5 Simple Hacks to better Presentation

for Teachers or Speakers or even Moms!

Sometimes you need to see an immediate improvement, but there is just no time to learn a new way of doing things. You have to make do with what you have. But what if you could just tweak a few things and see instant huge improvement? That's where hacks come in!

If you are a teacher, a speaker, or even a mom, I have for you, Five Simple Hacks that will instantly improve how you get your point across.

1. Address the person not the content
I was a band director for a very small school district a long time ago, and I remember meeting other teachers that first year. I taught beginning grade school band all the way through high school band. At the high school, when we were doing introductions, the other teachers would explain to me that they "taught math" or "taught science."  It was a marked difference when I went to the grade school, when the other teachers explained to me that they "taught first graders." I stopped and thought, I want to teach the kids, not the subject.

Sometimes we get so stuck in what we are trying to say, we forget who we are saying it to. If you start with "who," you might discover you can skip some things this person already knows. Or, you might find you want to say something simpler. Or, you might decide to change the language you use or how much you have to say. The point is, knowing who your "audience" is should be your first step and can greatly improve how they receive your message.

2. Be visual and active
Most people report that they learn by seeing something and by doing, by hands on. However, most speakers, teachers, and moms simply talk to get their point across. This requires our audience to use aural and verbal skills, not their reported preferred method for understanding information.

Now, "Death by Powerpoint" is not a visual or active way to present information. I would even argue and outline is not how our brains receive or store information. If you have ever used Prezi.com, (the original) that is how our brains organize concepts. Use colors. Use anything at your disposal, dry erase board, the refridgerator door... just be visual.

3. Keep it simple
When my son was young, I would explain to him our plans, he'd say okay, then we'd get in the car to do our list of errands. He would invariably ask, "Mom? Where are we going?" "I JUST TOLD YOU!"  Instead of teaching him to extract meaning from long sentences, I decided to shorten it up. The next time, I said, "John, we're running errands. Number one: grocery store. Number two: Jack's house. Number three: school." Instantly, he was "with" me, and I could count on him being ready and cooperative for the next thing.

Older children and even adults are the same way. We can understand simple statements much better than drawn out sentences. 

4. Give the big picture first
Have you ever tried to put a jigsaw puzzle together? Without the picture on the front of the box?

Of course as a presenter, we know the big picture; we have the end game in mind; we've experienced it before. But our audience presumably has not, hence why we are presenting our ideas in the first place. Especially in college, as learners we get used to not understanding at first, sorting through a long speech of details in parts, and finally at the end, we circle back and sort of figure out what that was all about. It would have been so much easier to have the big picture presented as a whole at first. Or if you have ever listened to a speaker drone on and on and wonder when they were going to be finished? If you simply give your audience an overview at the beginning, they will be with you along the way, and be thinking about your words, not "when will this be over?"

5. Feedback loop
Have you ever finished a long lesson, or a speech, or a long set of directions to your kids? And they stare back at you blankly? And you think, "I'll never get those minutes of my life back." Instead of blaming your audience, look at how you can tweak your presentation to be peppered with opportunities for feedback. That might be simply some questions to check for agreement or understanding. Or it could be, as I did with my son, "Tell me what I just said." Or in the case of a large audience at a speaking engagement, a fun poll requiring people to raise their hand or stand up. You should constantly interrupt yourself with these formative assessments, checking in with your audience so they stay with you.

Besides leading to better communication, these Five Hacks are not only easy to implement but they can make presentations much more fun for you as well. Start small, with just one or two of these ideas, and add until you are using these tweaks like a PRO. You will instantly notice a difference in how well people understand you.

  • 3 November 2018
  • Number of views: 49
  • Comments: 0
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A "collection" = having two or more of something. I have a collection of ideas, toilet paper rolls, experiences, plants, rocks, kids.

 


for Teachers or Speakers or even Moms!

Sometimes you need to see an immediate improvement, but there is just no time to learn a new way of doing things. You have to make do with what you have. But what if you could just tweak a few things and see instant huge improvement? That's where hacks come in!

If you are a teacher, a speaker, or even a mom, I have for you, Five Simple Hacks that will instantly improve how you get your point across.

  • 3 November 2018
  • Number of views: 49
  • Comments: 0

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