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The Conversational Presentation

From time to time I see a presenter that just makes it look so easy – like they could be having a chat with you over dinner.

Here’s one example I saw that was posted onto Ted Talks the other day.  It’s  from Cynthia Breazeal, with a presentation called The Rise of Personal Robots.  Maybe you can watch this while reading some of my tips below:

Here are 5 notes on this presentation for you to think about:

1)  She’s conversational

As mentioned in the opening to this blog, Cynthia has a relaxed, effortless charm about her.  Where does that come from?  Well clearly she knows her subject matter well, and proudly.  She has a love for it, and says so – even from when she was a girl she was dreaming about robots helping her. This helps to move the conversation forward.

2)  She’s telling a story

A story has a beginning, some sort of chronological order (making them easy to follow), significant milestones and of course an end.  Stories are easy to remember – particularly if they are yours.  What’s your story and how can you infuse that into your next presentation to make it come to life for your audience?

3)  Her video adds variety and entertainment

Rather than telling you her story, sometimes she just shows you.  We get to see the robots come to life and interact with humans, and everything makes sense.  It’s a clever way to give the presenter a little break too.  Can you find a way to introduce video into your next presentation?  Again, if it’s part of your story it’s so much better, rather than some video “wedged in” for the sake of it!

4)  She keeps the slide words to a minimum

At 3:30 Cynthia has a point to make about robots and social technology.  Her point is that “Robots are a really intriguing social technology, where it’s actually their ability to push our social buttons and interact with us as a partner that is a core part of their functionality.”  Would that all fit on a slide?  Absolutely – in 14 point font.  However Cynthia knows that  putting loads of words on a slide is a terrible idea, so she keeps her slide simple:  ”Robots = social technology.”

5)  She does her homework

Cynthia does her homework.  Note at 8:05 she says that “In the United States today over 65% of people are overweight or obese”. The easier option is she might have simply said “loads of people”.  These details ARE noticed by audiences, and we like a well prepared, well researched presenter.

Speaking of being well prepared, we have helped over 3000 business people from all over the UK and Europe with our presentation skills training that helps to develop clear, memorable and persuasive presentations.  

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