We are often fascinated by seeing some of the world’s most iconic presenters everyday and what we do not realise is how do they manage to deliver the same amazing experience every time. This is not an art alone instead its a series of art fitted together to design a carefully crafted technique. In my five years of experience with presentation designs and delivery, i have noticed hundreds of speakers share their part of the story with the world.
I tried understanding their styles, key tricks, tips and methodologies and have been successful in compiling the vital components used by them for crafting a amazing experience every time. I have clubbed my findings in multiple sections to help readers with a structured approach for better understanding. As I move forward, I will cover the sections like Knowledge, Style, Experience, Secret Sauce and Tips which can make you a Killer presenter too.
In today’s age of technology, where ideas and concepts influence the way world think, Knowledge has taken the core of every interaction and communication. It has always differentiated the winners from rest and even the best designed communications fails if they do not have something for their audiences/viewers to take away.
Awesome presenters always have the in-depth knowledge of their industry, competitors, trends, innovations, ideas, platforms, journals, media and everything around their subject of interest. This knowledge gives them strength, confidence, clarity and the understanding of the future of the industry. So, as a presenter, its vital to know these things to have an amazing presence of mind. Building and gathering this information will take a natural course of time and gathering this knowledge solely with an objective of becoming a great presenter would not be advisable.
Having an idea is great and sharing it with the world is awesome. The greatest ideas fail if they are not rightly understood by your audiences. The art of explaining an idea lies in how the presenter structure his content in the presentation. A well structured content gives enough room to build the background before revealing the ideas and also makes the revelation incremental rather than bombardment. The structuring of information goes to the deepest level where the presenter needs to understand about every piece of information which the audience should know as a background to under what presenter intends to reveal. The ideal structure can covers different facets like need, consequence, implications, benefits, acceptance, impact, innovation, trends and findings for the topic under consideration.
Simplicity of communication
Simplicity of communication is a pure art. Its a refection of your mindset and how you see the world. The greatest presenters always have this art of simplifying the ideas for their audiences to understand better. This is not a trick but a necessity as the good presenter needs to keep his communication simplified to the lowest levels. Your audience could be from diverse backgrounds and mindsets so simple communication always ensure better acceptance and response from your audience. As an example, try reading the transcript from the speeches of Obama, Pope or the UN President. Their speeches are simplified to the highest levels for maximum people to make a sense of what they intend to say rather than leaving people confused.
As rightly mentioned in the book “Presentation Zen”, a presentation is a small opportunity to make a difference in the world by sharing your idea with everyone and hence the presenter should always think of utilising that moment to share something worth spreading. Audiences often remember people, ideas, thoughts and stories which have the power to bring a positive change.
If the presenter happens to present something technical as an example, then your audience should know why they are there and what change are they going to make in the world if they listen to you. Keep you content meaningful and you will stay your audiences’ favourite always.
Presenters often encounter a situation where they have to explain some concept, idea or the mechanism by relating it to the real world. So, the presenter should always quote the simplest examples which might have been experienced by almost all the audiences in their daily lives. Quoting day to day incidents & drawing an analogy from them with your concept is an art. The simplest examples are the most influential ones as they keep reminding your audience about you when they experience the same situation quoted in the example.
Apart from Knowledge, the most famous presenters also differentiate themselves by developing their own style which makes them stand out. These styles can usually be developed with experience by analysing the things for which your audience remember you or can be developed with a purpose of getting noticed amongst your audiences. Once established, your audience recognise you with that unique style and create a unique persona about you in their minds.
Many presenters around the world have developed their own phrases which they use in their every public appearances or keynote. These phrases not only make a presenter memorable but also makes their audiences feel familiar and much more comfortable. For example, Steve jobs always use to say “One more thing” as his catch phrase and later Tim cook used the same style to woo the audiences. So, developing your catch phrase takes time but it is always rewarding in long run as this sounds original, authentic and promising.
Many presenters often tend to develop their quotes, the quotes in which they summarise the learning of their lives or the principles which they have adopted to be successful. It quite likely that your quotes as a presenter will resonate with a lot of people out there in the audiences and they will remember you and feel more connected with your ideologies. Developing these quotes is an art and revealing them to the world at the right time is what I call strategy. Great presenters are often discussed about their own unique quotes which tends to drive a lot of motivation amongst masses.
Tools / Medium of expression
Choice of a right tool is crucial for the success of a presenter in leaving a great experience for its audiences. Presenters have always explored unique mediums or tools to share their ideas with the world. For that matter Presentations, Blackboard, Whiteboard, Projectors, Flip boards, Practical room, Sound systems with head gear, Slates, Augmented reality, Recorded videos and many more are just the tools which are used for the expression of knowledge or idea by the presenters. As we are moving ahead there are a lot of new tools for presentation design which are coming up and address the new age challenges of reach out the audiences. If we talk only about digital presentations, the tools range from Microsoft PowerPoint, Apple Keynote, Google Slides, Prezi, Haiku Deck, Articulate Studio, Adobe Presenter, Slidebean, deck.in, slid.es and many more. All these tools are designed to address the dynamic nature and future of presentations and how audiences engage with the presenters today. So, every presenter must choose their tools wisely depending upon not their own ease but the ease of their audience so that they can stay connected.
Various presenters around the world have created a brand out of their presentation styles. One great example could be Guy Kawasaki’s 10-20-30 principle which itself has become a brand in the world of presenters while the another famous example is Pecha Kucha events where every presenter have to present exactly 20 slides and they get 20 seconds to speak on every slides. It is also referred to as 20×20 in the world of presenters. Creating brand or a unique consistent style and then writing more about it for people to use can make a presenter shine amongst his audiences. Crafting your own brand in your presentation style is a slow and a very hard process but if executed with proper strategy, it can deliver great results.
There are a lot of key ingredient which make a presenter differentiated, loveable and amazing to hear compared to others. In the second & final article of this series I will discuss about Experience, Secret Sauce and Tips which can help you bring out the presenter inside you for the world to see.
Written By: Aayush Jain