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.
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.
Each of us faces struggles at one time or another. Illnesses, disabilities, financial troubles, rocky relationships, failures, losses – the list is sadly long. Even in the face of such troubles, there is one almost magical thing that can always lighten our burdens and make life sweeter: gratitude.
With Thanksgiving Day just around the corner, we’ve collected four short talks we think will inspire you to celebrate the holiday with greater peace and happiness.
Make Gratitude Your Attitude
Legendary motivational speaker Zig Ziglar shares a story about a woman who hated her job. He suggested a way she might be able to improve her situation. It didn’t seem like it would solve anything at all, and practically impossible to do. But she did it…and it worked. Learn about Zig’s surprisingly simple remedy for “stinking thinking.”
Even though it’s an old, old holiday, in recent years Halloween has become more and more popular, particularly in the US. A lot of this is a matter of increased interest from marketers, eager for attention and a chance to increase brand recognition. Between these active marketers, and so many people into dressing up, decorating, partying and trick-or-treating, Halloween’s reach and appeal may be broader than ever.
If you’re going to be delivering a presentation in the days or weeks before Halloween, you may be looking at including a spooky element or two in your slides. To help you come up with something spooktacular, we’ve gathered a few good slide design resources worth checking out and even bookmarking for future use.
This week, Slideshop has added ten top-quality, royalty-free, spine-chilling photos to our free image library. You can see a screenshot of these recent additions below. You’re welcome to click on and download any of them – all free, of course. To find even more images, you can browse the huge collections on Unsplash, Pexels and Pixabay.
It’s no secret that no one is born with all the qualities and skills of a highly regarded public speaker. The only way to reach that status is by continuously striving to be a better version of yourself on stage. One way to do that is to take a moment to reflect on your performance after every presentation. We’ve listed a few tips for conducting such an evaluation.
When you feel anxious before your speech, there’s a simple trick that can bring some welcome relief: constructive self-talk. Instead of fretting over worst-case fears, or just trying to “gut it out” and ignore the horrible anxious nerves, try talking yourself down with the phrases below. They’ve been proven to help restore focus, mend confidence and build positive energy.