Monday, March 25, 2013

What Differentiates Killer Presentations?

No, this is not yet another article on “How to present like Steve Jobs”. Neither does it aim to describe how to prepare best for delivering a great presentation.

I have been fortunate to listen to some great presentations. Although the topics of their presentations were varied and the presenters belonged to different parts of the world, there were few things which were common amongst all of them.

I am attempting to list three such things, which I thought contributed to their killer presentations.

#1 Passion
Enough is said about passion in work. I have realized that all great presenters are extremely passionate about the topic they talk about. Mind you, I am talking about the topic they are presenting and not what they work on for making the living. Passion shows in the way they talk and passion shows in what they talk about.  They don’t have to remind themselves to ‘not read’ from the slides – because they simply don’t need to. The topic is something which they truly believe in.

#2 Knowledge

Obviously nothing can replace knowledge. Good presenters know their topic more than the audience. The audience is never interested in listening to what they already know. The audience is not there for entertainment. People attend presentations for gaining knowledge. Only humor or mindless interaction might entertain the audience for some time, but it cannot create a lasting impact. Such presentations (and presenters) are easily forgotten.

#3 Clarity of Thought

This, I believe, is the most important thing. Great presenters not only have deep knowledge of their subject but they have their own point of views as well. Because of this, they have extreme clarity of thought. Clarity of thought helps in better expression, better understanding of questions and better articulation of answers. This gets the audience into thinking mode, which makes them in turn not only enjoy the presentation but also leave with a feeling of having learnt something.

Thanks to YouTube, great wealth of knowledge is just a click away. Below are some of the presentations which I personally enjoyed listening to :

Do you remember any great presentations you have listen to? Do share the YouTube links of those, if available.