How do you turn a detailed corporate message into something interesting?
How do you avoid your colleagues yawning their way through your big presenting moment?
How do you communicate with impact?
This video clip is less than two minutes long, but it contains many of the answers.
It shows the start of two presentations. The first was recorded before we spent some time coaching the speaker, the second afterwards.
WHAT WAS HER GOAL?
This is a crucial question, but one that she hadn’t addressed fully in advance of her first attempt. And it shows. She knew the ‘evidence’ required to support her case, but hadn’t spent any time preparing a case. And so the presentation became rushed, full of detail, and delivered without a great deal of confidence.
Having discussed this at the start of her session with us, it became clear that the details were not particularly important. The key was to introduce a new way of doing things within the business. Suddenly there was a goal – which enabled her to speak with clarity and relevance.
Lesson One: Don’t start speaking until you know what you want to achieve.
HOW WAS HER SCRIPT STRUCTURED?
In the ‘before’ video, we see that she has gone big on detail at the expense of structure. She senses this is wrong by starting with an apology – not recommended! She then states that “I want to talk about …” which isn’t terribly audience friendly, before explaining that there is lots to get through. No wonder she ends the clip by admitting “I bored myself with my own content!”
‘After’ is a completely different story. She now has a clear purpose. This allows her to start with a benefit rather than a series of features. Her content is suddenly so focused on her audience that she is able to look at them and joke that this really should be fun. We are hooked by this stage and remain so because she continues to focus on people rather than processes.
Lesson two: Prioritise your audience and the key message you want them to remember. Then use the facts as evidence in your argument.
HOW DID HER SCRIPT CHANGE HER DELIVERY?
It is next to impossible to deliver a bad script well – certainly after the first 30 seconds. Your audience will quickly see through you. Better content lends itself to calmer, more confident delivery. Our speaker in this video is still using notes – and she makes no secret about checking them. But that doesn’t matter. Her thoughts are now ordered, her message is clear and she instantly comes across with more authority. She uses a few simple techniques to improve her delivery:
1) Speaking slower gives her time to think. It gives us time to react to what she is saying. She’s giving a monologue, but in a much more conversational way.
2) She pauses regularly. This ‘white space’ creates impact. It provides her with a chance to check her notes. And it leaves us wanting to hear more.
3) She emphasises key words. This makes her sound much more engaged and convincing. This time she seems to believe in herself.
4) She smiles. Amazing what a difference that makes! And she looks at us. She uses her fingers to count to three – which is fine – but body language is about much more than using your hands. It’s about connecting with your audience and letting your expressions reflect the mood you are trying to create.
Lesson three: never forget that there is a seamless link between well thought-out content and impressive delivery
If you would like help writing or delivering a speech or presentation, please give us a call. This piece covers the basics, but we specialise in taking communication to a completely new level.