Whether you are gearing up for a presentation to your organization's board of directors, the media or potential donors, you'll want to hone your presentation skills and avoid a common mistake.Scott Schwertly, managing partner of Ethos3 (Nashville, TN), a company specializing in presentation design and training, divides presentations into three parts: content, design and delivery.While each plays a crucial role in a presentation, Schwertly says many people fail to pay enough attention to content — the message or narrative.“Many presenters like to focus on the design of their deck because it is fun and visual,” he explains. “And if they don't focus their time in that area, they like to fine‐tune their delivery, which is all about nonverbal behavior and what you look like onstage. Now, the unfortunate reality is that the first component, content, often gets neglected when it is the most important part of any presentation.”Schwertly offers three suggestions for ensuring strong content:Address no more than three main points. Anything beyond this will be forgotten.Make sure your information flows well and doesn't bounce around. It needs what he calls a “logical flow and structure.”Conclude with a strong call‐to‐action. Without this, your audience will not remember the information you shared.Because design and delivery are important as well, Schwertly offers tips for those areas of a presentation:Design:Use large visuals or photos instead of bullet points as he says visuals boost retention by 42 percent.Follow the rule of thirds and avoid centering material on your slides.Go beyond PowerPoint templates. Creating your own slide design encourages creativity.Delivery:Avoid overusing “vocal fry,” that low, creaky voice, and “uptalk,” the higher‐pitched end of speech.Learn and utilize techniques to reduce anxiety. For instance, Schwertly suggests trying the four‐by‐four breathing method. Inhale deeply for four seconds. Exhale deeply for four seconds. Repeat for one minute or until your nerves calm.Infuse more stories into your presentation. Doing so will boost your audience's memory.Source: Scott Schwertly, Managing Partner, Ethos3, Nashville, TN. Phone (615) 397‐8283. E‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.ethos3.com
Nonprofit Communications Report – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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