Clear Communication in Presentations

Explained by Common Craft
Too often, presentations suffer from a lack of clarity that prevents the message from getting results. This video shares specific steps that can make any presentation clearer and more understandable.
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Video Transcript:

This is your moment in the spotlight and your presentation has to make a good impression. The problem is that your work is complicated. Your challenge is to help the audience clearly understand your points in a limited amount of time.

Here’s what you can do to prepare: You are presenting for a reason. What is it? Approval of a boss? Permission to start a project? Education for teammates? The reason you are presenting is your mission and each point you make should relate back to that mission.

It’s easy to be focused on your slides, your performance and what you know. To communicate clearly, you’ll also need to focus on the audience and their needs. Remember that every audience is different. Company executives don’t necessarily communicate like engineers. Consider your audience’s capabilities and use language, terms, and examples that will be familiar to them. And watch out for those acronyms!

Further, remember that some of your points may need background or context. It can be helpful to focus on the big picture before discussing the details.

With these ideas in mind, you can start by creating an outline of the presentation, with major points and sub-points. This outline will help make the presentation easier to follow and help you stay focused on your mission. You might begin the presentation with a few statements about why you are presenting and what you hope to accomplish.

With your outline finished, you’ll use presentation software to create slides for the major points in your talk. Next, you’ll need to consider what appears on each slide based on your notes. Use visuals when possible and limit the number of words. The combination of your speaking and effective visuals can help make a complicated point clearer.

Your performance also matters. To feel confident and communicate clearly, practice your presentation multiple times. Become familiar with the slides and understand how long the presentation takes to complete.

Being nervous is normal and can cause you to speak quickly. When you practice, concentrate on moving and speaking slower than you normally would. It might feel strange, but your audience won’t notice.

On the day of the presentation, dress nicely and consider having a backup copy of your presentation available in case a computer fails. You’ve got this.

When the presentation is over, be sure to ask if anyone has questions. If there is confusion about a point, use that feedback to improve the presentation for next time. Over time, you’ll become a more comfortable, confident, and understandable presenter.

What it teaches:

When presenting information, it’s easy to be focused on sharing the right information. The problem is that information isn’t useful unless it is communicated clearly. This video shares useful tips that will help any presentation become more understandable. It teaches:

    •    Why your presentation’s mission will increase clarity
    •    How to avoid audience confusion
    •    Why background and context help your points shine
    •    How to organize a presentation using an outline
    •    How to use visuals to increase clarity
    •    What you can do to prepare for your presentation

Video Info:

  • Duration:  02m 55s
  • Captions Available:  YES
  • Lesson Plan:  YES
  • Category:  Study Skills
  • ISTE Standard:  Creative Communicator 6c
  • ACRL Info Literacy Frame:  Information Creation as a Process

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