CONTENT, DESIGN & DELIVERY
The three key elements of a good presentation are ‘Content’, ‘Design’ & ‘Delivery’. When working on my story, I clung to this order. Creating a clear structure for a product presentation is way easier than for a personal presentation. Structuring a personal presentation demands a different way of thinking. Therefore, I have jotted down my story over a 100 times before it turned out the way I wanted. While doing this, I mostly learned to keep things small; a big, extensive story can be beautiful, but it can be distracting, too. Your story must be guiding, because, eventually, the goal is to deliver your message clearly. Creating bridges from one part of the story to another is therefore crucial to make your audience understand what part of the storyline you’re referring to. Theoretically, I’ve known this for a long time, but I had to experience it again to be able to do this in the right way.
It wasn’t until my content was final that I started on the design for my presentation. It didn’t take me long to figure out that the concept of a TopTalk made delivering my story quite hard: timing a personal story in such a way that you can share it based on 30 seconds per slide without losing the matching emotions is a huge challenge. The design is supposed to be supportive, otherwise it can cause distraction. Eventually, I spent 3 full days on creating and developing the visuals. Three hilarious days, that is! I have been dying of laughter during the creative process and I owe this presentation full of passion and creativity mostly to my strategic partner, BKN Productions. It cost a lot of time, but the result has been more than worth it!
Last but not least, the ‘Delivery’ element, which is the element which makes people stress – including myself – out the most. Not only working on my story, but also delivering it, has led to an emotional rollercoaster. This made me incredibly nervous, since telling a personal story to 800 people isn’t quite the same as presenting your research or a new product. Something I caught myself doing – and something that a lot of people struggle with during presentations – is breathing irregularly. The effect that nerves can have… This again proves that the way you breathe is essential when giving a presentation. Try to compare presenting with being a professional athlete. Lots of professional athletes breathe in deep a couple of times before they have to perform. It doesn’t only help them control their nerves, it helps their body to absorb more oxygen, too. This way, they get a boost of energy the moment the starting signal sounds. Therefore, focusing on your breathing will allow you to perform better and give a killer presentation! Once again: practice makes perfect, even for me…