How to Rock Your Next Talk

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Image by Canva.com

One of the biggest challenges in giving live presentations and talks to people in active mobility is that you usually don't have the ability to take people for a walk, a bike ride, or a train trip physically to get them out of their own heads and experience their world anew actively - the way many of them would prefer. 

What you need to do is take them on an emotional journey instead.

That's what the rock stars of presentations do.

One of the best ways to really bring your audience along with you is to make sure that your presentation has a very clear through line.

What is a through line? It's the connecting theme that ties your presentation together. 

3 Questions to Clarify Your Presentation Through Line

1. What’s the “why” for your presentation?

2. What’s the big picture that your presentation is working to get across? 

3. What’s the transformative journey you want to take your audience on with you?

Paint the big picture first with these answers before going into super focused details and data. 

This is a very different approach than starting your presentation sharing your qualifications and data.

Consider this: Your audience doesn't care as much about your qualifications as you do. They're not looking to be impressed, they're looking to be inspired.

Throughout your presentation make sure to touch back on your through line enough so that the dots connect in your audience's mind. Think of it as your emotional touchstone.

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How to Start a Style Guide

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Creating a style guide is a crucial step in developing a unique, polished, memorable presence personally and for your organization's brand overall.

This is as important for non-profits and professional firms as it is for those who sell products.

But the idea of creating a style guide can feel overwhelming (see above) especially if you don't consider yourself creative.

And if you do consider yourself creative, you can worry it will be too restrictive.

The important thing to understand about creating a style guide is that it's a tool to help make your life much easier, not to make your life more challenging. 

A style guide doesn't need to be set in stone, and it can be rolled out in small steps to make it much easier to accomplish. 

Since this week's webinar is about creating powerful presentations let's look at what to include in a presentation style guide.

What is a Style Guide?

A style guide is a template that sets the parameters of what you'll use in your presentations to give them a consistent, polished look and feel.

Nothing looks less polished and is more jarring to your audience's eye and attention than a presentation that jumps all over the place in look and feel.

Here are the basics your presentation style guide should include:

>> Your presentation accompaniment of choice (PowerPoint, Prezi, other?).

>> Color palette for the background of the slides and any design elements (use colors that match or at least complement your company logo).

>> Size formatting for your slides (normal, wide, etc.).

>> Your 2 selected font types (more than that gets messing looking). This usually means one font for headlines and one for any body text.

>> The color choice of your fonts (again I'd stick to 2).

>> Size of fonts (keeping them above 36 points is smart for easy readability by your audience).

>> The types of images you'll use and how many per slide (use one, really, use just one, more than that gets confusing to the audience).

>> Where you'll put the title of your presentation after the first slide. 

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