Guest post by Jerry Weissman
Every corporate leader must possess a number of essential skills. High on the list are vision, creativity, commitment, reliability, and communication.
Presentations are the most mission-critical form of the latter. More than any other form of communication—written or electronic, remote, or in-person—presentations can result in instant success or failure.
Presentations have their own particular set of essential requirements. To be successful, a presentation must:
- Tell a clear, concise story
- Illustrate that story with simple slides
- Connect with the audience in a favorable, compelling way
- Provide succinct, satisfying responses to any audience questions
Here are five corporate leaders who serve as role models for these skills, with a link to a video of each one demonstrating a particular skill.
Bill Gates, Microsoft Founder and BOD member, illustrates how to be effective with a concise story and simple slides.
Many consider Microsoft PowerPoint to be the standard presentation software, but recently several companies have launched their own presentation tools and apps – which are gaining more and more popularity among presenters at all levels. Whether you’re looking for design features Microsoft hasn’t thought about yet, or simply interested in what’s different about the newcomers to the field, here’s our list of five decent alternatives to PowerPoint.
With Google’s release of standalone mobile apps for Docs, Sheets, and Slides in 2014, users can directly create, edit and share files in the cloud while on the move.
Apart from seamless, real-time collaboration with other users, these productivity apps let device owners:
- Save time. The recently edited files are shown at the top of the list when you open the app. This significantly reduces the time you spend searching and scrolling.
- Work offline. The apps let you work even without an Internet connection. You can still take notes, make computations, or design slides while traveling, waiting in a long line, etc.
Google releases updates for these apps every now and then, to help you work more efficiently. In January 2015, they also added features such as fingerprint verification and screen magnification.
All Google’s productivity apps can be downloaded from Google Play or App Store at no cost. If you need Google Slide templates, feel free to browse our products in the Google Slides category.
Making a positive connection with your audience may be the most important single element of successful presenting. Yet it seems like many presenters are either unaware of this point, or in the dark about how to go about it.
Here are 8 actions you can take to break the audience barrier:
#1: Make Yourself Real
Develop a more personal connection with the people you’re talking to, especially early in your talk. Tell them about a relevant personal experience. Mention something in your background that connects you with their group, their objectives, their beliefs or experiences. Giving them the feeling that you’re similar to them and share important viewpoints will make them far more receptive.
“Does anybody have any questions?”
For some presenters, these words are the lead-in to the most nerve-wracking part of any presentation. Why? Ordinarily it’s because they aren’t fully prepared; this tends to make them feel reactive and defensive. Fortunately, none of that is necessary – and it’s not even hard to prevent it. That’s a good thing, too, because smooth question handling can give a big boost to audience engagement and understanding, and to the memorability of your presentation.
To help you with this, we’ve put together a little guide to some practical strategies for handling and responding to audience questions.
Google Slides is Google’s new web-based presentation software, available free to anyone with a Google account.
Google Cover Slides
The app has sparked a lot of interest since its debut, with more and more people discovering it and taking advantage of all it has to offer. Perhaps the biggest advantage is that, as a web app (part of the very popular Google Drive), Google Slides makes collaboration extremely easy. Just invite your colleagues and go to work, even in real time – whether you’re all in the same work space, or scattered around the planet.
Reading is great exercise – for your brain. It keeps you sharp and informed, and stimulates your imagination. Studies have also proven that regular reading helps to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, reduce stress, and boost your writing skills.
Reading’s benefits are far-reaching, but can it actually improve your presentation skills? We found no scientific study that came to any conclusions about this, one way or another, but we tend to believe that regular reading can enhance your speech delivery. Here are some of the reasons why:
For many people, public speaking is a dreaded ordeal. Survey results published in the Book of Lists in 1977 said 41% of the respondents were terrified of speaking in front of people, topping the list of fears at the time of the study. Four decades later, YouGov.com asked 1000 Americans about their fears, and public speaking was still in the top three.
Unfortunately, for most of us, public speaking in unavoidable. There will always be occasions where you need to get your message across to a group of people. Whether it’s a class report, a toast at your best friend’s wedding, or a pitch to prospective investors, you’re going to need to muster your courage and speak effectively. Effectively enough to bring about understanding—the main goal of communication.
Beating your fear takes work and time, and a bit of inspiration can help. So we’ve gathered four studies that we hope will motivate you and help you toward your goal of speaking with confidence.
You sit down to listen to a management presentation. As soon as the speaker takes the floor, you sense something special about him. By the middle of his talk, you find yourself wondering, “Should I date a presenter?”
In this SlideShare presentation, we’ve listed 10 reasons why it’s awesome to go out with a presenter. Enjoy!
Do you feel like your business presentation or sales pitch slides aren’t as good as they could be? Do you sometimes think you’re guilty of spreading the dreaded death-by-PowerPoint phenomenon? Do you often end up hiring a professional designer to overhaul your slide designs?
Don’t worry. In this blog post, we’ve listed five Udemy.com PowerPoint courses that can get you rolling on a drive to power up your presentation skills. Udemy has been a great platform for PowerPoint masters to share their technical expertise through online courses – some paid, some for free – so we decided to highlight some that we think you’ll find most useful.