker and listener.
The key is to “use the right tools that your audience has access to.” Don’t start your presentation with YOUR language, concepts, and values; instead, start with THEIRS. It’s the common ground where they begin to build your idea inside of their minds.
Your. Words. Matter.
According to research conducted by the University of California’s Psychology Professor Albert Mehrabian, the effectiveness of communication in public speaking consists of 7% language, 38% tone of voice, and 55% body language.
This has caused some speakers to focus excessively on their confidence, stage presence, posture, gesture, and charisma, but not worry too much about their words.
While tone of voice and body language are important in public speaking, you should not underestimate what words can do as well, since a presentation’s substance depends crucially on it.
When someone tells you that body language matters MORE than verbal language in public speaking, know that they are misinterpreting the “science” behind it. Always remind yourself that verbal language is just as important as your body language.
Try delivering a message to someone without saying anything, just pure gestures. Will the person you’re communicating with understand what you’re trying to say? They could, but it would be easier and faster to say it in words instead.
According to American biologist Tierney Thys, like all good movies or books, a great talk is “transporting.” It is a journey that you (the speaker) and your audience take TOGETHER.
Just like any other tour guide, you must begin where your audience is and in order to recreate your core idea in your audience’s minds, you have to ensure there are no leaps or inexplicable shifts in the direction of your presentation.
No matter what your topic or core idea is, focusing on what you’ll give your audience is one of the foundations in preparing for your presentation.
Apply these tips in your next public speaking engagement and bring your ideas to life in your audience’s minds!
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Wednesday: Speak on the Shoulders of Giants”
In a meeting with one person
…a boardroom with five people
…or a huge venue with hundreds of people
—whatever the situation or setting, it’s very important to learn and eventually master the art of public speaking.
No matter what, you always need to effectively get your message across.
What good is a presentation with awesome content if you don’t deliver it properly?
Every Wednesday, we publish different tips, insights, and secrets on how you can improve your presentation skills to captivate your audience and lead interesting discussions.
The need for great presentation skills applies EVERYWHERE.
(Small meetings with your team, big meetings with your boss, an important marketing pitch, speaking engagements for events with a big audience, etc.)
Learning these skills is not just for the corporate world. Being in other industries such as the Arts, Information Technology, Medicine, and Education while knowing how to present well will definitely give you an edge.
Have that advantage.
Hope you’ve found this week’s public speaking tip interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next Wednesday’s Speak on the Shoulders of Giants!
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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