Today I stumbled upon an article a woman named Carrie Gallant had posted on Linked In. It was a piece written by the curator of TED Chris Anderson on what makes for a “killer” presentation: One that connects, has the audience hanging on your every word, and maybe even garners a standing ovation . If you don’t know, the TED conference happens every year in Long Beach, California and presenters share “Ideas Worth Spreading” in roughly 18 minute presentations. It’s coming to Vancouver in 2014 and is a huge boon for the city.
Anderson gives the example of a 12-year-old Masai boy who’d come up with an invention that would keep the lions in his Kenyan grasslands home away from their livestock, and Anderson knew that despite a huge language barrier that Richard Turere’s story needed to be shared with a broader audience; one that the TED talk format assists nicely, not only on the stage but, as TED talks often are, shared socially by thousands, even millions. Here is Richard’s story.
Chris Anderson shares that getting Richard to the point where he was able to get up there to speak took a lot of time, scripting, planning, re-working, and practise, practise, practise over a 6-9 month period. By the end of Richards talk we are cheering for him, we are drawn in and want to hear more from this boy. And in the end, that’s what it’s all about isn’t it? Drawing people in. Changing minds (whether simply in your audience’s choice of product or on a global scale).
Here are a few points gleaned from Anderson’s article. To read the full story click here:
- Invest the time… and even the most reluctant speaker can give a talk that engages. When you are confident in your story and clear on what you are going to cover, you will appear more relaxed and might even be able to laugh with the audience. A relaxed presenter is far easier to watch and your audience will be able to focus more on what you say rather than your distracting body language.
- Drill down your key message. Many presenters try to pack too much information into their presentation. Get specific rather than presenting broad ideas. As Anderson says: “Go deeper. Give more detail. Don’t tell us about your entire field of study—tell us about your unique contribution.”
- Find the right balance between facts and story. This will be different for a talk to the Financial Services industry than it will be for a product launch. For dry material, provide the facts but try to weave some narrative through to appeal to people’s emotions. For a product launch try to talk about how my life will be changed after using your product rather than just talking specs.
- Don’t Read it. As soon as you read to your audience, their sense of connection with you is gone. As much as possible practise your key points and talk around them. The “ifs”, “ands” and “the’s” don’t matter if you know your material inside and out. Bullet pointed cards are okay, but strive for no notes.
- A presentation is a journey. Take me on one. Don’t try to force authoritativeness, or empathy. Just be yourself. That is good enough. There is no substitute fo authenticity.
I hope you connect with your next talk. If you’re struggling, drop us a line .
To Your Voice,