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Mastering Presentations

October 23, 2012

Mastering Presentations

How to make a visually attractive slide deck and have it compliment your talk.


October 23, 2012

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  1. Tell a story. A Carnegie Mellon University study in 2007

    by Deborah Small, GeorgeLowenstein and Paul Slovic compared the effects of story vs data. Test subjects where asked to collect donations for a dire situation in Africa. The data pitch contained statistics about food shortages in Malawi, lack of rain in Zambia, and the dislocation of millions in Angola. The second version talked about a particular girl in Zambia, Rokia, who was starving. People were shown her photo and asked to donate to help her directly. On average, students who received the fact-based appeal from Save the Children donated $1.14. Students who read the story about Rokia donated an average of $2.38, more than twice as much. In a third experiment, students were told Rokia’s story but also included statistics about persistent drought, shortfalls in crop production, and millions of Africans who were going hungry. While students who had read Rokia’s story alone donated an average of $2.38, those who read the story plus the data donated an average of $1.43. The plight of Africa, the fight with poverty is too overwhelming and people feel their contribution is just a drop in a bucket, hence feel less inclined to help. This is why facts belong in a report, not a presentation.
  2. Swear more, d@mn it! Researchers divided 88 participants into three

    groups to watch one of three slightly different speeches. The only difference between the speeches was that one contained a mild curse word at the start: “…lowering of tuition is not only a great idea, but damn it, also the most reasonable one for all parties involved.” The second speech contained the ‘damn it’ at the end and the third had neither. When participants’ attitudes were measured, they were most influenced by the speeches with the mild obscenity included, either at the beginning or the end. The word ‘damn’ increased the audience’s perception of the speaker’s intensity, which increased persuasion. The audience’s perceived credibility of the speaker did not change. Read More http://conversionxl.com/17-lesser-known-ways-to-persuade- people/#ixzz1q1If3RrR
  3. Get people to agree with you first. If you want

    people to buy into your message, start with something they can agree with. In a research study by Jing Xu and Robert Wyerestablished, there were lingering effects of messages people agree with. In one of the tests, participants listen to a speech by John McCain or one by Barack Obama and then watch a TV ad for Toyota. Republicans tended to be more swayed by the ad after watching the speech by John McCain, while Democrats showed the opposite effect, finding the ad more persuasive after the Obama speech. So when you try to sell something, make statements or represent a world view your customers can agree with first – even if they have nothing to do with what you’re selling. Read More http://conversionxl.com/17-lesser-known-ways-to-persuade- people/#ixzz1q1ItGaEI
  4. Be positive! An analysis added up the results of 29

    different studies, which had been carried out on 6,378 people in total. The finding was that there was a slight persuasive advantage for messages that were framed positively. This study had to do with the way people relate to disease prevention, such as encouraging people to use sunscreen, and promoting healthy eating habits, but it might have a wider appeal. The researchers hypothesized the reason to be that we don’t like to be bullied into changing our behaviour. Read More http://conversionxl.com/17-lesser-known-ways-to-persuade- people/#ixzz1q1J37v1m Being positive also applies to interacting with your audience. I gave a talk on how to write a better resume. I wanted my audience to agree that a resume was just a list of past job experiences, and when they did, I told them they were WRONG! This was bad. Sadly, this was done to me just a couple of months before at a SCRUM training session, and I remember that it sucked so hard that I basically tuned out for the rest of the session because I felt betrayed. I could sense the same effect in my audience for the resume talk, and regretted it. Didn’t get any resumes for recruiting for my company.
  5. • Free Stock Photos • sxc.hu • morguefile.com • everystockphoto.com

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