[BeRICHER13] Presentation Skills Handout

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    Board of European Students of TechnologyDate: 28 09- 2012 Training Interest Group Presentation Skills Handout 1 of25

    Training Interested Group beRICHER13

    [email protected]

    Presentation Skills

    beRICHER 13, Izmi r

    27th of September 5th of October 2012

    Performed by:

    Iustina Pop , LBG Bucharest

    [email protected]

    Anze Bizjan, LBG Ljubljana

    [email protected]

    mailto:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]
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    1 Introduction

    The statistics about public speaking show us that this activity is one of the biggest fears of people. The studies

    have shown that people have the following fears, ranked by intensity:

    1. The fear of public speaking2. The fear of death3. The fear of spiders4. The fear of darkness5. The fear of height6. The fear of people or social situations7. The fear of flying8. The fear of c opened spaces9. The fear of thunder and lightning10. The fear of narrow spaces

    The ability to present is one of the most important skills which we can have, because it helps us transmit the

    messages in a way that they are understood by the others in a correct way. Even if we are at school, in a BEST

    meeting, in a week-end chilling out with friends or at an interview we can demonstrate that we can make goodpresentations. At the same time we can make experiments and improve our presentation style. Nobody was born a

    successful presenter. There are some people for whom it is easier to learn to make excellent presentation, but

    everybody can be a successful presenter if they want to. The presentation ability needs to be educated, it requires a

    lot of ambition and practice.

    There are two aspects which have impact on a presentation, depending on the nature of their elements. The first

    aspect is represented by the usage of visual elements, voice, body language, structure of presentation, information

    transmitted and their quality. The second aspect refers to the capacity of an individual to stay calm in front of the


    2 Goals of the training

    The aim of the training is to present the aspects you should take into consideration when you have an oral

    presentation, even if it takes place at a meeting with a company or with the friends, or if you have a speech at a

    TED event, at a BEST meeting or at the university.

    The training is focused more on the control of the public speaking fears, body language, general advices, elements

    which help the audience receive the message in a correct and complex form. At the end of this material you will

    also find some tips and trick on how to improve the visual part of a presentation (PPT/ flipchart). More details can

    be found in the further reading sections.

    3 The fear of public speaking

    So what exactly are people afraid of when it comes to public speaking?

    1. Drying up or notbeing able to speak2. Your mind going blank - forgetting what you are talking about3. Having someone in the audience that knows more than you4. People noticing that you are nervous5. Having to run screaming from the room6. Looking foolish7. The presentation being so awful and embarrassing that your social/career relationships are forever ruined

    8. The impossible to answer question from Hell9. The audience talking over you or walking out10. Dying on stage( OK, so we made that up to make it up to 10 )

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    What can you do about this fear?

    Firstly, accept that you need fear. We wouldnt be here today if our ancestors didnt rely on this fear to survivebigger, stronger and fast predators. We dont have predators nowadays but our body still reacts as though we do

    (shaking knees, butterflies in the stomach, sweating palms and so on).

    3.1 Emotions

    When presenting you need a little anxiety as this will improve recall, raise energy levels and make for a more

    focused, dynamic speech. An overly laid-back speaker can easily bore!

    So you dont want too much anxiety and you dont want too much relaxation. You need enough tension to give

    you energy, and enough calmness for clear thinking and recall. You need the right balance.

    The fear has a pattern, which is the following:

    1) You have a presentation coming up.

    2) You think about it, imagining things going wrong and so feel anxious.

    3) Unknowingly, you build up an association between the thought of the speech and the feeling of fear.

    4) You go into the actual situation and get a fear response!

    Repeated often enough, this will cause the two to become very closely associated. This is negative mental

    rehearsal for the event. Not surprisingly, when you go into theactual situation you feel terrified!

    3.2 The benefits of emotions

    If anxiety doesnt exceed some certain limits, then it can be beneficial for a presentation, for the following

    reasons: Activates adrenaline supply Makes eyes shine Puts the edge on the presentation Creates an atmosphere with a bit of a drama A sign that you are alive A sign that your audience is important for you

    3.3 How can emotions affect a presentation

    When anxiety is reaching high levels, we lose the control on the way we present ourselves, on the quality andcontent of the presentation.

    The negative effect of anxiety can be noticed in the following reactions:

    Voice shaking


    Looking at the walls, on the floor, on the slides

    Hand shaking

    Walking from one side of the other of the scene

    The emotions control us and shadow our abilities and knowledge. Moreover, the audience might feel the emotions

    of the presenter and will focus on that, rather than on the content. Nervousness and anxiety of a speaker can make

    the participants nervous as well, or even bore them.

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    3.4 Advice

    Dont fight the anxiety, accept it as a positive influence.

    There are several steps of tricks to use to overcome the fear of making a mistake or looking foolish when you

    speak to a group:

    1. Be well-prepared before speaking to a group2. Practice your speech3. Have a backup, in case you forget what you want to say4. Reduce the fear of your audience5. Relax yourself just before you speak

    3.4.1 Be ready

    Leave nothing to chancechances of failure or goof-ups are greatly reduced

    The 9 Ps rule :

    Prior Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance of the Person Putting on the Presentation

    Know your material

    Create a picturesque presentation map, a visual description of what your main topics are andhow they are connected to each other. Memorize the picture. It is easier to memorize pictures

    than words.

    Do not learn your script by heart. At most learn some important keywords by heart.

    Memorize the first and the last part of your presentation. Its a psychological known fact thatwhen you know well how to start and end you will feel more confident. Dont learn everything

    by heart!!!

    Know the audience

    You can use the A.U.D.I.E.N.C.E Analysis:

    Analysiswho are they? How many will be there?UnderstandingWhat is their knowledge on the subject?

    DemographicsWhat is their age, sex, educational background?

    InterestWhy are they there? Who asked them to be there?

    EnvironmentWhere will I stand? Can they all hear and see me?

    NeedsWhat are their needs? What are your needs as the speaker?

    CustomizedWhat specific needs do you need to address?

    ExpectationsWhat do they expect to learn or hear from you?

    Know the conditions under which you will speak

    (You can read more about what to look after in the Preparation and Visual Aids sect ions.)

    3.4.2 Practice

    You should practice your speech many times before you give it. Even if you know the material very well,the more you give a talk, the more automatic it becomes and you gain more confidence

    Practice alonesay the speech out loud, it is good to get the material ingrained in your memory

    Use a mirrorthis way you get an idea of how you look when speaking. If you must refer to notes, itallows you to practice eye contact with the audience

    Stand in the cornerSay your speech while standing in the corner. The sound reflects back to you, and

    you can get an idea of how you sound when you speak.

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    Record your practiceuse a camera or a tape recorder. This forces you to avoid pausing to try toremember things. It allows you to play the presentation back and study how you move, how you sound,

    your timing, your phrasing, and the content of the material.

    Use your friendspractice in front of them. It is a very important way to practice, because its gettingcloser to the "real world. Even an audience of one person is good for this type of practice

    3.4.3 Have a backup

    Bring along a security blanket or safety net in case something goes wrong

    Outlineits good to have your presentation outlined on small cards. You can refer to them in case youforget something. It is acceptable to an audience, as long as you are not reading everything word-for-

    word from a script

    Reduces anxiety about forgetting what you were going to say or having your mind go blank. You maynever use the cards, but the fact that you have themjust in casecan reduce the butterflies

    (Check also the Eye Contact section.)

    3.4.4 Reduce fear of your audience

    The more important the audience or the occasion, the greater your fear can be. You dont want to look like a foolin front of the bosses at work, your peers, or even your friends and relatives.

    Not that importantone method to overcome is to visualise the people as not all that important. Anold trick is to imagine that the audience is naked. President Franklin D. Roosevelt visualised his

    audience on the porch, at the dinner tableit created a feeling of intimacy and trust.

    IndividualsVisualise your audience as individuals, not a mass of people. Imagine that the onlyperson listening is your best friend. Your audience listens to you as one person at a time, so speak to

    them as individuals, never as a group. Create a prototype audience member and make up a story

    about his life, his problems, and his needs.

    Use positive approachthey are on your side. They want to hear what you have to say and to seeyou do well. They are not there to see you fail.

    3.4.5 Relax before speaking

    While you are waiting for your presentation on the spot do some simple unnoticeable exercises to increase yourblood circulation.

    Take a brisk walk. Walk about 5 minutes around the block, or at least outside the meeting room. Itwill loosen up your body and prevent later on from knee shaking. It also burns off excessive

    nervousness and gives both physically and mentally a feeling of moving forward.

    Dont sit with your legs crossed before the presentation. One of your legs may go to sleep and willnot function when you have to stand up fast. Keep both feet on the floor, lean a bit forward while

    sitting and exercise your legs by wiggling your toes. (Nobody will realize it).

    While you are sitting let your arms dangle at your sides. Let your arms just hang there. Make believe

    that your fingers and arms are supported by the carpet. Twirl your wrists so that your fingers shake loosely. Just be gentle. Slowly you are shaking the stress

    out of them.

    Pretend that you are wearing an overcoat and you can feel it resting on your shoulders. Shouldershunch up when you are cold or nervous, making your whole body feeling tense. This imaginary

    heavy coat will make them relaxed.

    Waggle your jaw back and forth 34 times. It will protect you from the tight jaw syndrome. Ifyou hear your bones grinding probably you are tense.

    Do the old trick: deep breathing. When you inhale, your stomach goes out; when you exhale yourstomach comes in. Find a good ventilated spot and do this exercise for two minutes.

    Say let go. Say to your brain, nerves, muscles, and arterial system to ease off and let go.

    Design a warm-up routine (e.g. like the one above) that suits for you the best and follow it rigorously each time.

    The secret is to have always the same routine.

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    4 Body Language

    4.1 VoiceYour voice has the following features that will be described below:

    Volume is how loud the sound is. The goal is to be heard without shouting. Do not mumble, orwhisper. (Even if you dont want your audience to hear it they will.) Also, dont speak while

    writing on the flipchart.

    Tone is the characteristics of a sound. (eg. An airplane has a total different sound than leaves beingrustled by the wind)

    Pitch describes how high or how low a note is. Paceis how long a sound lasts. Talking too fast causes the words and syllables to be short, while

    talking slowly lengthens them. People on average talk 120 words per minute. The human brain can

    interpret words up to the speed of 480 words per minute.

    Colour is the richness of a voice, some people have e.g. a warm voice

    You can improve the way you are using your voice in a presentation, in the following way:

    When presenting

    Avoid being monotone Intonation: increase, decrease. Avoid using jargon, abbreviations, foreign words Use appropriate speed, pauses (not in the middle of a sentence), and articulation. Silence for 10sec. is OK, sometimes even good. New thought, new pitchvary your pitch to convey a new point r message Dont read, no excuses

    For improving Record your voice on an audiotape. Play it back. Listen to it. Try to describe it. Watch for stop words like the you know, eeeeers and ands. Make three resolutions on improvement. Record and listen again. Look after your voice!Drink plenty of water the night beforeavoid red wine and cheese and

    anything with caffeine

    4.2 Eye contact

    Eye contact is the cement that binds together speakers and their audiences. It is the best and easiest way to keep in

    touch with your audience and to get feedback from them while presenting. Eye contact makes the speakingsituation a two-way communication process. While you are talking, your listeners are responding with their ownnon-verbal messages. Use your eyes to seek out this valuable feedback. It will tell you if they are interested,

    bored, tired, need a break.

    Good eye contact is not a matter of how long you look into someones eyes. It is a matter of punctuation.It is a

    registration of an idea, phrase, or even a word, by the continuous linking up of the eyes.

    Look into the eyes; if you dont dare to look into the eyes look between the eyes Dont look at the floor, the ceiling, outside, Look at everybody:

    o If your audience is big: divide in parts and look at the centre of every parto Dont forget the sides when participants are sitting in a U-shape!!

    Look long enough: not just 1 second per person Maintain eye contact throughout your whole presentation Select one person at the beginninga friend, or a friendly faceand use him/her as a start-up point. Look more or less 5 seconds in peoples eyes.

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    The following elements harm the eye contact:

    Too much light. You are standing on a stage and a reflector points at you. You are too far from your audience. Hand-out. Think twice before you give them away during your presentation. Cocktail Party Eyes Your eyes tell your audience that you are not interested in them and wish to

    be somewhere else.

    There are 2 ways in which you can improve the eye contact:

    Be very well prepared. Be the master of your material. This will give you confidence and will showin your eyes.


    You can also control peoples gaze...

    Research shows that of the information relayed to a persons brain, 87% comes via the eyes, 9% via the ears, and

    4% via the other senses. While you are delivering a presentation or a training, if, for example, the person is

    looking at your visual aid as you are speaking, he will absorb as little as 9% of your message if your message is

    not directly related to what he sees. If the message is related to the visual aid, he will absorb only 25-30% of your

    message if he is looking at the visual aid. To maintain maximum control of his gaze, use a pen or a pointer to

    point to the visual aid and at the same time verbalize what he sees. Next, lift the pen from the visual aid and holdit between his eyes and your own eyes. This has the magnetic effect of lifting his head so that he is looking at youreyes and now he sees and hears what you are saying, thus achieving maximum absorption of your message. Be

    sure that the palm of your other hand is visible when you are speaking.

    4.3 Gestures

    Gestures are reflections of the speakers personality. Whats right for one speaker may not be for another. Here

    are some guidelines to help you become a dynamic effective speaker.

    1. Respond naturally to what you think, feel and seeDont inhibit your impulse to gesture, you willprobably become tense

    2. Create the conditions for gesturing, not the gesture When you speak you should be totally involvedin communicatingnot thinking about your hands. Tour gestures should be motivated by the content

    of your presentation.

    3. Suit the action to the word and the occasionYour visual and verbal messages must function aspartners in communicating the same thought or feeling. Every gesture you make should be purposeful

    and reflective of your words or the audience will note the effect, not the gesture itself.

    4. Make your gestures convincingYour gestures should be lively and distinct if they are to convey theintended impressions. Effective gestures are vigorous enough to be convincing yet slow enough and

    broad enough to be clearly visible without being overpowering.

    5. Make natural, spontaneous gesturing a habitthe first step is to determine what, if anything, you aredoing now. Hands often reflect the nervousness of the speaker. Heres a method to overcome on that:

    Record a presentation on video or ask a friend to watch you

    Get feedback only on your hand gestures.

    Take two heavy books (dictionaries) into each of your hands.

    Repeat the presentation. The gestures you see now are the real ones. The rest is nervousnessand should be eliminated.

    StandingPresentations are delivered standing.

    Stand unsupported, dont lean on a table or a wall, Dont hide behind table, flipchart easel, even avoid using lecterns. Before you start your presentation spot the place where you will stand. Keep your both feet on the

    ground while sitting. Stand up fast and go to the place quickly, this will show confidence.

    Pay attention not to stand in front of visuals. You can have a strong position: standing on 1 place, not or very little moving with the legs. Theenergy and focus is concentrated on the upper part of the body (face and hands), be sure to use them

    in a good way.

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    You can have a free walk: moving around naturally. Be careful not to move too much and to movein a good way (not up and down, dont turn around, )

    Posture and body orientation

    Turn towards the audience. Always face the audience. Dont speak while writing on a flipchart. Try to write on a flipchart while you are standing beside it.

    You can ask someone else to write on the flipchart if necessary.

    Hands and arms not crossed. Crossed arms or hands are a sign of being closed, not crossed armsshow openness, confidence.


    Never move without a reason

    Moving your body in a controlled, purposeful manner creates three benefits:

    1. Supports and reinforces what you say

    2. Attracts an audiences attention

    3. Burns up nervous energy and relieves physical tension

    The eye is inevitably attracted to a moving object, so any body movement you make during a speech invites

    attention. Too much movement, even the right kind, can become distracting to an audience. Bear in mind thefollowing types of body movement:

    Stepping forward during a speech suggest you are arriving at an important point

    Stepping backward indicates youve concluded an idea and want the audience to relax for a moment

    Lateral movement implies a transitional action; it indicates you are leaving one thought and takingup another.

    The final reason for body movement is the easiest; to get from one place to another. In almost every speaking

    situation you must walk from the location you are addressing your audience to your props, especially if you areusing visual aids. Always change positions by leading with the foot nearest your destination.

    Use three positions with visual aids. Your home position is front and centre. The other two positions should be

    relatively near the home position. You can move to the right of th e lectern and then to the left. Using and

    varying these three positions prevents you from favouring one side of the audience. If you are speaking on stage,

    these three positions are called front centre, stage left and stage right. Never stand in front of any visual aid.


    Moving, changing places keeps the attention up. Dont start marching up and down if not necessary Your walk should show confidence. Find the right place. Not too slow, not too fast.

    Use your arms and hands; never leave them in your pockets. Support your speech by using your arms and hands: show enthusiasm, support words but be careful

    for contradictory signs (e.g. saying high but showing low)

    5 Transmitting the message

    What makes some presentation last longer in your mind when attending them? How comes some ideas seem more

    memorable and others utterly forgettable?

    It seems that some ideas seem to stick while most fades away.

    Throughout their seemingly diverse researches, the Heath brothers found and explained simply what makes ideassticky and have identified 6 key principles they all seem to share: simple, unexpected, concrete, credible,

    emotional and stories.

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    We will discover them and how to make use of them while designing our presentation message.

    Simple: If everything is important, then nothing is important. If everything is a priority, then nothingis a priority. You must be ruthless in your efforts to simplify, not dumb down, your message to its

    absolute core. Find the single most important thing and share it.

    Every idea can be reduced to its bare essential meaning, if you work hard enough. For your presentation, what's

    the key point? What's the core? Why does (or should) it matter?

    Unexpected: Surprise people! Surprise will get their interest. But to sustain their interest, you haveto stimulate their curiosity. The best way to do that is to pose questions or open holes in people's

    knowledge and then fill those holes.

    Then hold attention Make the audience aware, raise their interest, that they have a gap in their knowledge

    and then fill that gap with the answers to the puzzle (or guide them to the answers). Take people on a journey.

    Concrete: Use natural speech and give real examples with real things, not abstractions. Speak ofconcrete images, not of vague notions. By being practical, help people understandand remember.

    Proverbs are good at reducing abstract concepts to concrete, simple, but powerful and memorable language. For

    example, the expression "kill two birds with one stone" is more concrete than saying something like "let's work

    toward maximizing our productivity by increasing efficiency across many departments, etc." And the phrase "...goto the moon and back" by JFK (and Ralph Kramden before him)? Now that's concrete. You can visualize that.

    Credible:Your presentation has to make your audience believein and agreewith your message.If you are famous in your field, you may have built-in credibility(but even that does not go as far as it used to).

    During your presentation you can use convincing details, present situations everybody could face and overcome

    using your message, testable credentials.

    If you have to use statistics, make them accessible and practical. Most of the time, they support the message,

    theyre not the message.

    Emotional:People are emotional beings. It is not enough to take people through a laundry list oftalking points and information on your slidesyou must make them feelsomething. Your message

    should make people care. You can use the power of association to build your message more clearly

    in your audiences schema of the world.

    By an appeal to individual self-interest or group identity you canmake them adhereto your message and act

    according to it.

    Stories. We tell stories all day long. It 's how humans have always communicated. We tell storieswith our words and even with our art and music. We express ourselves through the stories we share.

    We teach, we learn, and we grow through stories.

    Stories get our attentionand are easier to rememberthan lists of rules. People love Hollywood, Bollywood,

    How I met your mothers, and numerous other films and series. People are attracted to "story."

    Your presentation should make people act. Stories are the simulation of an action; you tell people how to act.You can also make it an inspiration by providing to your audience the energy to act.

    When designing the content of your message, use what sticks... and make your audience Pay attention (Unexpected) Understand and remember (Concrete) Believe and agree (Credible) Care (Emotional) Act (Story)

    Simplicity helps at many stages and, most important, it tells you what to say.

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    6 Visuals

    In the following sections, you will discover seven interconnected design principles that are fundamental to goodslide design.

    Signal vs. Noise Ratio and Picture Superiority Effect are concepts regarding the management of visual elements

    but with practical applications to slide design. Empty Space helps us look at slides in a different way andappreciate the power of what is not included to make visual messages stronger.

    Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, and Proximity are basic design principles dealing with the arrangement within

    the slide and how visually clear the message is.

    6.1 Signal vs. noise

    The Signal-to-Noise Ratio(SNR) is a principle borrowed from technical fields such as radio communications and

    electronic communication in general, but the principle itself is applicable to design and communication problems

    in virtually any field. For our purposes, the SNR is the ratio of relevant to irrelevant informationin a slide orother display. The goal is to have the highest signal-to-noise ratio possible in your slides.

    Degradation to the visual message can occur in many ways, such as with the selection of inappropriate charts or

    background, using ambiguous labels and icons, or unnecessarily emphasizing items such as lines, shapes,

    symbols, and logos that do not play a key role in support of the message.

    In other words, if the item can be removed without compromising the visual message, then strong consideration

    should be given to minimizing the element or removing it altogether. For example, lines in grids or tables can

    often be made quite thin, lightened, or even removed. And footers and logos, etc. can usually be removed with

    good results (assuming your organisation "allows" you to do so).

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    6.2 Picture Superiority Effect

    The picture superiority effect says that pictures are remembered better than words, especially when people arecasually exposed to the information and the exposure is for a very limited time. When information recall is

    measured just after exposure to a series of pictures or a series of words, the recall for pictures and words is about

    equal. However, the picture superiority effect applies when the time after exposure is more than 30 seconds,

    according to research cited in Universal Principles of Design (Rockport Publishers). Use the picture superiority

    effect to improve the recognitionand recall of key information.

    Use pictures and words together, and ensure that they reinforce the same informationfor optimal effect," say

    the authors Lidwell, Holden, and Butler. The effect is strongest when the pictures represent common, concrete


    Images are a powerful and natural way for humans to communicate. We are hardwired for understanding imagesand using images to communicate. There seems to be something inside of useven from a very young agethat

    yearns to draw or otherwise show the ideas in our head through imagery (drawings, paintings, photography, etc.).

    Here is a real case study where you can see a few slides demonstrating different visual treatments in support of a

    single message. The context is a presentation on gender and labour issues in Japan. The purpose of the slide was

    to support visually the claim that "72% of the part-time workers in Japan are women." This statistic is from theJapanese Ministry of Labour. The figure "72%" is something the presenter said she wanted the audience to

    remember as it was discussed again as the presentation progressed. The full version can be seen in the book

    Presentation Zen listed at the end of this hand-out.

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    ABOVE The four slides above are different treatments of the some message. Any of these slides would also work

    to complement the presenter's narration. (Notice that the slides featuring only the "72%" figure would be virtually

    meaningless without the presenter's narration.)

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    6.2.1 Where can you get good images?

    Here are a few sites that offer free images

    Stock.xchng (www.sxc.hu) Morgue File (www.morguefile.com) Flickr Creative Commons Pool (www.flickr.com/creativecommons) Image After (www.imageafter.com)

    Everystockphoto search engine (www.everystockphoto.com)

    6.3 Empty spaceEmpty space (also called negative space or white space) is a concept that is supremely simple, yet the most

    difficult for people to apply. Whether people are designing a document or a slide, the urge to fill empty areas with

    more elements is just too great. One of the biggest mistakes that people make with presentation slides is to

    seemingly use every centimetre of space on a page, filling it up with text, boxes, clip art, charts, footers, and the

    ubiquitous company logo.

    Empty space has a purpose. But those new to design may only see the positive elements, such as text or a graphic,

    without ever "seeing" the empty space and using that space to make the design more compelling. It is the empty

    space that gives a design airand lets the positive elements breathe. If it were true that empty space in a design

    such as a slide were "wasted space," then it would make sense to want to remove such waste. However, empty

    space in a design is not "nothing," it is indeed a powerful "something," which implies mastering, elegance, clarityand gives the few elements on your slide their power.

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    6.3.1 Directing the eye with images

    Images can be used to help guide your viewer's eyes through a slide to the most important elements. If you use

    images of people, be careful not to have these images unintentionally guide your viewer's eyes away from what

    you want them to see. For example, if the text element (or chart) is the highest priority, it is important not to have

    images of people looking in the opposite direction from those elements.

    6.3.2 Balance

    Balance in a design is important, and one way to achieve good balance and clarity with a design is through the

    intelligent use of "empty space." A well-balanced design has a clear, single, unified message. A well-designed

    slide has a clear starting point and guides the viewer through the design. The viewer should never have to "think"

    about where to look.

    Empty space can be dynamic and active through careful placement of positive elements. Conscious use of empty

    space can even bring motion to your design. If you want to bring a more dynamic feel and interest to your slide

    design, then consider using an asymmetrical design. Asymmetrical designs activate empty space and make your

    design more interesting. Asymmetrical designs are more informal and are dynamic, with a variety of sizes and


    Symmetrical designs have a strong emphasis along a central vertical axis. Symmetrical balance is vertically

    centred and is equivalent on both sides. Symmetrical designs are more static than asymmetrical designs and evoke

    feelings of formality or stability. There is nothing wrong with centred, symmetrical designs, although empty space

    in such designs is generally passive and pushed to the side.

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    6.4 ContrastAudiences need contrast. Viewers immediately perceive the difference between the attributes of two or more

    things, and this focuses their attention. There are many ways to create contrast on a slide; here are some examples:

    Contrast is one of the most powerful design concepts of them all because really any design element can be

    contrasted with another. Making use of contrast can help you create a design in which one item is clearly

    dominant. Designs with strong contrast attract interest, and help the viewer make sense of the visual. Weak

    contrast is not only boring, but it can be confusing.

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    6.5 RepetitionThe principle of repetition simply means the reusing of the same or similar elements throughout your design.Repetition of certain design elements in a slide or among a deck of slides will bring a clear sense of unity,

    consistency, and cohesiveness. Where contrast is about showing differences, repetition is about subtly using

    elements to make sure the design is viewed as being part of a larger whole. If you use a stock template from your

    software application, then repetition is already built into your slides. For example, a consistent background and

    consistent use of type adds unity across a deck of slides.

    The audience should sense that the information belongs together.

    6.6 Alignment

    The whole point of the alignment principle is that nothing in your slide design should look as if it were placed

    there randomly. Every element is connected visually via an invisible line. Where repetition is more concerned

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    with elements across a deck of slides, alignment is about obtaining unity among elements of a single slide. Even

    elements that are quite far apart on a slide should have a visual connection, something that is easier to achieve

    with the use of grids. When you place elements on a slide, try to align them with another element.

    6.6.1 The rule of thirds

    The rule of thirds is a basic technique that photographers learn for framing their shots.

    Subjects placed exactly in the middle can often make for an uninteresting photo. A viewfinder can be divided bylinesreal or just imaginedso that you have four intersecting lines or crossing points and nine boxes that

    resemble a tic-tac-toe board.

    These four crossing points (also called "power points") are areas you might place your main subject, rather than in

    the centre.

    Here below you can see five samples of simple slides in

    which elements were arranged with the help of the "rule of

    thirds" grid (you can easily create your own using the

    guides in Keynote or PowerPoint). The rule of thirds is not

    a rule at all, it is only a guideline. But it is a very useful

    guideline to use when you are aiming to achieve a

    balanced look.

    You'll also notice that the images themselves have pretty

    good "rule of third" proportions. The iStockphoto images

    were chosen in part based on the photo's proportions andhow the image guided the eye and contained empty space

    for text or other design elements. (Images used for the

    slides on this page are from iStockphoto.com.)

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    6.7 ProximityWhen more than a single element or person appears in a scene, their placement relative to each other tells a

    secondary story to the image itself. Haphazardly placed elements can leave an impression different than the one


    6.7.1 Space Proximity

    You should place elements associated with each other intentionally. Leave nothing to chance. How the objects are

    assembled communicates antagonism or protagonism, chaos or order, decline or growth, and so on. Ultimately,

    your goal is to pre-empt the audience from making unintended interpretations.

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    6.7.2 People Proximity

    In the theatre, directors position actors on stage in support of the story. For instance, consider the different

    placement of people in the following frames. Each placement takes on meaning, even without context or

    knowledge of the narrative of which they might be a part. The following concepts were inspired by Robert Horns

    seminal work, Visual Language.

    6.8 Displaying dataWhen it comes to displaying data in your presentation, you must adhere to one principle above all others: clarity.

    Projecting your data on a slide puts you at an immediate disadvantage to printing it in a white paper or scientific

    text. In a presentation, the audience doesnt have the benefit of being able to pull your data in close to examine it.

    So it is absolutely crucial that any data in your presentation carries with it a clear message. And you can keep that

    message clear by remembering this one fact:

    Data slides are not really about the data. They are about the meaning of the data.

    The problem is that, most of the time, slides arent a good medium for showing complex data. When its important

    for your audience to examine the data and come to their own conclusions, you should distribute the data as a


    A cluttered or overwhelming data slide can derail even the most compelling speaker, so only show data in your

    presentation if the data helps you better illustrate your conclusions. And be sure to display it in a way that the

    audience can absorb easily (even from the cheap seats). Use the following five principles to present your data inthe clearest possible way:

    1. Tell the truth

    2. Get to the point

    3. Pick the right tool for the job

    4. Highlight what is important

    5. Keep it simple6.8.1 Tell the truth

    As a presenter, nothing commands like credibility. This is especially true when it comes to presenting data.

    Though its unlikely that all the data can be clearly depicted on a single slide, successful presenters treat the data

    they do show with absolute integrity.

    Additionally, be prepared to provide access to the complete data set, if requested, and be ready to answer

    questions about your conclusions.

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    6.8.2 Getting to the point

    To communicate your data effectively, you first must articulate the conclusions you want your audience to adopt.

    Begin by asking yourself, What would I like them to remember about this data? Usually, this will be a point

    about causality, such as the conditions that led to the results in your data, or the future conditions that the data

    most likely will create. Whatever the cause, you need to draw some kind of meaning from the data so that you caneffectively express that meaning to your audience.

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    6.8.3 Picking the right tool for the job

    Now that you know which results you want to display, youll need to choose the most appropriate tool fordisplaying your data. The most frequently used graphs for business communications are pie, bar, and line graphs.

    Sometimes though, the best chart is no chart at all. If you only have one key message for your slide or the big

    message is just a number, why bother putting it in a chart? You could possibly increase the impact of your slide by

    eliminating the chart altogether. But which slide is more effective at comparing pet preferences?

    6.8.4 Highlighting what is important

    Design rules for showing data on slides differ from the rules of displaying data on paper or through other media.

    Keep in mind that the purpose of slidesis not to show all the data, but to communicate conclusions and

    insights. Slides can reference your hand-out for the dense data. Think of a data chart in three layers. Background

    The background layer contains elements like tick marks, scales, legends, and grid lines. It provides context, scale,

    and reference for the data. Backgrounds should employ neutral colours. Data

    The data plotted on the slide is usually pulled from a data table. Data can be expressed through various chart

    types. Whatever the type, a chart should provide enough contrast to allow the audience to clearly distinguishinformation at a distance without straining. Emphasis

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    The emphasis layer exists in the foreground and clearly highlights the key message from the data that is most

    important to your overall message for the slide. This concept might be a data point thats emphasized or a

    conclusion from the data.

    6.8.5 Keep it Simple

    Save the decorations for the holidays. A common theme throughout this part has been the idea of simplicity, so it

    should come as no surprise that simplicity is important when displaying data for projection. In fact, simplicity is

    more important when displaying data, since the data itself can often confuse the viewer. Its equally critical tokeep your data slides free of unnecessary clutter.

    7 Conclusion: how to adapt our presentation


    There are many ways in which you can improve your presentation skills, it all needs a lot of practice. You can usethe following techniques:

    Ask feedback for your presentations

    Take a look at videos on YouTube, TED

    Rrecord yourself and analyse your presentation style

    Go to live presentations of the VIPs or successful people

    Use every opportunity to make a presentation Improve our self-confidence

    Think of emotions and anxiety as beneficial elements which can boost your performance

    Learn to improvise

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    Read articles

    Practice, practice, practice

    8 Outcomes of the group activities you had in the


    8.1.1 How to give/receive feedback

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    8.1.2 Body language during company meetings:

    9 References

    1. Presentation skills training, TRAP 14 by , Herve Tunga, Tomasz Szreder

    10 Further reading

    1. Preparing yourself for Public Speaking: http://www.samuilifecoaching.com/wp-content//preparation-public-speaking.pdf

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    2. http://people.engr.ncsu.edu/txie/publications/oral_presentation_skills.pdf

    3. Steve Jobs presentation of Mackbook Air in San Francisco 2008:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIV6peKMj9M

    4. http://www.public-speaking.org

    5. Prezentation Zen