Presentation Tips – Putting Together an Excellent Performance

I was once asked this question…

“Could anyone give me a few tips for an excellent performance at an academic foreign policy presentation next week?”

My advice to the requester:

1. Don’t put text on a PowerPoint slide

2. Use personal stories

3. Practice, practice, and practice

First, don’t use Microsoft’s PowerPoint for text.

I know, I know. Most of the business and educational world will tell you to put together a good PowerPoint presentation. I will suggest to you to put together a good Presentation. Then if must use PowerPoint, use it for visuals. Charts, tables, and photos. Visuals do three things, in order of importance.

Photos show a thing that cannot be adequately described or must be accurately recognized. Charts give the audience a visual comparison of numbers, allowing them to see the difference. Tables give the audience a visual representation of large groups of numbers. That’s what a PowerPoint slide is good for.

However, a good presentation is an intriguing weave of words that attracts, explains, and persuades your audience like reading a good book. Remember listening to someone tell you a good story? That’s how you should make your audience feel.

Use descriptive phrases and intriguing example stories. Pull the stories from your own life experiences, professional and personal. Use the stories that you share with your friends and family in informal settings. Chances are, you’ve told them many times already. Tie them in with points in your presentation.

Most importantly… practice, practice, PRACTICE. Any athlete can tell you that the ratio of time spent in practice is phenomenally large in comparison to time in the game. If the presentation is important to you and your career, give it the time needed for you to be confident, competent, and fully comfortable in practice.

This is a quick summary on what I consider to be some of the most important points in good presentation. There are many more, such as: using the singular you, using eye contact without scanning the audience, good use of pauses (many people fear the pause).

My best advice to you… Get some help and/or coaching before you need it. But you can still put together a good presentation right now. Good Luck!”

What are some of those resources? Check out some of my recommended links at my website. But I also like the World Champions Edge for continuous coaching by experts and peers. You call also use Toastmasters International for more continuous learning opportunities.

Do you have any suggestions for someone trying to put together a good presentation? Please let me know.

The Hybrid Approach & The Future of Work

What’s the future of work in the next few years? Well, it’s the hybrid model! In fact, the idea of adapting a flexible work environment has been under consideration for over a decade now.

But with the onslaught of COVID-19, employers have been forced to rewrite the rules — quickly. Now, organisations are rapidly introducing remote working and this has set the bar for the new status quo. Physical places will obviously never become obsolete. But the structure has to be redefined to fit the new future of work. And this is where a hybrid model comes in.

What is a Hybrid Model and How is it Beneficial for the Future of Work?

With the transformation of the physical workplace, we should be prepared to change our traditional expectations around the way and the hours we work. Employee experiences must evolve as organisations transit toward a more hybrid model. Neither can everyone work at the same time — whether it’s online or offline. They will rather work at a schedule optimised as per their own circumstances. Read More: Corporate Training Platform

The future of work will demand the perfect amalgamation of technology and humans. And this shift will positively impact companies in mainly three ways:

Employees Scattered in Different Locations Globally

With telework becoming a norm, several businesses will witness the upsides of flexible work policies. They will have the option to either be partially or fully remote. What does this entail? They can recruit employees across time zones, expanding their talent pool. Businesses who have implemented telework practises have discovered that they may save money on overhead, provide greater work-life balance to their employees, and hire from a growing pool of talent. They can also put the rent and cost savings towards staff retention. Read More: Online learning management system

Increase in Value-added Programs

Many firms have expanded their mental health and wellbeing offerings in innovative new ways as a result of the huge stress placed on employees during the pandemic. Some organisations, for example, provide monthly virtual team meditations led by prominent psychology experts.

Employees appreciate the flexibility of these programmes, which contain a clear commitment to the organization’s overall well-being. Leaders recognise that providing genuine support to their teams allows them to perform at their best, with additional resources accessible as required.

Minimisation of Environmental Impact

The present work culture has completely ditched the routine of five-day commutes in high-emission vehicles to and from the office. Many business visits have also been changed to virtual formats as a result of the broad use and growth of virtual events and conferences. This has resulted in a significant drop in corporate travel. Reduced high-emission travel is already a significant contribution to reducing climate change, and increasing use of remote work practises will bolster this trend. Read More: Corporate Learning

Conclusion: Incorporating a New Paradigm to the Future of Work

Many of the executives state that they are confused when they implement new hybrid work arrangements. But, in reality, this new era of hybrid work is the result of years of research. Although the tactics may be different than in the past, the markers of good teamwork will stay essentially unchanged. According to decades of research, the effective hybrid teams of the future of work will be defined by team design, launches, and coaching—in that order.

Designing E-Learning: It Is Much More Than a PowerPoint Presentation

E-Learning is now more than an emerging trend, it is the preferred way of learning for industries worldwide. Forward looking organizations are serious about training and L&D managers keep looking into the needs of the learners to create learner-centric e-learning solutions. To keep up with the increasing need, they also often employ e-learning services from external resources to cater to the ever changing and dynamic learner needs.

To make e-learning truly effective, it needs to be developed keeping the nature of technology-aided delivery in mind. So designing an e-learning course should not follow the same strategies as designing a PowerPoint Presentation. If the same strategies are followed to create custom e-learning, the result is bland and uninteresting. Furthermore, it fails the first and foremost objective of training – it fails to engage the learner and as a result fails to perform his or her job within expected standards. The solution is to treat e-learning development separately and create strategies that align to the strengths of self-paced learning.

In the absence of an instructor, custom e-learning courses cannot just have one word ‘pointers’ with no explanations. Even if there are space constraints, e-learning designers have to make sure that each point is well explained to aid novice learners. An impactful way of doing this is to utilize audio to describe concepts in detail without taking up too much screen space. While the visual impact of the screen remains intact with minimalistic text, audio provides suitable descriptors to help learners understand better.

To further aid the individual needs of the learners, the option of turning off the audio can be provided for expert learner who do not need explanations of the introductory concepts. To provide learner re-enforcements and a chance to revise the topics taught through the e-course, the audio script can also be provided as a downloadable resource. The learners can later refer to it to re-enforce learning as per their needs.

Images are a powerful way of communication in an e-course. But here too, keep in mind that only appropriate images should be utilized and enough space should be provided in each screen to create visual ‘relief’.

Diagrams and Tables are also useful in reducing the text in an e-course – and can be liberally added to e-learning just like a PowerPoint presentation. But the difference is that diagrams and tables have to suitably labeled or explained to create the intended impact on the learner. Complicated diagrams or detailed graphs can share a lot of information. But this information can also confuse or startle the learners – especially if they are new to the subject.

In addition, detailed documents can be provided along with all e-courses that can be used as a job-aid as well as easy reference from time to time. This provides the learners the opportunity to study the subject in detail – as per their own need and pace.

E-courses should also be accompanied by a detailed ‘Help’ file -that aids the learner go through the course without any hitch. At any point if they are stuck or want to take a detour in the course, the help document should give them the required information then and there. Many learners are not accustomed to the technology-aided platform and e-learning developers should keep that in mind and create provisions for them.
E-Learning is an impactful way of delivering training in the corporate sector. But it is impactful only when its strengths as well as weaknesses are suitably studied and understood. Treat e-learning like it is and reap its many benefits.