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How to Give a SHARP Presentation

Here are a few more quick tips to help you seriously improve your next public speaking opportunity by having a "SHARP" presentation...

  • S - stories: Let's face it; people love a good story. There's something about a well told story that hooks us and causes us to lean in just a little bit to find out what's gonna happen. It's why people watch TV sitcoms and why "The Young and The Restless" is followed by so many people. (Note: I am NOT one of those people.) Think of how often Jesus used parables to communicate his point.

  • H - humor: Leaving this out is why kids never like math class. (Well, not the only reason, but I'm sure it doesn't help.) Find your own voice of humor and bring that into your message. It helps people reengage from mental vacations and hang with the speaker a little longer. Be aware that some humor doesn't play well in certain contexts, so be cautious of sarcasm and publicly mocking that home-schooled kid in the third row.

  • A - analogies: A good analogy is like that spoon full of sugar that helps the medicine go down. It reframes information in a way that helps the listener really wrap their mind around a subject. Try using subjects the audience is familiar with, or it'll only create confusion and won't really help.

  • R - references: What have you heard in the news that relates? Is there a quote or a statistic that drives a point home? A short little memorable YouTube video? (or Vimeo or whatever...) Outside references like this can all help to lend credibility and/or emotion to your presentation.

  • P - pictures: I actually keep a folder on my computer of random little images I find. Some are interesting. Some are funny. Some just scream to be used to teach a point. Instead of just talking about David and Goliath, I showed a picture of a little kid stepping into the ring with a sumo wrestler. Then I showed a news photo of a little Israeli boy throwing a rock at a Palestinian tank. If a picture is worth a thousand words, save you and your audience some time and empty words and just show them that picture that will lock the principle in their minds.
Use these key elements appropriately, and you're sure to make a better connection with your audience.

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