Better Public Speaking


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Presenting Without Slides

These days, many presentations are made with the help of PowerPoint or Prezi slides. There are also teachers and lecturers who use these applications to spice up their presentations. Depending on the nature of the presentation, not having slides can be quite boring. This is because the presentation will become monotonous, with no visual aids to help clarify the presenter’s points. Slides usually provide a fresh outlook for the audience and will also give the crowd some visual explanations to the points that are being told.

However, in certain circumstances, you simply can’t use slides due to technical or logistical constraints. Your laptop may have broken down or a projector is unavailable. You may be presenting your talk in a restaurant over dinner where it’s simply not practical to conduct a PowerPoint presentation.

As such, if you decide not to use slides, it is very important that you use some creativity to enhance your presentation. This creativity will keep your audience interested and focused on the presentation. The primary consideration that has to be remembered to give a good presentation without slides is to know precisely what you are going to talk about. If you are well versed with the subject you intend to talk about, you should be able to present it without slides.

Hmm..easier said than done, eh? In all fairness to the usage of slides, it does make your job of explaining complex matters in an easy way. Slides will help you to cover a lot of ground in a short period of time too. If you choose not to use slides, then you’ll have to keep your presentations short and simple.

Without slides, you will most likely need to rely on picture painting words, flip charts, props and probably a whiteboard too. These alternative ‘tools’ will help give clarity to your audience. It does not matter if your props are large, small, funny or serious, as long as it relates to the point that you are trying to make and that the audience see it!

Ensure that you see, hear and feel (in your mind) what exactly it is that you want your audience to also see, hear and feel. Your vocal tonality will also help to enhance your presentations in the absence of slides. One good way of presenting without the help of slides is to tell a story, or an anecdote that has universal appeal. When telling stories, you will be able to utilize vocal variety, vivid imagery and other types of visual aids to engage the audience

Practice, practice, practise. Rehearse your speech as often as possible. I generally rehearse a five minute speech for one hour in order to get it right. Your rehearsals will make you look polished and will serve as a confidence booster while speaking. Only practice can make you a successful speaker, and this is one task that cannot be delegated to anyone else.

Remember that when you are not using slides, you are the visual aid of the presentation. Your audience will gain more interest in what you say, instead of your visuals, fancy slides or overheads. So basically, without PowerPoint or Prezi, it is important that you be more confident and well versed in your speech. Always remember that you are the master and your slides (if you choose to use them) are your slaves. You must be able to perform equally well with or without your slides because YOU ARE THE MASTER!

I wish you the very best in your next presentation. Good luck 🙂