From Kindra Hall, writing for Inc.com:
Public speaking can feel overwhelming and maybe even terrifying, especially if you don’t do it often. Whether it is a simple presentation to just a few co-workers or a huge event to a ton of people and your career depends on it, the first instinct is usually panic.
However, because so many people are scared of speaking in front of a group, those who can give a solid presentation often garner additional recognition and respect. Mastering this one skill can make you a stand out among your colleagues and competition.
Here are four insider tips that can make you look like a pro the next time you get in front of a room:
1. Cut the deck.
The scenario: You’ve been asked to present. The next natural step is to “create your deck.” In an effort to make sure you don’t miss a single piece of information, you add slide after slide after slide after slide, each one a little more crowded than then one before it.
You’ve heard that too many slides is a bad thing, but are confident that doesn’t apply to you because yours are really organized — I mean, look at all those graphs.
This is the number one rookie mistake. Too many slides takes the focus away from where it should be–you, and the great ideas you’re sharing. It can also make you rely too heavily on the slides, which will make you boring.
Here’s the tip: Create the deck as you normally would, then cut it in half. Delete at least 50 percent of the slides. This will not only give your audience more time to process the content on each of them, it also gives you the opportunity to speak to the content more freely.
(NOTE FROM BRUCE HENNES: For my standard 1-hour crisis management presentation, I use just seven slides).
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