Weekend Reading: Optimizing Your Speech and Slides

November 15, 2013

Holding someone's full attention is a tough task these days -- even if just for a few minutes. Presenters today must go above and beyond the standard PowerPoint speech. What are tips and tactics for doing this? The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Content Marketing Institute all wrote articles recently on how to take your speech and slides to the next level.

Fewer Slides, More Stories

What's the best way to pitch a person or drive home a message? Turn to the power of storytelling, says a recent article in the Wall Street Journal. "Move beyond facts and figures, which aren't as memorable as narratives," the article says. There's science behind it, too: Neuroscientists have discovered that people make most decisions based on emotional responses. When's the last time a data point moved you to tears? Now when's the last time a book or movie gave you the chills? You get the point. Read more: To Persuade People, Tell Them a Story by Dennis Nishi, Wall Street Journal

Establishing Credibility

The first, and most important, thing a presenter needs to do is establish credibility with the audience, says Forbes' Michel Theriault -- and that doesn't necessarily mean rattling off your resume. Share a relevant experience or tell the backstory of your presentation. Also don't forget to maintain your level of credibility throughout the presentation, with supporting materials such as expert quotes, industry stats and reference research. Read more: 9 Tips For More Powerful Business Presentations by Michel TheriaultForbes

From Speech to Search-Friendly Slides

OK, so you've used all the great tips from the above articles to give a rockstar presentation. Now what? You upload it to SlideShare, of course, so even more people can hear your message and learn from your insights. The Content Marketing Institute provides tips for making your presentation easy to find on the Internet. Tip #1: You may need to add more context back into your slides to tell the full story in the absence of your live speech. And Google loves rich, in-depth content. Read more: 6 Steps for Successful Content Marketing Using SlideShare’s Secret Search Sauce by Mark Sherbin, Content Marketing Institute

What are your tips for giving and creating presentations? Let us know in the comments below!

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