A couple of years ago, I happened to watch Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, directed by Timur Bekmambetov. Thanks to the oratorical prowess of the protagonist, I was left spellbound. Leave apart the protagonist, Abraham Lincoln, America’s best President was known for his sagacious quotes and oratorical brilliance. Here is a quote by the legendary Abraham Lincoln, “History prefers legends to men. The best way to predict the future is to create it.” Here are 5 presentations tips to deliver the best speech of your life or in other words, 5 presentation tips to deliver the best speech like Abraham Lincoln:
- No to monologue and Yes to dialogue: A presentation should always be an interactive pursuit. To strike a chord with your intended audiences, bring your audiences into the picture. Ask them a few questions and pay attention to their answers. Engage them. If you fail to engage them with your presentation, their smart phones and laptops will. It is best to remember that audiences will retain your presentation only if your content is humorous or if you make it humorous. Say NO to monologue and YES to dialogue.
- Abide by the 8-10 rule: This is an era in which the attention span of people is continuously decreasing. The average human attention span in 2000 was 12 seconds. In 2003, it was 8 seconds. If you are expecting a standing ovation after delivering speech for half-an-hour or more than it, there is no better fallacy. I can assert you this fact- If you don’t speak too long, you are a better speaker. Take not more than 8 minutes to deliver your presentation. Even 10 minutes is also an acceptable figure. However, a second beyond that is unacceptable.
- Keep the presentation simple: Your presentation should be simple. Do not include any custom animations in your presentations. The preferred background of the slides is white and text color is black. Use a combination of minimal text and maximum images. Stay away from adding any special sound effects. Steve Jobs, the legendary CEO of Apple Inc. was known for his killer presentation skills. You may view one of his presentations here.
- Practice: Mahatma Gandhi once said, “An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.” Watch TED Talks to master avoiding filler words. Learn to make friendly gestures. Intonation- the rise and fall of tone should always be kept in mind. Be ready to expect the unexpected. Practice with a timer. Keep practicing.
- Relax and Visualize: Visualize your audiences clapping for you. This will bolster your confidence. To do away with nervousness, have a glass of water.
Delivering the best speech is not about clearing toughest exams such as SAT, CAT or IIT-JEE. It is about making an impact with your verbal skills. I recommend you to watch Barack Obama’s speech that made him the president. Keep reading….Cheers!