I’m always looking for ways to improve my presentations. Oftentimes, I only get one chance to get my point across and I want to make every such opportunity count.
I had once thought that the key to well done presentations is a slick, animated slideshow with concise key points. Now I know better. What you use as the visual material is secondary to what you are saying and how you say it.
I would attribute the “how you say it” to the command and fluency of the language that you are presenting in. This has to do with the richness of your vocabulary and the structure of the sentences that you articulate during the presentation. Your language skills, like any other skills, can only be improved through repeated practice. So there’s that.
“What you say” though are the contents of your presentation. Some might argue that how you say it is more important then what you say. That argument, I think, is probably only true for the very few speakers who seem to naturally exude such charisma that can charm the masses. Needless to say, that is certainly not an attribute that the large majority of us can emulate.
Contents, however, are highly malleable. They are the one thing in the presentation that you can change with ease. What is not as easy is to know what to change it to.
We all want an easy-to-apply formula that we can use on our presentation decks right now while we polish up our language skills and vocabulary gradually. But does such a formula exist? If so, it sounds too good to be true, isn’t it?
What if there is such a thing? And that it is the same formula that differentiates an A-grade movie from a B-grade one.
If you feel that all the presentations that you have ever done in your life are, how should I say, lacklustre, then you can probably see a great improvement in your slide decks simply by applying this formula. I know that it works for me.
Like any good show, I am going to leave this post on a cliff-hanger and come back with the second and final part of this article next time.