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Who’s scared of presenting?

You’ve probably just thought “me” and now you’re thinking I’m either patronising or telepathic. Well, I’m actually both! This means I’m confident that by teaching you three  new words, I can help you to present. By the time we’re done, you’ll be presenting with style (or swag – up to you). Whether it’s to your class, your parents (why you should buy me an Xbox One) or one day, to investors.

Ethos

Logos

Pathos

Have you ever wondered why manners exist? The reason is this; they tell others you care (n’awww). But seriously, the same reason applies to suits and good punctuation.  When presenting yourself well, you establish yourself as a force to be reckoned with and a person to be respected. This idea is one of the three new words – “Ethos”. This is the impression of you the audience has, the better you seem the easier it will be to make your presentation, your speech or to make them laugh. If you are disorganised, tired and bored, your audience will sense this.

Don't be this guy, there's no such thing as fashionably late to your own presentation© Keeweeboy | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

Don’t be this guy, there’s no such thing as fashionably late to your own presentation© Keeweeboy | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

So always sleep well, be early (there is no such thing as fashionably late when you’re presenting) and if you’re using Powerpoint, do not rush it or read straight off it! Powerpoints aren’t always needed, the presentation I’m most proud of happened without one – it was about speaker’s corner (Google it!) I just stood on a chair and talked, it was an unconventional presentation for an unconventional subject. As you become more adept, you become less nervous, but you’ll never lose that fear, you simply learn to turn it into an adrenaline rush. Besides, if you aren’t a little bit scared, it would be boring.

Ethos

Logos

Pathos

Next is your reasoning. This is how you present your argument. Powerpoints really come in handy here, it helps back up your argument with facts and figures. The term for this is “Logos”; it’s very important in a business setting but not as much in school presentations.

Ethos

Logos

Pathos

Finally, there is “Pathos” which is the audiences’ emotion. Personally, I thank the audience before and after a presentation. It’s a small thing, but very effective. By thanking the audience at the end,you give them a cue to clap. It’s painful to watch when someone starts clapping to be polite and no one joins in. Other ideas to use include music when you start (the cheesier the better -but no Bieber), joke slides (not in a business setting) and visual aids (the more over the top, the better).

I decided to use Greek terms so I could explain the three parts without any preconceptions on my part. Now I’ll tell you how I actually remember this. The three parts of a good presentation are you, your audience’s heart and head. Before every presentation, I write down every way I can think to use the three parts and then get rid of the unworkable ones.

Tales of the unexpected- presentation edition

  1. Frickin laser beams- I was struggling to use a laser pointer – it wasn’t working although the bulb was. Unlike my left eye for the next week.
  2. Death by Powerpoint- Filling a slide with text and then reading off the text in a bored monotone while either staring at the clock or the interactive whiteboard. Plenty of people do this and it annoys me. You lose all your energy and the audience lose all interest.
  3. Staring at the teacher/decider- I used to be awful at this one – thinking they were the only audience member who mattered- wrong! This prevents you from building a rapport with the audience. Besides, teachers generally understood what I was saying, whereas the audience could easily get lost.
  4. Talk clearly- I used to talk fast and slur or slowly stutter, there was no middle ground. It wasn’t easy but through sheer force of will, I’ve resolved this problem.
  5. Bullets points kill Powerpoints- Most people can read faster than you can talk. If two years ago, someone told you [spoiler alert] Harry Potter marries Ginny Weasley, wouldn’t you be annoyed? Bullet points are the equivalent of doing that. I won’t apologise for the spoiler but if you haven’t already, read the Harry Potter books. There’s no reason not to; they’re even available in Latin.
  6. Shop till you stop – Audiences trust you more if you use notes or pretend to use them so I recently gave a presentation while clutching my shopping list – I forgot the milk anyway.
Cale Harrison (4 Posts)

Hi I'm Cale. I have a smorgasbord of interests, from early American history to HvZ (google it and prepare to be mindblown!). From reading up on obscure capitalists to running marathons (well not yet- I'm still only at the 10k run stage).