Dramatic techniques for delivering memorable presentations
A presentation is never just about passing on information; you should always think about how you want your audience to feel, according to Tim Stockil in his book Start with an Earthquake: How to Make Presentations that Wow Your Audience. Speaking well in public is a skill which needs to be learnt through practice, and it helps enormously if you understand the fundamental principles that underpin it.
Some of the key tips given by the author:
- To avoid monotony, put lots of energy into whatever you are saying.
- You should avoid using PowerPoint if at all possible.
- It is best to structure your presentation using a flexible non-linear approach instead of trying to write it down.
- Add interest by using stories, metaphors, props and audience interaction.
- The only way to rehearse your presentation is to say it out loud.
It is interesting to observe the different approaches of different books on public speaking. Some emphasise the creation of content, some emphasise how to control body, voice and nerves, and others talk about how to create impressive slides. The author of this short book comes from a theatre directing background, so the book emphasises dramatic technique. There is no doubt that his recipe is very useful and will lead to good presentations, but it is unlikely that most business leaders will have the time available to meet the author’s rehearsal expectations.