Monday, February 10, 2014

3 Keys to a Killer Presentation - pt. 3
Energy Management

Did you miss Part 1? CLICK HERE

Did you miss Part 2? CLICK HERE

We’ve talked about knowing your content and about your physical presence. The final key to be discussed for a killer presentation is energy management. I’m sure you’ve experienced the presenter who knows the material very well and is composed and professional but talks like a drone or displays a median level of energy that never changes. This can be killer in a presentation – and I don’t mean killer like in the title. It is another way to cause your listeners to tune you out, thereby not receiving your message.
It’s easy to vary your energy and mix it up. Look over your material and find a few spots where you could increase your pace a little bit, as well as find a few moments where you might slow down for emphasis. A strategic pause here or there is a great way to spice up the energy flow. Tone and volume can also be used in your favor. Is there an opportunity to be softer for a sentence ender? Louder is easy. Find a place or two to get louder without shouting. Unless the message is somber or very serious in nature, most importantly remember to smile every once in a while.
Variety is the key. A subtle change in energy every few minutes or when appropriate will act as a constant interrupter to the desensitizing dragon, whose goal is to distract and disengage your audience. Infuse your presentation with a shot of energy every now and then. A little periodic pulse of energy keeps the audience with you like a pacemaker does the heart. Change the frequency, intensity and regularity so even this won’t become monotonous. 
And if necessary, get out those paddles, rub them together, yell “CLEAR!” and jolt your audience with a burst of new or changed energy. Of course I mean all that figuratively. You want a killer presentation, not 10 years in Folsom.

With these three keys at your disposal – Content, Physical Presence and Energy Management, you can make any presentation work. If you are lacking in two or more areas, you've got your work cut out for you and your chances for a successful presentation are diminished, no matter how compelling your topic or story is and no matter how charismatic you are. The best news is that if your presentation is lacking in one area or another, you can still be successful. If the content of your presentation is especially compelling or dramatic, it probably doesn’t matter if you’re slouching, and energy management is more organic. Most often the case, though, is the material or content is not necessarily gold in your pocket. In many business or corporate situations, the need is to disseminate information – not necessarily information your audience is eager for and interested in, but information they need to absorb nonetheless. In these situations, how you deliver the information is crucial. Keep it moving, adjust the way and where you stand. Play with louder, softer, faster, slower. You' find you can still be successful, and your friends and co-workers will actually talk to you when you go to Chili's after work.

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