Art and Science of Presentation Zen—the Garr Reynolds Way

Radiant Freedom is proud to present a post from a Special Guest Blogger, Ritu Guglani.

Ritu Guglani Are you, as a professional communicator, prepared to shorten your presentations at a moment’s notice? Constraints of time can actually become your friends in creating an impactful presentation.

To start with

To start preparing for your presentation, get away from your computer, find solitude, and put your ideas down in pen and paper. Staying away from technology somehow stimulates creativity. Remember, the idea is to craft a story that is most effective, appropriate and memorable for your audience.

To structure an impactful layout

Next, sketch out rough ideas in an analog form on pen and paper. Use post-it notes to get a sense of the structure, and always keep coming back to the key message. Now you can use your ideas to make your storyboard in the slide-sorter view in PowerPoint. Typically, one slide introduces the pain. The next three sections support the assertion and solve the pain.

Always ask yourself two questions:

  1. “What is my point?
  2. Why does it matter?”

The first question takes you to your key message, and the second makes it relevant to your audience. For your audience to care, you must weave in persuasion, emotion, and empathy to support a logical argument. Try to get your audience to remember just one thing.

To edit or not to edit

To keep things simple and concise, show no mercy to your ideas while editing. Arrange with your colleagues to do your proof-reading and editing, because it’s always handy to get a second set of eyes looking at the final product.

I was invited to a Child and Youth Committee to talk on the issue of flavoured tobacco and represent my employer as part of their tobacco control initiative. The presenter before me had sprawled herself over 40 minutes, and I was told to “wrap it up really quickly” by my team-lead. I had a leave-behind document that set me free from the pressure to squeeze in all information into a small presentation.

Practice makes perfect

Remember, everything must tie in with your key message. This is another constraint that stimulates creativity. If you have done a good measure of research and rehearsal, you know your presentation like the back of your hand, and confidence will automatically flow across your presentation.

Happy presenting!

I'd like to extend a special thanks to my guest blogger Ritu Guglani for contributing this great article! You can reach her on LinkdIn at:

Get Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery (2nd Edition) by Garr Reynolds Here

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