What would you do if the moment you stood up to speak and your laptop failed? or the projector broke? or the software crashed? or the teleprompter delayed?
It is not a nice thought and the sort of thing that keeps lots of people awake the night before they have to speak…And I can remember very vividly the moment my projector bulb blew and I realised with a sinking heart that I didn’t have a replacement.
The underlying reason most of us dread this situation happening is because for many, the slides ARE the presentation. Take away the slides and you take away the presentation. But this is faulty thinking and there is a better way. Slides are NOT the presentation – they are the support, the clarity, the enhancement, the reinforcement of what we say but not what we say itself.
Something that I share with all of my clients is to:
1. get clear about the message you want to get out there
2. Decide what you are going to say
3. Decide how you are going to say it
and then, only then 4. design the slides( software) to go with it.
The clue is in the name. Slides are visual aids. Visual i.e. pictures and images ( not words) and Aids i.e. to help and support not to carry and do your job as the presenter.
Of course we all want prompts if we are speaking even those of us with years of experience in speaking. They don’t need to be the slides though. Use cards or planners (I share a tool called a Pathway Planner with my clients) and let the slides help you. And if the worst should happen ( as in the Michael Bay example above) then we can carry on …calmly and confidently knowing that our message is clear and strong.
To find out more about Catherine Sandland and the work she does go to:
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