Episode 2: 3 Tips to Mastering Small Talk
Brittney Schwertly: Are you looking for ways to make your presentations more memorable?
Great! That’s what we’re covering today on this episode.
Narrator: Welcome to the Presentation Mentor podcast, where we uncover the secret ingredients presenters used to woo their audiences and wow their listeners. Whether in a boardroom or a ballroom, you’ll learn how to achieve presentation greatness.
So, prepare yourself for standing ovations. Here are your hosts, Scott and Brittney Schwertly.
Scott Schwertly: Welcome guys to this first episode on the Presentation Mentor podcast.
Brittney Schwertly: I’m Brittney!
Scott: And we’re so glad you guys are here today.
And we’ve got a lot of exciting things to cover and unpack as we talk specifically today about how to create memorable presentations. Specifically; three things you can do to create memorable presentations, moving forward.
Now, looking back on my years in presenting and in public speaking, learning tips and tricks like these about how to create more memorable experiences for your audiences is listen to a guy I wished I learned early on. And, so we wanna kind of unpack in and kinda pull the mystery out of this specific item in today’s episode. So, really looking forward to diving into this one.
Brittney: I am too! And it actually makes me think of memorable presentations that I’ve actually witnessed and been a part of. And so one of my favorite stories is not even mine, its yours. ehehe!
It’s how you got into the presentation business?
How you were inspired to start this pathway of not only learning how to become a better person to yourself but teaching others. So why not you tell us that story.
Scott: Yeah, I remember years ago, I was actually working for a corporation and I know my fellow marketing directors at that time were not getting the best reviews on their quarterly presentations and so, someone higher up decided to bring in a consultant who was there to essentially give us a presentation on presentations.
And I remember it being just not that great. Hehehe! In fact, it was kind of the moment of inspiration for me to think. You know what, maybe I could actually make a living, doing what this guy does but taking it up a level or two.
That experience, I mean, it was memorable. Hehehe! It’s actually. It’s actually.
Brittney: In an underwhelming way. Hehe!
Scott: Yeah, its kind an opposite of what we’re wanting to achieve in this episode here, so, but I know that was the inspiration for me, just seen something doing a bad job of giving a presentation on presentations.
I vowed that day that , if ever I have the opportunity to do what he does, I would do it differently.
That was kind the inspiration behind. Now, in the Presentation Mentor, but Ethos3 which I obviously closely associated with as well. But yeah, lots of lots that I learned in that situation and lots that I’ve learned since then.
Again, three specific that we want to talk about today that hopefully empower you moving forward with your public speaking skills.
With all that said, how we wanna direct this conversation, is really come in three simple parts.
I’ve always have embraced the idea that a great presentation really is kind-a-built from three things.
It’s the quality of your content, the look and feel of the designs of your slides. And,ultimately, how you choose to deliver it
And so, today’s topic is all about creating memorable presentations but what we thought we would do is just pull a tip from each one that if there is three things that we can offer you today to help you build more memorable presentations.
We’ll offer you a tip from content, a tip from design and a tip from delivery. So we gonna kick things off here with content and Britney you’ve got a suggestion something kind a of a pet peeve of yours on this, right?
Britney: Yeah, and actually we were talking about this earlier today. And in context of something else that we’ve been discussing in business. But content, really should be about the clarity of your message. And keeping it clear, keeping it simple and a great story to illustrate this concept is the 2016 Presidential election.
What better way ah, to really kind of talk about presentations other than this global presentation and from all of these candidates and the Republican Party specifically , no matter which way you lean, we can all remember, how many candidates started out in the Republican side of this campaign.
And, Jeb Bush was arguably the most funded candidate in that entire field of Republican candidates.
And yet, looking back, we have asked several people that we know in hearing these ourselves. And, what was his message?And, what was he’s running on?
And to be honest, I’m, I’m a political science junkie who have a history degree of all things. But I, cannot remember what his campaign was about.
However, Donald Trump, who have failed in comparison with funding, we all can remember his message about making America great again and you know, some key points that he really delivered on every single speech, who remembers the wall are still talking about it today.
And so keeping your message clear is really just something that is so important and so just talking about that campaign, it wasn’t about the dollars. It was about what people understood.
And we last time, we talk about several times and you can highlight this probably a little bit better than I could and keeping your message clear also is really knowing your audience. And I am thinking of that campaign, your audiences, you know, so many millions of people that you have to remember that they all have different educational backgrounds and you’ve talked to me many times about speaking at, you know, who your audience is and what level of education you can speak at.
And, so you wanna provide that example.
Scott: Yeah, I know clarity is definitely its king today.
Everything is about clarity these days and it’s kind of what you are referring today.
Even is you look at Donald who just build up Donald Trump here and there is a great study called the Flesch–Kincaid study there. Its a group I think based out of Boston where they studied the speaking habits of very different set of individuals. And I know, just using the Presidential election, our talking point here, I know Donald Trump has, I guess, studied his word usage and language use typically speaks at a 4th grade level, where I know Hillary Clinton was speaking at an 8th grade level during this same time period.
So, again it’s all about, you know, everybody with different educational backgrounds, uhm, different ethnic backgrounds. The main idea here is you want to keep things simple and uhm,
Whether you like Trump or don’t like Trump, he was an expert enough to keep things simple. And that’s obviously
Scott: what resonated with the American public.
Steve Jobs has often looked too as a great presenter and he speaks, when he was around he spoke at a 5th grade level so, again the key to this whole idea is clarity.
I like that this example: Steve Jobs, Donald Trump, whether you love them or hate them, you can’t argue that they kept their message very simple, very clear, said the same things over and over and over again but also at a level that everyone could understand.
So, not only keeping your message simple, but knowing your audience, to know whether or not they can really understand the message that you are delivering. So, content really keeping it clear and keeping it memorable in a way where it’s simple and it’s easy to understand.
Scott: Definitely! its ahh, uh, if you could master that one component, I mean we’re gonna talk about design here and delivery in just a bit but that content pieces is absolutely critical I, I would venture to say it’s one of the most important of the three tips that we’re gonna offer up here.
So, let’s go and transition in number 2. Let’s talk about design, ah this being kind of the 2nd major component at any presentation. We’re gonna go and offer up one tip for you here uhm, there’s a great presentation and I’m still inspired by it today. Uh, back in 2006, it was given by Dick Hardt. You can google it, it’s Hardt as in H-A-R-D-T and it was his Identity 2.0 presentation.
You can find it Googling, you can look it up on YouTube but, what he did here is he actually used design, it was not actually even that great of looking design but it was how he use the medium of, I think he was using Powerpoint or maybe it was Keynote. But he used the medium of a presentation software program like that to really deliver a compelling talk by having slides, slides, slides, slides, really a slide for every key component that he was talking about. And it made for a very engaging presentation and in fact he is inspired by or that layout or structure was inspired by Larry Lasich who developed the whole idea of, uh, again a slide for every key concept that you discuss.
And so, uhm, it’s hard here obviously in a Podcast sort of scenario to showcase that for you I’m trying to articulate it the best I can. But, bottom line here is if you’re gonna try to level up in the area of design, use it to your benefit by chunking things down into bite size pieces. In this case if you’re saying good morning, have a slide that says good morning. If you’re talking about it’s pretty outside, have an image representing that. If you have a dog, have a slide for your dog.
But, again, very much representative of the Dick Hardt or Larry Lessig style in having again, an image to represent every key idea that you’re talking about.
And that’s harnessing the power of visuals to help bring additional clarity to your talk and we’re talking a lot about simplification. This is a great way about chunking it down, into in this case, into visual bite-size piece for your audience. Yeah!
Brittney: I love how you introduce yourself in a presentation, how you make is personable, you usually have a slide of San Diego, California, where you grew up. And then you’ll, have a slide of your family and he even has a video of our son, John, of doing this really funny thing, just something in our life that is humanizing and kinda give a story to who you are as a person. And it really takes less than two minutes to go through all of that, probably even less than that.
And it’s just really kinda gives you like, Scott as a person, this is what Scott’s life is like . Its kinda gives you some validity on where to go from there.
So, I think that is what you are talking about on that identity 2.0, just by giving memorable pictures rather than words on the page and bullet points.
Scott: Definitely! That’s exactly what I mean and if you can harness the power of visuals on that regard, all the power to you. In fact, if you can accomplish these two objectives with clarity with your content and simplicity with your design, your in the right mindset to start really winning with your talks moving forward.
And I guess, this is a great transition point here and now talk about number three, which is delivery
Brittney: That’s right! Delivery, I think, you know what you’re talking about, hehehe! Scott. Scott loves content. He can talk about content all day long.
I’m a people person and so I really love the delivery component of a presentation, that’s kinda what lights me up. And one of the most memorable presentation I’ve ever seen in person was from Amy Cuddy. And you can also google her, youtube her, she has some interesting theories on the, just your physical presence, how you move your body and you know how it can change your mood and different things and how it can even change those perception of you. So, there’s some arguments on that or science of that but the presentation that she gave is always so memorable to me because she has what she calls the power pose.
And if you think about, you know, winning a game, you know, like winning a soccer game or a hockey game or football game or whatever it is. You know the winner almost always stands up, shoulders’ back, arms up in the air in a wide position, just celebrating their win. And that was, you know what she is talking about her power pose and she made that pose several times over and over and over again.
And so, now even like two-three years later, I can still remember, you know, parts of that talk that I can still remember the power pose and what it is. And it’s just kind-of-like the meaning that it can have to you and your life and the people that surrounds you is really interesting because what I was remembering was something that she was doing and so if you can include some kind of physicality in your presentation, I think that’s powerful!
And also, just like another thing that I think is great is Simon’s in its TED Talk and always is such a really good presentation to me.
And he was physical more so on that he is actually doing the drawing. He is actually doing the visuals for you rather than having in on a slide. And for some reason, that resonates with me, watching him make those circles of your why and why that’s important and how your brand message kinda of comes out from that and you can watch that on youtube as well like if you want an example.
But, just the physicality of him actually doing the visual instead just having it on a slide. This is document memory, Like, I can’t get rid of it.
Scott: Yeah! I mean, he’s definite very charismatic person and I think that just adds value to the delivery component for him. And even building up of Amy Cuddy’s stuff. I have not have the privilege, just like you of actually seeing her in person but I’ve seen Ted Talk many times and just kind adding additional points to that one. I know she talks about three specific power zones, we have, I think, chin-neck area, your belly button and your waist area but those are the three power zones.
But going back to everything you said, the more you kinda keep your legs apart , your arms apart, made a classic Superman pose or the Wonder Woman pose. Those positions of….
Scott: Authority, basically demonstrates that you’re, you’re not a pushed-over. So, heaven forbid that you yell at me tonight
Scott: If I squeeze something else right in and didn’t put the dishes away or whatever. If I was to have my feet together, and you’re yelling at me and screaming at me. It’s basically indicating that I’m a pushed-over. But if I put my legs apart and saying yeah, you wanna yell at me. I think you can do that.
Brittney: Uhm, I think, I think this is also, like probably more of an issue with women and men, we’re always taught to kinda of minimalize our body. Crossed our legs, knees together, that kinda of thing. Men,you know, when they sit down in a couch, they make ourselves comfortable, their legs will spread wide like this kind of thing. And so, when we present, as women, we often, you know, crossed our legs to the ankle or keeps our arms in but what, what Amy Cuddy was really talking about was really just making sure that you stand proud and keep your legs apart. Like really take on, you know, a powerful presence, so that if someone ever came up to you , they couldn’t push you. It will be hard to push you over and so, you know, the more you minimalize yourself into a position, the easier it is to push you over. And I think, that’s translate mentally as well.
So, that’s what really interesting in just seeing presentation since that point. I’ve also noticed that, that, that perception really does ring true. So in delivering, it’s more than just the words that you’re saying, really think about how you are positioning your body. And, you know, are there anythings that you’re saying that you can actually make a movement with your body to really kind of bring that home because people do remember those things.
Scott: Yeah! Sad reality is, perception is everything and that’s just unfortunate. But, if you can have a little bit more of intentionality, be a little bit more deliberate, being mindful of things like body language, it definitely goes a long way.
Brittney: So to recap, we have three great ways to create a memorable presentation. One, keeping your content clear, simple and something that is easy to understand.
Scott: Two, we talked about design. Uhm, just, you know, not necessarily abusing powerpoint but use it trivial on, we just wanna focus on powerpoint but there are so many different styles but we just focused on one today. The Dick Hardt example, Larry Lasich, specifically using key notes inspired by Larry Lasich. But, yeah, using visuals to add value,uhm, in smart ways when you’re presenting.
Brittney: And lastly, delivery. You know, what is your physical present is saying about that words that you’re saying, if you have put so much time and effort into this, great content and has a beautiful design and make sure that you, yourself are physically and mentally prepared to give a really memorable presentation.
Scott: Awesome! So, there you have it guys. Those are just three tips, again to help you create more memorable presentations, moving forward. This is basically our inaugural, first episode here
Scott: Of the presentation mentor podcast. So, we thank you guys for joining us on this episode. Any final comments from you before we wrap-up here?
Brittney: No, I’m excited! I’m excited going forward. Excited to really unpack some of our favorite tips and tricks and leverage your experience in this business. So, think it’ll be fine. Stay tune!
Scott: Yeah! What a great stuff to cover in the future. Thanks again for joining us and we’ll catch you in the next episode.
Narrator: Thanks for joining Scott and Brittney on another episode of the Presentation Mentor podcast. If you’re looking to improve your presentation skills, be sure to check-out the presentation mentor online course at presentationmentor.com.