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  • Amanda Paterson

Public Speaking Tips & PowerPoint Tricks

Are you prepping for a big client presentation? Nervous about a public speaking gig? Joel Weldon, award-winning public speaker, gives some great pointers in the 'Becoming A Superhuman' Podcast:

1) Open with your close. Don't save your best until last. Often we feel the need to start 'small' and gradually build toward our main point... the grandios finale. BUT - give the audience a taste of the finale right at the beginning. It will intrigue them and set the stage for what's to come.

2) Connect with your audience immediately by addressing their needs right out of the gate. Address their needs (what is it that they need in their life?), their fears (what keeps them up at night?) and their victories (what wins do they celebrate?).

3) Summarize your message in 1 short sentence or 1 word. ONE. Say that sentence/word many times within your talk. It keeps your audience focused on the point you're trying to make.

And tips for improving your PowerPoint slide deck? All PowerPoints don't have to suck.

Tips for some great slides:

DO use imagery - pictures say a thousand words. Use Free For Commercial Use photography to find unique pics that shows off your brand.

DO try to keep the presentation conversational. In some cases, you'll be able to ask your audience questions and engage them in an actual conversation. Speak WITH them, instead of speaking TO them.

DO keep it simple. Go for short and bold statements that you can speak to.

DO NOT (I repeat DO NOT) read your slides. Include a headline that's only a few words, and tell your story. If you're the expert in the topic you're delivering - you won't need to read your prepared slides.

DO NOT use crazy text and photo effects. No spinning. No twirling.

DO use a tactful amount of animations to keep your audience on track. If your slide contains several different key words, have each appear on its own. This will ensure your audience stays engaged on the current topic.

DO NOT end with a 'Questions?' slide. End with purpose. Reinforce your main point. The questions will come naturally.

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