How to get an EDGE in your presentations?

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Guest Post by Kathryn Mackenzie

The acronym EDGE stands for:

E:  be known as a highly Esteemed speaker by others, also increasing your own Esteem and confidence

D: Do more tomorrow than you can do today by becoming 3x the speaker than you are now

G: Gain more in terms of profit while gaining more in time by moving forward faster shortening your learning curve

E: Enjoy not only the destination but also the process of getting there

How can you get this EDGE and make your presentations dynamic?

To avoid the mistakes that dull presenters make and ensure you deliver a dynamic presentation, here are some key tried and true pointers as they relate to structure, content and delivery.

Steps to having a Solid Structure:

Laying foundation for presentation

Get your foundational phrase right:
Be clear in your mind, what it is you want your audience to think and do differently after you speak. Paraphrase this for yourself in 1 sentence. This sentence is your foundational phrase. This will ensure that the message you want to convey in clear in your mind before you create your speech or presentation.

Have a strong opening:
Framing your clear message or destination, a promise to the audience stating how they will benefit from listening to what you have to say, and a clear roadmap of where you are taking them- ensure all you say in your opening supports your foundational phrase.

Mistakes to watch for:
Avoid squeezing too much information in and confusing them (if you squeeze too much information in, you squeeze your audience out!!)

Avoid ending with a question and answer session, as this is a recipe for disaster especially if some questions take your audience’s minds off on a different tangent from your main message. Yes, you may include such a session, but not at the very end.

Have a strong closing :
Close the presentation with a re-cap of main points and  then your doable, hopeful, encouraging call to action or next step for them to take.

Ideas for Better Thank You Slides – Presentation

Compelling Content: Be a content rich speaker

Presentation outline readyMake your key message memorable:
Go narrow and deep with your content, rather than covering too many points. This ensures that your audiences remember your message.

Anchor your key points with either an anecdote, analogy, acronym or activity so your message is memorable

  • Use stories with flesh and blood examples of people…all people relate to stories as they connect emotionally. People act on emotions. Remember that facts tell and stories sell!

Make your PowerPoint Slides audience-friendly:
A text-driven format using a power-point parade or data dump is a sure way to lose the audience in boredom. If your presentation is intellectually heavy with too many facts and figures, then, simplify the data in your PowerPoint slides.

Prepare your pauses:
Prepare rhetorical questions and pauses so your audience has time to reflect on their own similar situations. This way you can touch base with them periodically to ensure a conversational connection.

Sell the idea and make it easy to implement:

  • Sell your message by stating the negatives if they don’t follow up, and then, of course, the positives if they do. In other words, state the pain and then the gain.
  • Offer your audience doable techniques to accomplish what you are suggesting  they do to change something; so often, speakers state the why they need to do something but omit the how.

Dynamic Delivery:

Build in variation:
Sameness is the enemy of the speaker- sameness in voice, movement (as in constant pacing or remaining glued to one spot), in presentation format, as in all lecture, PowerPoint, or reading your script. Variation helps you get and keep audience attention.

Connect with your audience:

  • Speak to one person in the audience at a time with your content, but look to all with your eyes to help you connect with your audience and give you that EDGE.
  • Using words like “should and shouldn’t” makes you seem superior and the audience feel that you are preaching or pontificating. It sets up apart from your audience rather than endearing and connecting to them. So, make yourself similar to them and talk about similar problems that you have experienced.

To conclude…

An outstanding resource if dynamic delivery happens to be an area of yours which needs improvement is my mentor’s Dynamic Delivery Devices.  Click on the link and the click on Craig Valentine and scroll down to find this excellent resource of CD’s and DVD’s

I have highlighted only a few points relating to how to create a solid structure, compelling content and speak with dynamic delivery. There are more. My book: “Speech That Will Leave Them Speechlessprovides a more in-depth look at creating solid structure, compelling content and dynamic delivery.

The pointers, techniques and tools provided in the book will definitely give you an EDGE above the average speaker.

Related: You can read interview with Kathryn Mackenzie on how to get your presentations from Dull to Dynamic here.

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