Archive for December, 2008

Callbacks

December 26, 2008

AnnouncementHave you ever used a callback in your presentation?

Some of you may be asking “what’s a callback?”

Think of a song or smell that transports you back to a certain time or event, this is a callback.

So how do we use them in our presentations?

We can use callbacks in a number of ways: If something funny happens before you walk on the stage and it’s relevant to your presentation, you can refer back to that situation and the audience will be transported back to that point in time and they should laugh. This will enable you to connect instantly with your audience as you have a shared experience.

If you’ve told a story with a memorable character, you can refer back to that character to reinforce your point at the end of your presentation. “Do you remember Mr Smith, the man who had lost everything?” –  you take your audience back in time and they’ll be able to remember the story and hopefully the message or point you were making.

There are a number of different kinds of callbacks that you can use: Characters, Incidents, Comments, Sounds and Gestures.

Next time you put together a presentation think about what callbacks you can use to refer back to your most important points or to connect with your audience on a deeper level.

Keep speaking – Carrol

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One with the lot!

December 14, 2008

sandwichMany presenters, both new and experienced like to pack as much as they can into their presentations.

This is can be difficult for the audience; you may be overwhelming them with too much information and they end up with brain overload, or the speaker sets their rate of speech at a fast pace in order to cover everything, and the audience switches off as they don’t have time to digest what has been said.

So how much is too much?

I always recommend 3 to 5 main points depending on how long your presentation is.

If you’re speaking for 5 – 10 minutes, I would only have a maximum of 3 main points. If you are speaking for an hour, you may want to have 5 main points.

10 minute presentation

1. Introduction would be approx. 2 minutes long

2. Main content would be 6 minutes long – 3 points x 2 minutes per point

3. Conclusion would be approx. 2 minutes long

From here you can expand your presentation to 20 minutes or contract to 5 minutes.

One hour presentation.

1. Your introduction would be approx. 10 minutes long

2. Your main content would be 40 minutes long – 5 points x 8 minutes per point.

3. Your conclusion would be approx. 10 minutes long

From here you can expand your presentation to 90 minutes or contract to 40 minutes.

Rehearse your presentation to ensure you fit within the time allocated.

Remember not to overload your audience with too much information but make sure that the information that you pass on is relevant and informative.

Keep speaking – Carrol

Should I use notes?

December 7, 2008

notesThere’s always a debate as to whether you should use notes or not. For me, it depends on how long my presentation is going to be.

If I’m speaking for longer than an hour, I like to have a brief outline of what I will be covering, I don’t have everything written out word for word, just a few dot points on one single note card.

When you’re speaking you want to convey confidence, enthusiasm and sincerity and this can be achieved more easily if you aren’t relying on notes.

You can make eye contact more easily with your audience if you don’t have notes and it also avoids the problem of what to do with your notes if you do decide to use them and there’s no lectern.

If you do need to use notes, look at them occasionally to refresh your memory don’t read from them as if you were reading a story. Think about what would happen if you have your notes written out word for word and you lose your place during your presentation.

Keep your notes brief, dot points are a great idea.

For your next presentation, try not to use any notes.

Keep speaking – Carrol