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8 secrets of successful presentation

Image credit: Medium

When you create a presentation, do you think about how to convey it to the audience and impress it? How to capture the attention of people, to carry your thoughts?
In order to determine the important principles of preparation and presentation, it worth paying attention to those, whose presentation was successful and remembered for a long time.
1. Don’t forget about a “wow” moment
In every single presentation, you should create a moment that will delight everyone, be remembered and cause discussions and questions. Such “moments” should be thought out in advance so that you can be delighted with your slides, website, press releases, and advertisements, and so on.
There should not be many of such moments, otherwise, listeners will get confused or simply will not remember any of them.

Steve Jobs with no doubt can be called a genius in matters of the presentation. He always carefully prepared for each of his performances, and each presentation was successful.

Wow-effect is what Jobs’s presentations are focused on. For example, in 2008, Jobs pulled out a MacBook Air laptop from a paper envelope to show everyone how thin it is. All came just excited, and the photo of this “moment” created a real sensation.

September 9, 2009, this “moment” was not a product at all. It was the appearance of Steve Jobs himself on the scene after a long absence due to illness. He told the audience that he had a liver transplant from a person who died in a car accident, and if it were not for such generosity on his part, he would not be standing in front of them.
2. Follow the “rule of three”
The “rule of three” is the main concept of writing texts. The human brain is able to store three or four “fragments” of information.

The “rule of three” became the most discussed topic. Ask yourself the question of what three things should your audience know? Not about twenty, but about three. In the written text (in the article, for example) you can discuss many topics. But during public presentations and discussions, it is better to follow the “rule of three”.

Steve Jobs, for example, knew this rule very well. His presentation almost always consisted of three parts.
In 2007, at Macworld, he presented “three revolutionary products”: an mp3 player, a telephone, and an Internet communicator. After he repeated the name of these products several times, Jobs made a statement — they all merged into one, iPhone.
3. Use “dancers”
Try not to come to the presentation without support. Introduce characters that play an important role in the presentation of the product. This technique works as social proof.

Do not be afraid to involve your audience in the process. For example, invite listeners to you to test your prototypes or products. Invite people to take part in the created scripts or processes. The person who tried and felt your invention, outcome or product, interacted with it, more likely will get a desire to learn more about it.

Jobs rarely conducted the entire presentation on his own. He usually surrounded himself with a support group. During one September presentation, he included: Vice President of Marketing Phil Schiller, iTunes Software Developer Jeff Robbin, and four other game developers. That evening, singer Norah Jones also performed on stage.

Of course, Norah Jones is unlikely to make a speech at your next presentation, but if you can present your project with a colleague (or client), then it’s better to do it that way.
4. Simplify numbers
It is difficult for the audience to immediately perceive large numbers. Make the numbers in the presentation more accessible. Translate them into understandable language.

Try not to leave numbers without comment, and always explain and clearly show, not only what these or other indicators mean, but how they will affect the future of the project, the company, and the whole world.

For example, during the introduction of the iPod in 2001, Jobs mentioned that this product has 5 GB of memory. What is 5 GB of memory? How to imagine them? Like a full glass? Or half a stadium? Jobs came out of this situation as follows: he said that this is enough for storing 1,000 songs.
In addition, he loved to impress. And for this, as well, it’s convenient to use numbers. For example, “iPad is selling every 3 seconds” or “Over a million iPhones sold”. Not bad, right? The most interesting thing is that such numbers are believed in the word. No one can check them, and speech creates an impressive, weighty effect.
5. Introduce heroes and villains
Every fairy tale has a positive and negative hero. In a well-planned presentation, a negative character should always be present. It’s a common enemy, thanks to which listeners can turn their views on the image of a positive hero. Your brand with your product is this very good character.

Steve Jobs was a great corporate “fairyteller.” He has been using this method since 1984 when Apple introduced its Macintosh. Then Jobs began his presentation with a story about IBM, the “blue giant,” who was obsessed with “world domination.” He said that only Apple can stand in its way. The audience, after these words, just exploded.
6. Think visually
Your presentations should always be simple and clear. Less text in a presentation can contribute to a better perception of the thought you want to convey. The human brain remembers only 10% of the information reproduced in audio format or written text. And 80% is perceived through visual images. This is much more than a half.

For example, when Jobs spoke about the popularity of the iTunes all over the world, there were 23 national flags of various countries on his slide, instead of their names. When it came to the first anniversary of the online store for iPhone applications, a slide with a cake appeared on the screen, in which there was one candle.

Psychologists call this approach “the rule of pictures”. This means that ideas are easier remembered when they are presented not only with the help of one text but also with the help of illustrations to it.
7. Create headlines like for social networks
Try to describe your product or idea with just a brief phrase that would be great for posts on social networks. Short, biting headlines work a lot better than spacious, blurry explanations. In addition, such things are remembered much better.

If you are unable to describe what you are doing with one sentence, then continue to work on it further. Drop the excess, leaving only the essence, only what can be imprinted in the memory of your audience.

Apple managed to make it so that their products were discussed by all the media. The thing is that the company itself wrote the headlines for them.
Now journalists can say that it was their work after all, but then why did hundreds of them write “The thinnest laptop in the world” when they described the MacBook Air? Because that’s how Steve Jobs called it and, in truth, it’s hard to come up with a better expression.

Jobs has always described a new product with a brief phrase that could easily fit in the limit of 140 characters on Twitter. What is an iPod — this is a thousand songs in your pocket. What is Genius Mix for iTunes — it’s like a DJ in your music library.
8. Sell dreams, not products.
In order for your work to be easy for you, you need to love it. It’s unlikely that your audience will love your products and ideas if you do not admire them yourself.

Steve Jobs very passionately wanted to change the world, and his passion was expressed in each of his presentations. Any of us can learn his special tricks of creating creative slides, but they will not cost anything if presented without passion and enthusiasm.

During the presentation of the iPod in 2001, Jobs said that music can change us, and Apple, in its own way, tried to change the world around. While many of us saw the music player, Jobs saw the opportunity to create a “better” world for its consumers. This is exactly the difference between Steve Jobs and the majority of failed managers — he sincerely wanted to change the world and was not afraid to talk about it.
Thus, feel confident in your sphere. When a person is confident in himself it is impossible not to believe. If you understands what you are talking about means that he is an expert, it means that you can buy from him what he offers.

When you prepare a presentation, be sure to review these tips. Using them can help you make your presentation memorable and vivid.
This article is written by Maxim Grozny on UX Collective: 8 secrets of successful presentation (with examples)
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