Everyday Problem Solvers
As you know (or not) I’m Brazilian. I was born in Brazil, studied in Brazil, I work in Brazil, and (I’m ashamed to say) never been to a English speaking country. Nevertheless my blog is written in English and more often than not I hear the question “Why English? Why not Portuguese?” and I my answer always is “Because I want to reach as many people as possible”. Reaching people is not why I write this blog (my motives are strictly selfish) but it’s the motive why I do it in English.
I also program in English. When people ask me why I reply: Read more of this post
I know that the internet is full of posts about this, and trust me, I’ve read a bunch of them, and noticed that they’re all basically the same. They all focus on how and what to put on the slides, they compare PPT and Keynote and ultimately try to teach how crowd concentration works and how to retain your audience attention.
The fact is that having perfectly built slides, beautiful pictures, nice videos and demos does not guarantee a killer presentation. A killer presentation is a presentation where you expose whatever you want to expose knowing that the viewer is listening to that info, and that he will remember that info and pass/work it around.
The first and most important topic on how to make a killer presentation is to KNOW whatever you’re talking about. Ask yourself: Can I explain what im trying to say to a 6-year-old? If the answer is no, then you don’t know it yourself. Einstein said that. Steve Jobs is widely known as a presentation master and he also shared this notion. PPT/Keynote were banned from internal meetings, if you presented something using a PPT instead of a whiteboard you would be interrupted and deemed incompetent. Steve only used slides for public presentations. He also was a firm believer that if you know something you don’t need slides to explain it!
The second item in our list is “Be Confident”. Second guessing yourself on stage is a fatal mistake. When you enter the stage you have 70% of the crowd “trust”. This means that they trust you but there’s a silent voice on their heads telling them that things are never as good as they sound. If you’re confident and show that you do know what you’re talking about they won’t question. If you second guess yourself the little voice start to get stronger and eventually it will take over and you will be talking to empty-full room.
The third order of the day is “Be In Love”. Being confident don’t get the other 30% of the crowd’s attention. Showing passion for the topic on the stage does. When you show that you really care about whatever you’re presenting, that you worked your “but-off” to be there and tell them whatever is your saying, the crowd subconscious will notice “the love in the air” and will silent the inner voice.
The fourth tip is very simple but very often overlooked: “You are presenting, not the slides”. In a presentation the slides are not the focusing point. The presenter IS! Slides are helpful but you, the presenter, is the core of the presentation. Doesnt matter if you’re presenting a new Presentation platform. Slides are “support material”. Steve was a master in this point: His slides were always very basic, most times they had only one number, or maybe three words or even only a photo. The focus was always on Steve.
The dessert is: “Don’t fall in love for your own voice”. When preparing the presentation ask yourself: “What if I don’t talk about X?”. Always question the “weight” of your presentation. I usually say that if your slide has more than 10 words a lot can be shrunk. Think clean, think efficiency!