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10 Zen Ways to Nail Your Next Presentation



10 Zen Ways to Nail Your Next Presentation
Your job as a business owner is 90% communication: You have to communicate the goals of your enterprise and rally your employees around them, and the most effective way to that is still the spoken word.


Key Ideas

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Keep only the essential

Keep only the essential
Speaking to an audience is like feeding apple sauce to a two-year old. The more you spoon out, the more ends up on the floor. Include on the slides and in your spoken text only the information necessary to support your points. Cut everything else. You’ve finished writing your speech when there is nothing left to take out.




Don't try to impress

Don't try to impress

The less you try to impress your listeners with your knowledge, the more they'll respect you.

Cut out specialized vocabulary and speak to your audience in their language.



Work from the outside in

Work from the outside in

Your posture, gestures, and facial expressions influence how you feel.

So stand up straight, weight on both feet. Keep your chin up. Chest out, Open up and smile. Those actions make you look and feel good.



Dare to be silent

Dare to be silent

Before you speak, look at your audience with a slight smile and take 3 quiet, deep breaths

Then, when the silence becomes the blank canvas on which you will paint your masterpiece, begin.



Speak in pictures

Speak in pictures

Stick your ideas into the mind of your audience by being vivid and concrete.

 “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,” is more memorable than, “The value of controlled assets exceeds by a factor of two those we pursue but do not yet possess.”



Focus on your goal

Focus on your goal

... to defeat stage fright. Fear comes when you fixate on the possible problems rather than on the goal you want to achieve or the process you’re using to reach it. 

In tennis, you don’t look at the net. In golf, you don’t look at the sand trap. You look at the ball and focus on hitting through it.



Make your headlines sentences

Make your headlines sentences

If you use slides, sentence headlines are better because they make a point. 

Phrase headlines just create a category of items and labels and will most likely be forgotten.



Variety perks things up

Variety perks things up

Your listeners want variety. That means broad truths buttressed by homely examples; solemn purpose marbled with humor; a voice that is animated and varied. 



Control their eyes

Control their eyes

Your audience will find it hard to listen if they’re trying to read slides filled with text. To help them listen, show them what to look at: point out what you want their eyes to see while you fill their ears with your explanation.



Begin, be brief, be seated

Begin, be brief, be seated

As Mrs. Humphrey said to her husband when he was running for President in 1968, "Hubert, for a speech to be immortal, it need not be interminable."




Ditch the Slides

Or at least don't make them the star of the show. 

You are the star. Your slides are your aides--your backup singers. Use them intermittently. 

Pack For The Climate Of Your Destination

Keep the nature of the occasion in mind as you prepare your message. Every situation and audience is different. 

Don't be tone-deaf. Your antennae must be sensitive to the need for formality or informality, seriousness or humor, words that work and words that won't.

Begin, Be Brief, Be Seated

There's no correlation between the length of a talk and its impact. 

Have a good beginning, a strong ending, and put the two as close together as possible.

7 more ideas

Lesson 1: Practice, practice, practice

Leading up to the big speech at the end of the film, King George and his coach rehearsed over and over again–out loud!

You have to practice out loud to get a feel for how the words wil...

Lesson 2: Beware of speaker envy

King George likely couldn’t help but feel he would never measure up to the likes of legendary orator Winston Churchill.

Have faith in your voice. The key is to develop one’s own style, also known as your “authentic voice.” That “authentic voice” will connect well with an audience.

Lesson 3: Determination conquers all

King George VI’s success was assured as soon as he made the decision to work hard to become a more effective speaker.

One of the most important keys to improving is simple determination. If you’re serious about improving, you must speak regularly – at least once a week.

Effective communication

... is imperative for every successful business. Poor communication inevitably causes misunderstandings, confusion and conflicts that hinder productivity and professi...

Effective Communication is vital in business

  • It helps to create effective brand messaging.  It determines how your brand is perceived and also builds trust with customers.
  • Customer service relies on good communication. "60% of consumers have stopped doing business with a brand due to a poor customer service experience."  Microsoft’s 2016 Global State of Customer Service Report.
  • It enables positive team relationships.  Effective communication helps to unite teams and create a safe environment to express themselves.
  • It helps to prevent misunderstandings and conflicts. It can help to defuse a potentially explosive dispute while bad communication can set it off.

Worst Communication Mistakes

  1. Using a One-Size-Fits-All Communication Approach. Tailor the communication style to the intended audience.
  2. Speaking More and Listening Less. Listen to what is said, how it is said, and to what is not said.
  3. Assuming Instead of Asking More Questions.
  4. Using Negative Tone. Choose words carefully to eliminate negative reactions.
  5. Avoiding Difficult Conversations.

  6. Reacting, Not Responding.

  7. Not Keeping an Open Mind. Accept and respect differences, listen without judgment and consider all sides of an issue.