PowerPresentations - Presentation Tips & Secrets

Easy on The Preach!

Written by Beverly Cohen on .

Tips for helping speakers sound less "preachy" and more "powerful"

Preachy!

I recently received e-mail from a reader who thought his speeches sounded too preachy. He asked me to you give him some pointers on know how to make his presentations more entertaining and less preachy. Another way of asking the same question is "How do you sound more natural and less like a know-it-all?" I responded with these tips on "transforming preachy into powerful..."

 

Don't sound like a know-it-all

examine-your-styleMaybe you are a know-it-all...or at least in your field.  And that's precisely why people have come to hear you speak. If you are an authority then your credentials speak for themselves. The audience expects you to have knowledge they don't have and you've already been introduced as a know-it-all. So relax and get conversational. What you want to avoid is adopting a tone of voice or speaking style that alienates your audience and makes them feel ridiculed, demeaned, or preached to.

Here are a few suggestions that might help you ease up on the preach while still getting your message across.

  • Examine your text
  • Write your message for the ear rather than the eye. Remember your audience will be hearing what you have to say. They won't be reading it.
  • Use words that are easy for your audience to understand
  • Avoid technical jargon.
  • Keep your sentences short but descriptive.
  • Avoid statements that sound like edicts: You should…You must…
  • Include your audience with statements like, "As you already know…" "I'm sure you've discovered…."
  • Sprinkle your message with humor.
  • Tell stories and anecdotes in third person. " I have a friend"… My father always told me…"

Examine your style

Don't read your text, no matter how good you think it is. You can't maintain a conversational tone or have good eye contact if your head is down and you are reading.

  • Speak to your audience not at them
  • Smile
  • Breathe naturally
  • Use hand gestures that are inclusive
  • Don't point. Use an open hand when gesturing to the audience
  • Vary your volume and rate to keep interest and add intrigue
  • Move away from the lectern
  • View your audience as valued friends
  • View your message as one to be shared

Relax and have fun with your presentation! Your audience will be more receptive to your message. They'll leave the room feeling entertained and not preached to.

If you have a question about speaking style or presentation tips, please email Beverly at BCohen @ presentationteam . com

Pin it

Recommendations

  • "We engaged The Presentation Team to do a Presentation training for our team and he did a great job. He spent time understanding our requirements and the skill level of our team members and created a course which met our expectations and goals. I highly recommend The Presentation Team as a Presentation (PowerPoint) trainer."

    Navdeep Sidhu
    Senior Director, Software AG
  • "Kevin Lerner provided best-in-class services when hired to work on promotional materials for the launch of a key product at Motorola. The expertise and quality that he brought to the project were second to none and as a result, he delivered a top-notch presentation that was quickly adopted throughout the organization. Kevin is great to work with, delivers on time, is a great team player and is always willing to go the extra mile."

    Maria Cardoso
    Motorola
  • "Kevin has been a working with Cox Communications to deliver world-class PowerPoint presentation visuals since 2009. His ability to meet our specific needs, timeframe, and budgets has been exceptional. His professional interaction with our team reflects his deep expertise in the industry, superior presentation design skills, and commitment to superior service."

    Jonathan Freeland
    VP, Video Marketing at Cox Communications
  • "Kevin is an enthusiastic, creative, and passionate presentation guru. Our company was impressed and felt the value of his training in 2013 that he was invited again recently to again share his knowledge. Both times he has been energetic and addressed many areas for presentation development. From planning to follow-up Kevin is personable and easygoing, motivating our teams to take their presentations to the next level."

    Yoshimi Kawashima
    Project Coordinator, Nissin International
  • "Kevin helped me immensely improve my presentation slides development, from tips & tricks to aesthetics, all with the intent of getting the message across crisply and creatively. I've already received praise for decks that incorporate the skills obtained from his training. I highly recommend Kevin's services."

    Era Prakash
    General Electric
  • "The PowerPresentations seminar opened my eyes to all the limitless possibilities in presenting."

    Leah Gordillo
    Saint Francis Medical Center
  • "Kevin was a pleasure to work with. He was well-prepared and was an excellent example on how to give effective presentations."

    Seminar participant
  • "The PowerPresentations seminar gave us the tools we need in order to create effective presentations that sizzle."

    Seminar participant
  • "Kevin has always had vision, creativity, and enthusiasm for his professional and works tirelessly perfecting whatever he is working on."

    Marty Smith
    Zenith Goldine Pharmaceuticals
  • "[Kevin and The Presentation Team have] always delivered 110% in terms of meeting our objectives for finished product and budget"

    Paul Price
    Watsco Corp.
  • "I had more people come up to me after I spoke, commenting on the visuals you created, than I did on the subject matter!"

    Andy Smith
    Smith & Robb Advertising
  • "By working together, we have been able to substantially improve the quality of services and products originating from our department"

    Myrlene Clifford
    Ryder
  • "As a Fortune 1000 company, we sought to produce a classy, yet conservative presentation for our shareholders. It was evident that you and your team listened to our thoughts as you developed the presentation..."

    Will Flower
    Republic Services
  • "We were told by the customer's selection committee the presentation of our solution was the deciding factor in NextiraOne winning a five-year contract valued at over $35 million at Miami International Airport"

    William McGlashan
    NextiraOne
  • "Your presentation added an extra dimension to the program and was very well-received."

    Tom Feltenstein
    Neighborhood Marketing Institute
  • "Kevin is an excellent speaker, effective team worker, passionate about his craft, enthusiastic, well-organized and reliable."

    Marilyn K. Volker
  • "Lant & Associates will never look as good as we do today - because of the relationship we created with The Presentation Team.  'We came...You pushed...and We are flying!' "

    Tom Lant
    Lant & Associates
  • “Kevin is a professional. He did a complete overhaul of my power point presentations and I have had excellent results with his work. He was on time, he sent as many betas as was necessary until we got a great final outcome.” 

    Joachim dePosada
  • "Your expertise in the filed of PowerPoint and general presentation techniques helped elevate us to the level necessary to beat the competition."

    Mike Geary
    James Pirtle Construction
  • "The contrast between the old version and The Presentation Team's version is like night and day."

    Keith A. Bostian, Ph.D
    Iconix Pharmaceuticals
  • "Kevin and his team never failed. The persistence and discipline enabled my projects and other others to be completed in a quality fashion."

    Kent Rodgers
    I2 Technologies
  • "Every day, someone, somewhere, is viewing the training presentations you and your team created for HelmsBriscoe. Indeed, this interactive 12-module PowerPoint presentation has become a powerful tool for our sales team, and has helped HelmsBriscoe in achieving our mission."

    Kari Moberg
    Helms Briscoe
  • “I came into a new position but inherited a lifeless ppt presentation. Kevin and his team reworked my ppt and turned it into a powerful presentation tool for me . . . which I used without much need for revision for several years. Kevin's great. He's that good.” 

    Greg Kreuziger
  • "One of the things I appreciate most about our relationship is peace of mind.  Your team has the latest technology and knoweledge, yet maintains old-fashioned respect for your customers." 

    Kathy Watkins
    Eastman
  • "Your dedication, diligence and professionalism was very much appreciated and helped us achieve a complete multimedia presentation including voiceover all in a 4 day period."

    Jennifer Cassandra
    Designline Construction Services
  • "Over the past twelve months, your dedication has demonstrated a true commitment to a common goal."

    Adam LaWare
    DePuy Spine
  • “Kevin redesigned PowerPoint slides for clients of mine, as well as some of my own slides. As an executive presentation coach for nearly 25 years, I'm very picky. Everything he did looks great.” 

    David Greenberg
  • "We worked well together; his work style was relaxed yet focused, and our email and frequent phone calls helped us to communicate clarly and timely."

    Sherry Alumbaugh
    Data Solutions
  • "You and your team hit the mark with what you delivered.  Many thanks for your outstanding customer service and design ideas."

    Lois P. Frankel, Ph.D.
    Corporate Coaching International
  • “I have worked with Kevin for over 15 years. He has consistently distinguished himself not only as a creative expert but a valuable business partner. There have been many times I needed someone with excellent creative skills to help me take complex business issues and make them simple and easy for high level professionals. Kevin never failed me and always exceeded my expectations. I was very impressed with his commitment level and do "whatever" it takes attitude. I recommend Kevin as a valuable and creative business partner.” 

    Bruce Frcek
  • "The City of Oakland Park has successfully received the ranking for grant money it was seeking thanks in part to the great presentation that the Presentation Team created.  Thank you for your hard work, creativity, and expertise in brinking this dynamic video presentation to life."

    Stan Brown
    Ambit Marketing Communications
  • "Kevin brought a high level of creativity, enthusiasm, and deep multmedia experience to our team.  He worked dillegently with the team to produce an outstanding proposal which we subsequently won."

    Jeffrey Keller
    Accenture
  • “Kevin has on more than one occasion taken on a project for me and provided a great product when my budget was limited. I felt he had my best interest at heart at all times.”

    Derrick Witt
    Corporate Fitness & Wellness
  • “Kevin is a high energy, creative professional very focused on achieving customer goals. I enjoyed working with him very much and would recommend him without question.”

    Ellen Mughal
    TQ3
  • “Kevin brings a great deal or knowledge and professionalism into his presentations. He conveys valuable information to his attendees that prove beneficial in their day-to-day operations within their own organizations.”

    Jeff Parrish