Thursday, March 26, 2009

Small Changes for Big Presentation Impact

The late actor Cary Grant is to have said something to the effect that it takes 500 details to make a stunning impression. He might have added that one of those details would be selecting tall and good-looking parents. However, even if your parents were not tall, there is no reason why you can't make a WOW presentation. (Even though the research affirms widespread prejudice in favor of tall people!)

You probably think that people are naturally adept public speakers, or they're not. Well, even the most natural public speaker has had to practice 500 details to come across as "natural."

Think about how small things have a big impact:

- Remember the great relief to get a tiny splinter out of your finger.

- How annoying can one mosquito in your bedroom be?

- The discomfort of having on a t-shirt front-side back.

- A tiny movement on the fingerboard makes a note played on a stringed instrument sound beautiful, or not.

- One small operational error at the beginning of a calculus problem has a huge impact on the final result.

The same with making a presentation. There are many details you can so easily master for greater impact on your audience. Just to mention a few:

- Use a highlighter to mark your notes to remember to pause.

- Stand with your feet apart, so they're under your shoulders.

- Make sure you have your objective so clear you can say it in one sentence.

- Make eye contact with one person at a time.

- Remind the audience why you're credible to speak on this topic.

Developing your presentation skills is a life-long journey. It's one your audience travels with you, one segment at a time.