We are thrilled to have Jimmy Dunne share his public speaking story and insights via Slideshop Stories.
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It seems most life skills in everything under the sun is rooted back to our ‘wonder years’ of grade school, high school and college days.
My residency for learning the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of public speaking was sitting in mass every Sunday of my life as a Catholic kid — in a big Irish family in the fabulous Maple tree-blanketed suburbs of Chicago.
Tor Hvas has been Slideshop’s president since January of 2016. A graduate of Copenhagen Business School, Tor has worked with many companies in a variety of industries, and with prominent brands like Google Nordics, eBay Classifieds and Save the Children. Most recently, he was a partner at Lifted, a Danish management consulting company specializing in digital media and business strategies.
This week, we asked Tor to share some of his thoughts and experiences as a successful presenter. Read on to learn how public speaking has advanced his career goals – and how it could do the same for you.
1. How can a presenter overcome fear of public speaking?
I control my public speaking fears by converting negative tension into excitement and energy. When I was a young boy, I had an exceptional personal trainer. He always made me repeat a sentence to myself before going into an important game: I can, I dare, I will. Trust me – if you repeat that sentence twenty times before going on stage, you’re going to feel more positive energy, and you’re going to feel far less fearful.
Here at Slideshop, your experience with our slide library is a top, top priority. To save you valuable time, make it easier to find what you need, and give you a far more satisfying experience overall, we’re proud and happy to announce the launch of a bright new website.
While we haven’t completed the entire “makeover” yet (for example, you’re probably reading this post in the same old blog format we’ve had for a few years), on the “business side” of the site, you can reap the benefits of the following features right now:
Focused, Clearer Structure
For a busy professional like you, our old homepage was probably somewhat distracting. There were a lot of different things clamoring for your attention: product categories, info about the site itself, a never-ending display of available presentation decks, and too much more. While this structure worked pretty well for many of our customers, we were concerned that for many more, it was too “busy,” cluttered and tough to navigate.
We structured the new design to focus on your reason for visiting: to find and download the templates you need as rapidly as possible. We simplified and reduced the number of slide categories from fifteen down to six. We kept the many subcategories for easier navigation (many users told us they liked them) – but they’re no longer cluttering up the page. Instead, they’re out of sight until you click the “View Subcategories” button.
How’s your 2017 going?
Here at Slideshop, we’re working hard, carrying out new plans we set in motion at the start of the new year. One of the biggest is a series of major upgrades in the “user experience” on our website, slideshop.com.
Another is designing more of the kinds of slides our users ask for and download the most. We’ve listed the top seven on that list, down below.
If there are any on the list you haven’t seen yet, we invite you to take a look, because you may very well want to add them to your own library.
Considering that SWOT Analysis is such a classic business tool, it’s not surprising that our animated SWOT Analysis deck was a huge hit last year. The fresh, harmonious colors of the slide elements, set against a dark background, are easy on the eyes. The slide layouts and transitions suggest continuity, making it easier for the audience to follow the discussion.
The most common answers to the question, “How do you prepare for presentation day?” run along these lines: “I lock myself in my hotel room the night before, and rehearse,” or “I learn all my lines by heart the week before.” There’s no debating that preparation in the days or weeks prior to presenting is a major factor in your success or failure. But many presenters ignore another crucial time: the morning of presentation day.
Everything you do that morning, from the time you wake up to the last few minutes before you take the stage, plays a part in your performance quality and results. That’s why we’ve drawn up a list of things you should do – and not do – at the start of your presentation day.
If you’re like most employees, you probably showed up for the first day at your first job unsure of what was in store for you. You probably had a flock of questions about what was expected of you, how things worked in your new workplace, and how you’d fit in, get along, and accomplish what you should. From “What exactly is expected of me” to “where’s the restroom?” and “how do I work the copy machine?”
If you’re now charged with introducing new employees to the team and “grooving them in,” it’s helpful to put yourself back into a new hire’s shoes and recalling all those questions and confusions you faced as a newbie. Having those things in mind should help you design an onboarding program that’s effective for everyone involved.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all orientation program, suitable for every company, we’ve assembled a list of the broad topics applicable to onboarding in most organizations.
Examining the similarities and differences between two or more things is an important element of many presentations.
For example, an entrepreneur pitching her startup’s unique selling propositions might compare her product’s features and benefits with those of her top competitor.
In a discussion of political candidates, a presenter might evaluate each one’s stand on some major issues, to help his audience make an informed decision.
Occasionally you’ll see some presenter make such a “compare-and-contrast” presentation using only textual slides – the two elements being compared are just written out on a slide or slides, connected by “versus” or “as compared to” or some other comparative word or phrase. While this is probably better than nothing, you can use visual elements to make far faster, easier-to-grasp comparisons. Here are a few of the most common:
Venn Diagrams consist of two or more interconnected shapes (usually circles) that show relationships between or among the people, groups, or other items being compared. Intersections between two circles indicate factors both have in common.
Smart, practical planning is vital to any major endeavor. If you’re serious about accomplishing an objective, you need a strategy, and a plan to carry it out. World record holder Michael Phelps wouldn’t have earned the distinction of being the most decorated Olympian of all time if he hadn’t had a training strategy, and strictly followed the carefully formulated training program that went with it.
Check out these free Strategic Plan PowerPoint templates
As you’ve probably noticed, technology has been improving at a faster and faster pace. Just one zone of major improvement has been applications that benefit public speakers and presenters. Whether you’re a businessman trying to get his point across in the conference room, or a professor working to connect more effectively with your students, these tools can make your job easier and your results more satisfying.
Facilitating a meeting this season? Ho-ho-ho, we’ve got a few ideas for making it more effective, and more memorable for everyone.
Decorate your meeting room
Decorate your conference room to create a jolly atmosphere. Whether you opt for DIY decorations or prefer to grab some ready-made items from a shop or online, dressing up the meeting space helps put attendees in a brighter mood. If your creative juices are flowing, cheers – but if you need some help and inspiration, Pinterest can be your best buddy.
Pre-meeting holiday music helps set the tone
Get to the conference room early – ideally before any of the other attendees arrive – and use your smartphone, laptop, a portable music device and/or the room’s built-in A/V system to play some holiday songs. Let the cheerful music greet the attendees as they enter and prepare for the meeting’s start. Hopefully this will set a cheerful and cooperative mood, to make the meeting smoother and more productive for the whole team.