How Good Presentations Make Great Speakers
If there’s one thing great speakers have in common, it’s their ability to captivate their listeners.
While much of it comes down to their confidence and the way they manage their sense of naturalness and belonging with the crowd, there exists a force greater than their speeches.
As the audience listens intently to their every word, most don’t notice there’s actually a second storyteller on stage. It may not be as apparent and prominent as the presenter, but it has a vital part to play: the presentation.
How to become a great speaker
There are innate characteristics that make some people naturally great at addressing crowds. To excel at it, whether or not you’re born with them, you need to embrace them.
Beyond that, you also need to adopt all resources at your disposal, starting with the use of a creative presentation.
When done right, presentations provide confidence, structure, and a platform to showcase know-how.
Here are the top three qualities of great speakers and how presentations bring out the best in them.
The first quality great and successful orators have is confidence.
Studies show that confident presenters portray competency and are seen as credible and likable.
This can be hard to come by for some, considering that most people’s greatest fear is public speaking. That’s where presentations are useful.
How presentations help
Having a well-designed presentation boosts the confidence of orators because, in many ways, it’s like having a support team on stage with them.
To achieve that, your slides must be impactful. That means clear, powerful, and inspirational.
Take, for example, this presentation template on intellectual property. It includes a slide you can fill with a motivational quote at the start of your presentation.
Quotes don’t only serve to inspire but they also act as supporting arguments to reinforce your ideas.
See what we’ve done there?
This starts you off on a positive note and gets the crowd excited about what you have in store for them. That infectious buzz will eventually find its way to you, which adds passion and fervor to your presentation.
Having a clear presentation also means you can rest assured knowing that your audience has no trouble understanding your content. This gives you the confidence to speak more freely.
What’s more, it’s not easy keeping the viewers’ attention on you the entire time. Pairing your speech with a presentation adds flavor and color and gives them something else to focus on without distracting them from your message.
As a speaker and expert on the topic you’re presenting, you may have all the information clearly laid out in your mind. It’s one thing to know it, a whole other thing to present it in a way that your viewers can easily follow and understand. That’s where a structure comes into play.
Establishing order and sequence helps to keep your speech organized and makes the information you’re presenting much more digestible and retainable for your audience.
For example, giving your presentation an inverted pyramid structure sets a structure that communicates what’s significant before moving on to support the narrative with details.
How presentations help
Great presenters not only use their speech to inform and educate, but they also provide a framework that guides the audience’s attention and they make use of slides to transition from one idea to the next seamlessly.
In our example, we’ve established a structure in the slides to indicate flow.
The introduction sets a context. It also presents a great opportunity to connect with the audience by sharing an anecdote or personal experience.
From there, a natural next step is to introduce objectives.
(Notice how the graphic used, a rocket launch, symbolizes the start of an adventure?)
With objectives established, you can move into how you aim to achieve them.
These slides on ‘schedule’ and ‘methodology’ are the perfect places to include an action plan with clear details.
It also segues smoothly into a takeaway or a reflection, which you have space for on this concluding slide.
Great speakers are also experts in their field and extremely knowledgeable. They make a subject easy to understand and digest, much like a good teacher.
As an expert, the most effective way to teach is by introducing a challenge and steering your audience through a journey of learning and discovery instead of presenting them with an immediate solution.
This is done by providing clear examples your audience can follow, asking them questions every now and then to hold their attention and using storytelling to provide real examples.
This may not be easy to establish with speech alone, especially when more complicated information such as data and statistics are involved. After all, the majority of us are visual learners.
How presentations help
Great speakers adopt storytelling in their presentations to engage the audience and help them learn the main points through the narrative. This technique provides a fantastic opportunity to do so while introducing metaphors, providing examples of real cases, and being able to anticipate any questions the crowd may have.
For instance, this next slide on “sneak peek” allows you to tease your project and get your audience engaged with your story.
When it comes to establishing hierarchy or communicating data, great presenters rely on graphics to get their message across. They know exactly what the audience needs to know and reinforce these concepts.
Visual aids in a presentation depict segmentation, statistics, numbers, and so on in a much more intelligible way than verbal speeches.
For example, the table and the graphs on the following slides on test results provide educative value and help viewers better understand and visualize the information.
By presenting the analysis and results, you’re training their minds and encouraging them to arrive at their own conclusions—a key part of learning.
→ If you’re looking for a presentation that can make you a more effective speaker, check out our wonderful range of free presentation templates that you can download and customize on Google Slides and PowerPoint.
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