soon villages elsewhere in kenya began installing richard’s “lion lights.” the story was inspiring and worthy of the broader audience that our ted conference could offer, but on the surface, richard seemed an unlikely candidate to give a ted talk. on the back of his invention richard had won a scholarship to one of kenya’s best schools, and there he had the chance to practice the talk several times in front of a live audience. conceptualizing and framing what you want to say is the most vital part of preparation. if you frame the talk as a journey, the biggest decisions are figuring out where to start and where to end. so limit the scope of your talk to that which can be explained, and brought to life with examples, in the available time. if a talk fails, it’s almost always because the speaker didn’t frame it correctly, misjudged the audience’s level of interest, or neglected to tell a story. you can develop a set of bullet points that map out what you’re going to say in each section rather than scripting the whole thing word for word. but if you do decide to memorize your talk, be aware that there’s a predictable arc to the learning curve.
if a successful talk is a journey, make sure you don’t start to annoy your travel companions along the way. find five or six friendly-looking people in different parts of the audience and look them in the eye as you speak. another big hurdle for inexperienced speakers is nervousness—both in advance of the talk and while they’re onstage. it’s a natural body response that can actually improve your performance: it gives you energy to perform and keeps your mind sharp. instead of a flat sequence of images, you can move around the landscape and zoom in to it if need be. the people in your audience are already listening to you live; why would they want to simultaneously watch your talking-head clip on a screen? the tricky part about rehearsing a presentation in front of other people is that they will feel obligated to offer feedback and constructive criticism. speak at great length about the history of your organization and its glorious achievements.8. play to your strengths and give a talk that is truly authentic to you.
as you prepare the presentation, you always need to bear in mind what the audience needs and wants to know, not what you can tell them. if you smile and make eye contact, you are building rapport, which helps the audience to connect with you and your subject. your audience needs to see you as well as your slides. this last is particularly important as it stops you trying to put too much information on any one slide. as a general rule, slides should be the sideshow to you, the presenter. if you can use stories in your presentation, your audience is more likely to engage and to remember your points afterwards.
so ask yourself “who” is directly involved in your topic that you can use as the focal point of your story. so ask yourself “what is not as it should be?” and answer with what you are going to do about it (or what you did about it). but you can help to make the spoken word better by using your voice effectively. make sure that you are giving the right messages: body language to avoid includes crossed arms, hands held behind your back or in your pockets, and pacing the stage. if you can actually start to enjoy yourself, your audience will respond to that, and engage better. follow our guide to boost your presentation skills learning about preparation, delivery, questions and all other aspects of giving effective presentations. how to give more engaging presentations typography – it’s all about the message in your slides the use of material found at skillsyouneed.com is free provided that copyright is acknowledged and a reference or link is included to the page/s where the information was found.
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