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People attending my training and coaching sessions mostly want to learn the essentials of good speeches or reach the next presentation level. Their questions are frequently quite similar. Some people have picked up ideas from literature or the Internet that are not always well thought out or simply not true. Let‘s discuss some of these myths in this blog post.

How many Bullet Points per PowerPoint slide?

I observe two contradictory developments regarding PowerPoint presentations: On the one hand, the vast majority of people delivering speeches browse through a number of bullet points. Here, PowerPoint clearly serves as a cheat sheet. Anyone who spends even a little time on rhetoric and presentations will quickly learn that a high-quality talk requires a different approach. On the other hand, many young people are aware of the importance of reduced information on slides. Read more

Clear stage for your online presentation! What differences can you take into account to a live presentation to help your online presentation be well-remembered?

When presenting from home, you have new possibilities to create your virtual stage. You can stage your performance independently and amplify it with your most important instruments, body language and voice. You can use external media such as PowerPoint in a different way than you are used to. What both types of presentation have in common: Your audience is more likely to listen when you engage them actively.

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What is important for successful speeches is available both in the vast literature and in this blog. But do you know how to adapt your speech in front of a virtual online audience? Since the next live events are not yet foreseeable in times of COVID-19 or Corona, online presentations will make up an important part of the future. The ongoing digitalization will further reinforce this development. The following blog series will therefore deal with the most important aspects of online presentations: Which nuances are particularly important so that you can inspire and take your online audience?

While many of the basics for good, high-quality presentations still apply in large parts, there are some key differences between live and online presentations if you want to get your message across online.

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Presentations are nowadays different from those of the past. To convince and inspire your audience, you have to meet completely different expectations today than 20 years ago. Nowadays, personality is key, as is combining numbers, data and facts with short stories and anecdotes that provide new context for the audience. By the way: Instead of frontal lectures in which information is hammered into our audience, the focus today is on infotainment. Information comes along with entertainment. This is what makes presentations much more effective. The use of new media adds to this. We should never underestimate one thing: The personality of the speaker decides whether his message actually reaches the audience. Read more

With a single speech today, I can reach millions of people. An enormous potential for those who have something to say, who can present authentically and with a certain competence.

Chris Anderson, curator of the TED Talks, names the number of over 1 000 speakers who have already succeeded in doing so by 2016. The 25 most popular TED Talks alone generate a reach of 16 to 56 million clicks each. On YouTube, TED and TEDx Talks now have 30 million subscribers with 4.4 billion clicks.

 

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What do speakers need for a high-class presentation? The “Presentation Rocket Day” is promising some valuable answers – and delivers!

The event is aimed at people who want to present more effectively. In addition to classical rhetorical skills and the confident, convincing stage effect, the aim is to convey information in an interesting way and to make optimum use of media.

 

Staging and focus are well received by the audience

Of course, successful presentations offer much more than just the mentioned aspects. Hermann Scherer speaks plainly in the first presentation: Read more

What do 18 students, three supervisors and two organizers from eleven countries and four continents do when they get to know water use in Iran on site within nine days? The answer is clear: they present their own knowledge to each other and draw on the practical experience of local experts. They discuss scientific facts and their practical implementation with the experts. They exchange open questions on historical and current water management, desertification and energy use in Iran. For the practical demonstration on site, they charter a friendly local bus driver who will reliably steer them 1 200 kilometers through villages and metropolises, the dry steppe and to salt lakes. A challenge that everyone is happy to accept.

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Simon is a PhD student and is currently preparing his conference presentation. He has already improved his start after a meeting with his mentor Sarah. Now he asks himself: How can I present the results of my study concisely? What details are my audience interested in and what new insights do they gain? How does the transition between the individual sections work?

 

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Sarah and Simon met at a science conference. Sarah works as a research assistant at the Chair of Migration and Intercultural Communication, Simon is a PhD student. Both meet again two weeks after the conference: Sarah supports Simon in preparing his presentation for the next conference. They discuss the draft and Simon rehearses his presentation. He starts with the sentence “Dear Ladies and Gentlemen…”

 

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