Powerpoint Will Never Turn You Into a Robotic Bore Again
A lot of people are really good and comfortable communicators when they are talking to someone one on one or giving speeches in small groups. But the second they have to give a Powerpoint presentation, all of their body language shuts down and how they are uncomfortable, stiff, and boring. If you face this problem, here are tips for you whenever you do a Powerpoint presentation:
For starters, never look or read off of your Powerpoint. It is there for your audience to look at. If you want some references or an outline of what you need to say, use a sheet of paper. How do like when people read to you? Nobody likes it! If you are reading from your Powerpoint you have completely destroyed your ability to connect with your audience through your eyes because you can’t look at them.
I love Powerpoint and use it too. But you have to prevent it from destroying your body language. It should not be a Powerpoint presentation, it should be your presentation. It is simply a tool that you are using to communicate important messages that can help your audience. You have to make the ideas come alive. You have to look at people, gesture, walk around, ask questions, and listen to them. Your Powerpoint slides are just a small piece of the puzzle that you need to complete.
Neither does giving a Powerpoint presentation mean that you now have to be locked down behind a lectern or a table to change slides. You can use a clicker or you can walk over to change the slides manually from time to time. But you should not let that constrain you. At the end of it all, it is possible to give a Powerpoint presentation and give people a good impression of your body language if you do the right things.
The best way to get it right is to practice your presentation on video, look at it, see what you like and do not like, and do it again and again until you feel like you have gotten better.
Getting Feedback the Right Way to Make You Stronger
When you were in the first grade and you were learning how to write, you got feedback by a teacher who would tell you what you left out so you could get beyond the beginner level and move on to more advanced writing. It works the same way when it comes to speaking. But here’s the thing: regardless of whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced, the secret to being a good speaker is constant feedback.
I practice what I preach which is why I look at my ratings on my Udemy courses as well. At the end of each course, Udemy will ask you to rate me and I want to tell me what you think- whether I am wasting my time or if I am giving you practical and useful tips. If you find that something isn’t great, I want you to write to me right away because even though I have given thousands of speeches, I am getting better and I am still trying to improve myself and my courses. So if you see something you do not like or an element of any of my courses that bothers you, write to me right away so that I can improve my course further.
But here is the thing that most people, whether they are beginner or advanced, will not tell you: after you have shown someone your presentation, the question to ask isn’t what they think of it. The real question is what they remember from your presentation. Your audience may think that you are comfortable and confident but what ultimately matters is what they remember from the presentation or speech you just gave to them. How else are they going to take the actions that you want them to take?
Along with rating my courses and my tips, I also want you to tell me what you remember from my speeches and videos in the discussion group or the comment section. What sticks out as the most valuable, most interesting, or the most helpful? Because if you just tell me that I sound professional and smooth, then I have failed completely since that is not my ultimate goal.
You are Now Ready for Prime Time TV
For most people in the workplace, the most stressful situation they can be put into is when they are asked to speak on television. We have talked about how just taking a video on your cell phone or over Skype can be stressful but if you are in a big TV Studio with bright light shining over you, camera operators running around you, and perhaps a well-known TV host grilling you with questions, that can be nerve racking for most people.
These days, it is not just the CEO who tends to get interviewed on TV. Many niche cable TV networks focus on sub sections of the industry. You can be a 24 year old Product Manager at a company or a Junior Manager at a trade convention and may get asked to speak on behalf of your whole company on some small TV network that could even be based online. So you need to be prepared for this. You cannot just act like you are not a camera person. If you want to be successful in the industry today, you need to be someone who can speak about what they are and what they do at any point in time and on any platform.
All the rules that go into making a good video apply to this situation as well. You need to hold yourself high, you have to lean forward about 15 degrees, you want to make sure that you move your hands and body, you don’t want to be frozen at all, you don’t just want your eyes to go back and forth, you don’t want a blank look on your face, and you need to have a little bit of a smile.
But there are additional challenges when you are on TV. For example, if the host is asking you some questions, instead of flipping back and forth between looking at the camera and the person, focus on looking at the person instead. If you’re giving an online interview and you can only hear the person but not see them, then focus on the camera.
Another tip from my side would be to apply some kind of mosaic powder to your face which does not change the color of your skin because your face will appear greasy on TV and it can help to reduce the shine. You also have to ignore all of the people that are bustling around you as it can be intimidating. Only move from the waist up if you have been placed in a swivel chair.
These are just the basics of how you can have your body language come out the best anytime you are on television.