Delivery tips for slideshows

presentations Mar 10, 2021
Stand to deliver you virtual presentations

If you’ve been following this series of four related blogs, you’ll know we’ve talked about leaving the slides until the very last thing you create. Don’t rush to build your deck.

We also talked about reducing the complexity of slides, and especially reducing the amount of text on slides. Audiences cannot read and listen at the same time, and yet too often that’s what we force them to do.

We also talked about letting go of our reliance on words on slides, and instead communicating with strong, relevant images. A picture of a single seabird mired in oil is more powerful that a mass of data about pollution.

So now we come to the critical final stage… delivering the presentation. And the reality here is that, no matter how clear and simple your slides, no matter how strong your images, there’s no substitute for solid presentation skills.

In a survey, 92% of people agreed that presentation skills were ‘critical’ for the success of a slideshow. You need good content, you need good slides - but to really connect with the audience you need to be a compelling speaker.

So let’s look at some ideas that will help you ace your next presentation - live or virtual:

  1. Stand when you deliver. Standing changes your energy, which the audience will feel. You’ll be more alert. Put your computer on boxes or a step ladder to get the desired height. Make sure you’re looking straight at the camera, not down on it.
  2. Speak with passion and conviction. Don’t shout. Show your belief in what you’re talking about.
  3. Help the audience by emphasizing the important words and phrases in your message.
  4. Tell stories. You should tell a story every 5 minutes. Or use metaphors and similes to drive home your point.
  5. Use your hands naturally. The audience may not see your hands, but YOU will feel more relaxed if you use them the way you always do. You will look and sound natural. And the audience will pick up on that.
  6. Pause more. The pause is one of the most powerful communication tools in a speaker’s arsenal - and it’s the tool we use the least. Pause, especially after important points, so the audience has a chance to absorb the information or insight.
  7. If you don’t ask you don’t get. Don’t expect audience engagement unless you ask for it. Keep your virtual audiences engages by letting then share their thoughts in chat boxes or breakout rooms.

One last thought. Trust yourself and do your best. You’re done all the work to prepare for this moment. You may have a technical glitch or two, but the audience will understand and forgive you. Now it’s time for you to shine.