The Spring Equinox
is right around the corner. Hearts in New England are starting to beat a little faster as we sniff Spring’s arrival. The Equinox brings equal light and dark. Day and night are balanced, which is highly unusual and only happens twice in an entire year.
Perfect Balance is Unusual in Nature
It should be unusual in your presentations, as well. What you want to create is a rhythm, which means changes. Tempo changes, content changes, vocal changes, energetic changes. Why? Because audiences are bored and tired. And if you want them to listen, you need to hook them and keep them interested.
Keep Your Presentation Seesaw Moving
Here are four specific ways to build in changes to keep your audiences engaged. Whether you are on a stage, in the conference room or at your desk, if someone is listening to you, it’s your job to connect with them. And that means keep things moving.
1. Move and Plant
If you are at the front of the room, don’t continuously pace and don’t stand totally still. Move specifically to a spot and then stand there. Plant. Hang out. Think 1/3 movement and 2/3 still. If you are at the table or desk, translate this into gestures. Use your hands some of the time; keep them still and open on the table some of the time.
Bonus impact: Always deliver key messages from a place of stillness.
2. Bullet Speak; Descriptive Speak
Just do the bullets and don’t elaborate. It’s OK. Not everything warrants a full explanation. Change it up with more descriptive language for some of your points. Remember it’s not all of one or the other. It’s the combination that has power.
Bonus impact: Throw in an analogy, anecdote or quote.
3. Sentences: Long and Short
Most of us talk in long, run-on sentences adding one phrase after another, after another and another. Mix this up with short sentences. Period.
Bonus impact: Take a beat (pause) after a short sentence. Boom!
4. All Slides Are Not Equal
Whether working with slides or pages in a deck, give yourself permission to spend more time on some, and move more quickly through others. Don’t weight them all equally. Audiences really appreciate this.
Bonus impact: plot this out ahead of time and know what you will do where.
Variety is the Spice of…Presentations
Keep visualizing a seesaw going up and down as you try these techniques. Don’t leave yourself and your listeners precariously hanging in the air at that mid-way point. Or weighted all the way down on one side.
Bonus impact: go to the playground as the weather warms up and get yourself on a real seesaw!
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