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25 tips to improve your virtual and physical presentations

June 23, 2021

Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill and Anita Roddick are all recognised as outstanding leaders, not just because they made good decisions but because they motivated the people who followed them, especially when they took to the stage and airwaves.

With the current communication methods of Zoom throughout the pandemic, it may be the case that many of these great leaders may have had to communicate virtually!

Abraham Lincoln is recognised as an outstanding leader, the world over.

Motivation is complex and we are learning that it is not money but a sense of purpose that gets good people out of bed in the morning http://youtu.be/u6XAPnuFjJc. But no matter how worthy, challenging and dynamic the mission, if a leader fails to communicate their vision it’s unlikely that they will inspire a team.  When speaking, leaders must be authoritative, demonstrate trustworthiness and be persuasive; a powerful speech should  combine logic, emotion and credibility.

So when it’s your turn to stand up, present and be counted here are some tactics you can employ to win the hearts and minds of your audience:

1.  Research your audience
2.  Start by acknowledging the audience’s beliefs and concerns
3.  Share your own feelings
4.  Tell personal stories
5.  Modulate your voice
6.  Reinforce your views with confident gestures
7.  Use facts to support arguments
8.  Organise key points into pithy three-part lists
9.  Use metaphors, similes and analogies
10. Name and praise heroes in the audience
11. Repeat part of a phrase to build an argument – “I have a dream”, Martin Luther King, or “Yes we can”, Barak Obama
12. Employ rhythm – “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country”, John F Kennedy
13. Draw striking contrasts
14. Ask rhetorical questions
15. Set high but achievable goals
16. Convey confidence
17. Reference history
18. Use humour
19. Draw pictures with your words
20. Create a sense of urgency
21. Smile or frown occasionally
22. Look into the eyes of audience members
23. Express moral conviction
24. Pause to allow listeners time to reflect
25. Gradually build to a statement of personal conviction and a vision of a better future.

Put these tactics to the test by watching some of the highest rated TED Talks http://blog.ted.com/2012/08/21/the-20-most-watched-ted-talks-to-date/, whilst using this list to notice how the best speakers subtly employ these techniques.

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