Last updated on January 18th, 2018 at 12:03 pm
The ability to present well is a crucial professional and life skill. Being able to command an audience’s attention and deliver a persuasive message can help you: to get a new job or promotion, to smash your sales targets, to influence decision makers and stakeholders to help you get the things you want personally and professionally.
As a result there is a lot of advice out their on presentations and I have compiled 10 of the most useful facts and statistics about giving presentations that might better inform you about presentations, enabling you to give better presentations yourself.
1.) 75% of people suffer from a fear of public speaking, (so its perfectly normal to be anxious before a presentation). NBCNews Health. If you want to overcome your fear of public speaking I’d recommend this book: Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway: How to Turn Your Fear and Indecision into Confidence and Action. Averaging 4.5 out of 5 star ratings on Amazon from 900 reviews, this book is the undoubted Bible on overcoming fear of presentations.
2.) Telling a story to make a point during a presentation is much more memorable and persuasive than bare facts. Princeston University. If you are interested in incorporating story telling into your presentations you should try this 4.5/5 star rated book:Resonate: Present Visual Stories That Transform Audiences. The author of this book is of the highest pedigree having created the slide deck in Al Gore’s award winning, An Inconvenient Truth. This book is potentially more suited to the seasoned presenter.
3.) Making regular eye contact with your audience will make you appear more competent. Winona State University
4.) Power posing (open arms, hands on hips, straight back), increases confidence and reduces stress by increasing testosterone and reducing cortisone levels respectively. Harvard and Columbia University. If you feel that you struggle to make a visual statement and lack confidence when presenting you’ll need to listen to this 4.5 out 5 star rated audiobook titled, Presence written by Amy Cuddy. This Harvard Professor galvanised viewers around the world with her TEDTalk on ‘power poses’. In this book she shows you how to you science to become self assured in pressurized moments.
5.) Audience participation levels begin to drop off quite dramatically after 30 minutes. Salescrunch.com. If there was one presenter out there who was best at inspiring his audience from the off, it is Steve Jobs, considered to be one of the greatest presenters in history. If you want to develop a presentation style that means you come out of the blocks running, I’d recommend this book: The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience. It’s got 58 customer reviews and is 4.5 out of 5 star rated and is definitely worth a serious look.
6.) Audience engagement levels are highest (92%), if the attendees do most of the talking and lowest (78%) if the presenter does most of the talking. Salescrunch.com
7.) The best sales meetings occur when the salesperson speaks 35% of the time and listens 65% of the time. Salescrunch.com. If you’d like to improve your sales presentation skills then I’d recommend the 4 out of 5 star rated book: The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation. It is based on an exhaustive study of literally thousands and sales reps across multiple industry verticals. Alternately, try this book: Brilliant Selling (Brilliant Business), which has a 5 out 5 star amalgamated rating based on 150 reviews.
8.) Digital distractions such as mobile phones and the internet are one of the biggest inhibitors to holding audience attention during a presentation. Kennesaw State University
9.) Studies show that audience attention levels peak after the presenter has used humour or has moved closer to the audience or began talking off script. Kennesaw State University. Adding humour to presentation is not easy, so why not try this book, written by a stand-up comedian: Do You Talk Funny?: 7 Comedy Habits to Become a Better (and Funnier) Public Speaker. It shows you how to apply the principals of stand-up comedy to presentations and public speaking, and actually make your presentation funny. The book itself is amusing too, so at worst you’ll have a chuckle when reading this book.
10.) Presentations that contain PowerPoint’s custom animations require more concentration and make it harder for the viewer to remember the content than slides with no animations. University of Wilmington, Carolina.
Before we go, I’d like to draw your attention to another excellent audio book which has case studied TED Talks which have now become the gold standard in public speaking around the world. It’s called: Talk Like TED: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds. It’s 4.5 out of 5 rated based on 119 customer reviews and is definitely worth a look.
If you would like to create stunning, professional slides in minutes not hours, then try slidebean. Their presentation templates are pre-built slides for common purposes like pitching an investor, or delivering a client proposal. They are finished and beautifully designed presentations. Try slidebean.
- How to Keep Your Audience’s Attention (Study)
- How to Use Effective Eye Contact During Interview
- Death by Power-Point Custom Animations (Study)