Join Chris Croft for an in-depth discussion in this video Talks longer than 15 minutes, part of Master Confident Presentations.
- Now what if you're doing a longer talk? A talk that's longer than let's say, 15 minutes. It's a good idea to put an activity or two in, and, certainly, if you're doing a talk for several hours you've got to have activities in that talk. And I've got six ideas for activities that you can put into a talk. My first one is discussion in pairs. I mentioned this before, you just say to the audience, talk to your next-door neighbor about, you know, what the strategy is for your company or what you think of your boss, or how much do they know about the Data Protection legislation or whatever it is, and just get them to chat in pairs.
And this loosens them up and it makes it much easier then to get them to talk to everybody later on. So that's the first thing, talking in pairs. The second one is to get them to shout things out and write them on the flip chart. And as I mentioned earlier, if they're talking in pairs, they're much more likely to engage with this second idea. So, you get them to shout out ideas and you write them up. So, you'd say things like, what do you think the main things are that you would want to do it if you were on holiday in Australia? And they go "Koalas!" And you can write that one up, and surfing, or something like that and you write them up.
So that's a really good way to involve the audience and you're getting them to do some of the the work, it gives you a bit of time to think, and you get a nice big list generated by them. And remember, if they generated it, it must be true. If you say it, it may not be true, but if they generate it, it must be. And anything they don't come up with you can add. You could say, there's a couple of other things I would do when I was there, I would really recommend, you know, seeing the turtles or whatever it is, and you can add those on. My third of my six ideas, is a Post-It wall.
So, you just give out Post-It notes to the audience, and you say, particularly if it's something that they may not want to admit. So, suppose you were collecting ideas for how the managers in the company could be better managers and people might not want to admit they've said things. You just say, write on the Post-Its, any ideas of how the managers could be better. And people will write things like, you know, thanking use more, or involving us in decisions, and things like that. And they can all write their Post-Its, and then they just stick all the Post-Its on the wall. So you don't know who's written what.
But it's also good 'cause you can then sort them into categories as well, so, you can actually organize the information and get some conclusions, you can say, look, 20 people here all said that they didn't think they were thanked enough. And only two people said that they thought the pay wasn't enough, I mean that would be really interesting. So, a Post-It wall is a really good idea to pad out your talk a bit by making it more interactive. The fourth idea is to get them to present something. So, you could divide them into groups, and say, like, you four, I want you to come up with ways you think that the company could improve its sales, and you four, I want you to look at customer care, and you four, I want you to give a little talk, in a minute, just a five minute talk, on new product ideas, or whatever it is.
And just give them stuff to do. So they then need 20 minutes to prepare it, and then each person's talk's going to be five minutes, and there's four of those, so that's another 20, so 40 minutes is going to be used for this. But, we're not just padding. This is going to actually be a lot better than you just droning through all the answers, 'cause they get really involved, they feel that they've had a chance to have a say, and they'll probably come up with stuff that you wouldn't have thought of, as well. So getting them to do little mini presentations can work really well, and if it's a group of four, if a couple of them are really nervous about presenting, it's fine, because you only want one of the four, perhaps two of them, to do the presentation.
And just a five minute presentation, using a sheet of flip chart paper as a visual aide, that's what I would do, I would give them each a piece of flip chart paper and a couple of pens, different colors, and say, write some things on there, and present it back to the group in 20 minutes time. So, that was the fourth one. The fifth of my six ideas, and can you see how I'm sign posting so you know where you are in this little tunnel? My fifth idea is to have a worked example. So this is where you give them a question to work out. And then, you show them the example up on the screen.
So, something like finance would be classic for this, you know, you could say, have a look at these three companies and work out which one's got the best profit margin, or whatever, and then you could show them the example, and you write it up, so they get a chance to have a go, and then you show them the right example, the right answer. And then my final example, the sixth one, is to have a quiz. And I mentioned earlier, people love quizzes, they get really competitive about it, and I usually just do a shout out the answer-type quiz, so I just have Power Point slides with questions on, I have the question, the answer, the question, the answer, and I have the words appearing as they do it.
So, I ask the question, they all shout out the answers, and then I click, and it comes up. By the way, have a clicker. You got to have a clicker, so that those things just come up, 'cause then you can walk around the room, and you can just click up the next line on your Power Point. So that's the quiz. You can give it out in writing, and get them to, either on their own, or in groups, work out what the answers are, and then you can ask each question and get the groups to shout out the answers to you, and that's another way you can do it.
So, working in pairs, shouting out ideas for the flip chart, the Post-It wall, getting them to present, giving them a worked example which you show them the answer, and then, a quiz. Those are all ideas for making your talk interactive, if it's a bit of a longer talk.
- Kick-starting your presentation
- Building in a memorable ending
- Knowing your audience
- Overcoming nerves
- Practicing your presentation
- Using the right body language
- Interacting with the audience
- Working with PowerPoint