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To Erm is Human

3 More Virtual Presentation Tips!

When writing this piece, my initial intention was to lead with a story about ShezAr nailing “With a Little Help from my Friends” on The Voice and linking it across to Joe Cocker’s version and then bridging that to a presentation tip about not being too professional!

3 more tips which could massively improve your next virtual presentation!

3 simple tips which will massively improve your next virtual presentation - won't cost you a penny - and which are inspired by apiece of localised flooding!

1) Surprise them.

I was having a drink one night (pre-Corona days) with Mr Holdsworth, the head-teacher of my kids primary school. He's a modest but inspiring leader for his school. He shared a story that I believe is core to good teaching and presenting. Remembering when he was at school, he said one lesson in particular stood out.

Think like a TV presenter?

I've been lucky enough to direct a few TV stars, coached some of the country's best selling key-note & TED speakers, as well as the presenters on award winning webinars. What they have in common, is that when it comes to talking to camera, they see the lens as their friend. That might sound a bit cheesy but it's the truth. The good news is that, with almost all of us now presenting online, selling or just meeting ON CAMERA, you can do the same.

The Power of Passion

Years ago I was working as an advisor on an ITV comedy reality show, “Stand Up Great Britain.” My job was to work with newer comics and get them up to a certain standard so they didn’t burn and die live on TV. In those days that was considered a bad thing. 

Winning Back Your Audience

This is a painful story to relate. A few years ago I was one of four speakers at a conference of engineers. It happened to come at a time of huge stress. I was juggling too many balls - speaker, coach, writer, director and Dad. The night before the event I hadn’t slept properly for weeks and then I decided to join one of my fellow speakers for a few drinks which became a lot more drinks. I didn’t sleep.

Delivering Someone Else's Presentation

I was helping a government NGO get their training presentations up to a decent standard so that the learning, which was honestly of national importance (even if the nation might not agree)  was consistent, understood and acted on.

The brief? “We’d like them to be more energetic, more confident, funnier - just better.”

Unfortunately, the presentations were written by another team who had micro-managed them to death. Literally every second was accounted for. “12.41 – slide 27 – bullet point four…. “ - that sort thing.

Why Jokes Matter

The most viewed TED speakers deliver on average one joke per minute in their keynote speeches. The best deliver two jokes per minute.” Jeremy Donovan

Humour is the holy grail of communication. Those who have it are lauded, those who don’t are usually forgotten. Yet it is not easy and can go wrong. You will stand out but standing out means it’s easier to knock you down.

So why should we use it when most presentation skills books tell us to avoid it!? Why should we make them laugh when it means risking our careers?

Bringing the skills of Stand-Up Comedians to Speaking

Jack Milner

“The most viewed TED speakers deliver on average one joke per minute in their keynote speeches. The best deliver two jokes per minute.” Jeremey Donovan, ‘How to Deliver a TED talk’

A great speaker does not need to be famous (although it helps), they do not need to have conquered Everest in a kayak while singing the entire score of Sound of Music (but again it will help), however, more than anything their speech needs:

  • To entertain and amuse – a bit like a stand-up