We're going to start with the most important part of any presentation - The story. Maria takes you through a process to get your ideas out and find a compelling start and end to your story.
- Distill into the important points.
- Create a story with beginning, middle, and end.
- The first and last sentences matter more than any other. Craft them. Memorize them.
- The story should leave someone able to accurately share your idea with a friend and really want to.
- Less is more: You can always say more later; you can never say less.
2 Visual slides.
Now, this lesson is about performance, not pitch decks, however if you feel like you want some guidances on your slides, Maria shows you a structure and some thoughts on the visuals of a good slide deck.
- Crisp statement (a sentence or two) on who you are and what you do.
- Compelling presentation of the problem.
- Big picture view of your solution and how it works with vivid examples.
- What you’ve done so far (delivery numbers/early results) and the meaningful impact.
- Vision of big possibilities and what you want the person in the audience to do next.
- Don’t bury the headline: Don’t be more than a minute into the presentation before you’re talking about your specific solution.
- The slides may be cues, but they’re not your notes.
- Keep your slides to one idea/few words per slide, 24-point font or bigger.
- Use large, high quality images (one per slide, full frame)
- Make your graphs so simple a 5th grader could understand it.
- Remember people will forget almost everything you say, what’s the one thing you’d like them to remember?
You've got your story and your slides ready to go, is it time to start pitching? No, first we need to rehearse. and rehearse, rehearse and rehearse. Maria shows you a method to make sure you're rehearsals are productive, but unfortunately there's no escaping how embarressed you'll feel.
- Make it look easy, make it look natural: that means rehearse, rehearse, rehearse (10x at least)!
- Record yourself presenting the idea.
- Be embarrassed.
- Work on the spots that trip you up consistently.
- Work on the transitions between ideas.
- Focus on your strong points - funny, warm quiet.
- Think about how fast you speak: Too fast and people won’t be able to keep up, too slow and people will drift off.
- Pick out jokes, ‘Ah-ha’ moments and learnings to focus on.
4 Warm up .
Now that you've written you're story and made your slides, and rehearsed the presentation, it's show time. Maria takes you through a quick set of exercises to warm up physically and mentally.
Warm up physically<./h3>
- Start by loosening up your legs.
- Drop your shoulders
- Shake out your hands.
- Relax your face.
Warm up mentally.
- Take a deep breath.
- Think about someone or something you want to embody in your performance..
Making a fool of yourself in public is everyone's biggest fear, but don't worry Maria shows you how to stay comfortable and give a strong performance, each and everytime with your amazing new presentation.
- Own the stage. You’ve practiced and prepared, now you can be fully present in the moment on stage (or even in a meeting).
- Be mindful of your nerves. It’s ok to be nervous but stand up straight and don't look at the ground.
- Start strong, either introducing yourself or jumping straight in if you were introduced.
- As you go, get a sense of the audience. Pick a few people to focus on. Safety and connection.
- Modulate your voice. Go higher and lower, louder and softer.
- Emotional support. Keep going!