7 Speaking Trends — How to Make a Powerful Presentation Today

The fundamentals of a great speech stay the same. (Develop one strong idea. Focus on the audience. Be authentic, clear, and committed.) But styles change with time. These are the latest trends in speeches and presentations.

1. Keep it Short

People want information, but they’re already overwhelmed by too much information. If you give them what they need to know in a way they can quickly understand and apply, they’ll love you. Get to the heart of the matter in as few words as possible. Say what you have to say. And stop speaking — even if you haven’t spoken for the allotted time.

2. Let’s Get Personal.

In this age of Oprah, interactive websites, and blogs, formal presentations are out. Instead, savvy speakers are speaking conversationally. They’re less likely to “make a speech,” more likely to talk to their audiences. They move away from podiums. They use personal stories and anecdotes. They say I and you, we and us. They encourage audience interaction.

3. Simple Is Chic.

Sophisticated technology is simple — at least for the end user. A point-and-shoot camera takes in all sorts of data and makes innumerable, complex calculations so you don’t have to. Successful speakers do the same thing. They do their research. They decide what’s important. And they present what the audience needs to know in a way the audience gets.

4. The Love Affair with PowerPoint(TM) Is Over.

Audiences are no longer wowed by PowerPoint(TM). They take it for granted, and if anything they’re a little bored by it. Use it as a tool, a way of presenting information. But don’t let it upstage you. Keep yourself up front and personal.

5. Recycling Is Good for What Ails You.

Creating a good speech takes a lot of time. So once you’ve created a presentation, reuse it. Don’t think you have to come up with something new for each occasion. You can give the exact same speech word for word to a different audience, and it becomes a different speech. Take bits and pieces from one presentation and repackage them. Trim a 45-minute in-depth presentation into a 15-minute overview of your topic. Or use your 15-minute overview as an outline for a longer presentation.

6. Mark your Territory.

It’s almost impossible to come up with something brand new and original to talk about. After all, how many news ways are there to make a sales, a speech, or a successful relationship? Winning speakers take the best of what’s already known and make it new by making it their own. They put their own spin on it, using a unique (and consistent) choice of words and phrasing. Think Chicken Soup for the Soul, the One-Minute Manager, and Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. New stuff or clever packaging?

7. Everyone Wants a Security Blanket.

It’s a scary world, and people are afraid of losing what they have. They want something or someone who will make them feel safe. If you’re going to challenge them to change, you need to show them why. And you need to reassure them that what they get will be better than what they leave behind. Threats — implied or explicit — will make people react in the moment, but they won’t sustain people’s long-term efforts.

Presentation Skills – Connect With Others and Improve Your Public Speaking By Making Presentations

If you have the opportunity to make presentations to groups of people who may be interested in your topic, always go for it. It is good practice to speak to these groups and after a short time you will be able to tell which ones are the best ones for the information you are presenting.

Make sure that you have a handout to give everyone in the audience. Use brightly colored paper and make sure it is at least 24 pound paper so that it is not too flimsy. One page is enough for the handout. It should include some relevant information that they will want to keep, along with your name and contact information. If you have a special class or program coming up, be sure to talk about it and direct them to it on your handout. The idea is that you want the people you speak to to make a connection with you during the time you are there. That way they are far more likely to call you, visit your website, or tell someone else about you.

You may want to begin with smaller groups so that you can practice what you will say and how you will say it. Allow time for questions and spend enough time to give a complete answer. This will be an opportunity for you show that you know more about your topic.

There are always groups looking for speakers. The local Rotary Club, professional organizations and other groups usually need speakers and will give you a chance to talk. Ask them how long you will have and try to visit the location where you will be speaking before the day of the event. This will give you a feel for the room and the surroundings. Arrive a little early so that you can get a good parking spot.

Get a business card from each of the people you are speaking to and promise to give them more information. Ask for their permission to do this so that they do not get upset and feel you are spamming them.

By taking the time to give presentations you can reach more people and perfect your speaking and presentation skills.

Birthday Present Ideas for the Trickiest of Customers

I couldn’t tell you what we got him for his 50th birthday, or his 40th for that matter. There was probably a spirit level thrown in there somewhere. Perhaps a new drill. Some quality gardening gloves maybe. All instantly forgettable, and the reason we wanted to get this one right. So there we were. My brother went in first, carrying the guitar by its neck. I followed with the amp. It was our Dad’s 60th and we were determined that this time round we’d buy him a birthday present to remember. I think we did alright – he certainly seemed pretty chuffed. And I’m fairly sure that in the years to come, we’ll all be able to recall what we bought him when he hit six-and-o.

Mind you, our efforts – certainly on a financial level – pale into insignificance when compared to today’s celebs. Take Katy Perry, for example, who spent $200,000 on a birthday present for her beau. In exchange for this serious wedge, our Russ is booked onboard a Virgin Galactic flight into space. We’ve no idea when Mr Brand will be heading into the mesosphere, but as birthday present ideas go, it’s definitely memorable. Or how about husband and wife, Jay-Z and Beyonce Knowles? With earnings to make Perry and Brand look like Twist and Fagin, the R&B star forked out $2.6-million on a Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport for her rap-star hubby’s 41st. Yikes! It wasn’t even his 40th!

Okay, so it’d be a little ‘naive’ of us to assume you’ve got a spare few million down the back of the sofa. But that doesn’t mean to say you can’t buy friends and family some fantastic personalised birthday presents – I certainly remember getting a couple of things for my 18th that had been engraved on my behalf. So if you’ve found yourself wracking your brains for birthday present ideas, take a look through these suggestions. It might just give you that little spark you need…

For 18th and 21st birthday ideas, how about personalising a bottle of Champagne or vodka? You’ve got lots of label designs to pick from, all of which can be customised with their name and a message. It might be a gift that disappears rather sharpish, but keeping the bottle still makes for a great memento. Footie fans, meanwhile, provide no end of possibilities, with everything from personalised football books to spoof footie magazine covers. And as for the girls, you’ll find personalised charm bracelets, handbag mirrors, pampering days and everything in between.

Fast forward two or three decades, and both 40th and 50th birthday ideas are in no short supply either. If some gentle ribbing seems appropriate, you can’t go wrong with a spoof newspaper cover, whether you have them sweeping into Downing Street, being knighted or simply throwing the mother of all parties. And because they’re all produced in association with The Mirror, they really do look like the real McCoy. Failing that, other big hitters also tend to revolve around newspapers – only this time, real ones. There’s the option of buying an original newspaper from the day they were born, or buying one of the brilliant newspaper books that feature reprints from your chosen date, or dates. Trinkets, gift days and any number of other fun ideas complete the line-up.

And it doesn’t stop there. If you’re after inspiration for a 60th, 70th, 80th or any other birthday for that matter, simply get online and have a look round. Remember, everything can be personalised for that extra special touch.