Tag Archives: presentations

Top Presentation Tips From SXSW

It’s been just over a week since I returned from South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) where – in addition to learning about the latest in social media strategies – I had the opportunity to attend dozens of presentations in a variety of formats. I learned a few new presentation tips and enjoyed some effective presentations that inspired me to share some helpful pointers.

Stories Beat PowerPoints Every Time

The Science of Storytelling | Leo Widrich via Flickr

The Science of Storytelling | Leo Widrich via Flickr

In a panel focused on the power of storytelling, neuroscientist Shonté Taylor noted that storytelling engages the right side (aka, the more creative side) of the brain. Specifically, she described how the body releases reward hormones such as dopamine when the right side of the brain is positively engaged, as can happen when a person is enjoying a great story. She went on to describe those reward hormones as “lighting up” the brain in a positive way, and left me with the point that if you light up the brains of your colleagues and customers, they’re going to remember you.

Reflecting on the various presentations I attended during SXSWi, the most memorable really did include great storytelling elements. Speakers from National Geographic and Outdoor Afro shared compelling stories and – often – images that took me beyond bullets on the screen. One week later and I can describe in detail the stories they told and the lessons they shared in a way that I cannot for other speakers who didn’t weave personal stories, images or testimonials into their presentations. Read more after the jump…

Successful Presentations: The TED Factor

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to be a part of the TEDxDU planning team and got hooked on TED Talks. As Depeche Mode once sang, “I just can’t get enough.”

But not all TED Talks are the same. Some posts have hundreds of viewers and others, millions. Is the content in some talks more compelling and pertinent to a wider audience? Maybe views are linked to speaker name recognition? Maybe it is the attractiveness of a speaker or his/her authoritative/expertise that attracts views/listeners? Ian Griffin breaks it down in an article in Professionally Speaking, via research by Science of People, as to why some talks are more popular than others.

The tips below are applicable to communication professionals, whether speaking to a large audience, holding a staff meeting, or conducting a media training session. Here are the “best of” TED habits we can all learn from according to Ian:

Read more after the jump…