Top tips for speakers by Nikita Prokhorov, Cofounder of Reputation House
Hi everyone! My name is Nikita Prokhorov. I’m a cofounder of Reputation House — one of the largest online reputation management agencies in the world.
My team and I can collect and analyse almost every message on the Internet in real time! We can delete any information from the Internet. That also includes YouTube-channels and video sources. In fact, we can delete anything for you.
Quite often people don’t understand what I mean when I say “Delete information”. That’s why presentations are crucial for me. Presentations and conferences are my main sales channel, and I have more than 200 employees to pay salaries to. For this reason, I have to be sure that my presentations are the best. To cut it short, I know a few things about presentations, and this time I am going to share my experience with you!
- Provide visuals
- Audit your audience
- Set up the context
- Simplify complex things
A visual is a very important part of each presentation. Speaking about visuals, you should understand that different countries prefer different visuals. If you are going to prepare a presentation for Eastern Europeans, you should know that they prefer images and bright designs. On the contrary, this year I’ve had a presentation at one of the best American business schools. When I sent my presentation to them, I was told that it was very cool, but also — that I should only keep the text. They didn’t need the design, only the content. One day you may also face such a client, that will ask to delete all your designs. That’s why, when preparing for an event, I check its website and the presentations from the previous years. This way I can get enough information about relevant designs. So, please, do check websites of the venues, websites of the participating companies and their social networks. It is a good source of free information! However, take care not to make another common mistake and add too much data and text into your content.
Audit your audience
First of all, we have to gather information about our audience. A speaker should care about what the audience is interested in. Otherwise, people won’t remember anything from the speech. It’s rather easy to establish the target of your presentation, but it’s not as easy to understand what the target of your audience is. Speakers should understand what they can present and how to do that in such a way that they will sell everything to their listeners.
For example, this year I have been to more than 12 countries including European ones. And there are several ones, where most people don’t know English. You may get into real trouble if you are going to make your presentation in English there. That is why I always have very long correspondence and chats with the hosts of the events. I ask them a lot of questions about the audience. I even have my own checklist for that which consists of 25 questions. Some hosts hate me for this, but this way I make sure that the audience will understand me. In conclusion, I strongly recommend you to make an audit of your listeners. Your audience may be much more complicated than you expect.
Set up the context
Let’s talk about context now. It is believed that setting up a context around a presentation can be a real challenge for the speaker. First of all, what is the context? The context of a presentation is like big data: we have all heard about it, but most of us can’t explain what it is. Generally speaking, context is everything that surrounds us. And context is what influences our behaviour. Please, set up the context for each of your presentations. Tell people what you are going to talk about and why are you doing it.
I create a huge quantity of presentations every year. The reason being is that in some countries people haven’t even heard about online reputation management. That is why I tell people about ORM and always offer them free audits of their online reputation. When setting up your context, always keep in mind what you can offer to people. Each presentation should also contain a call to action, for example, a free audit or a call invitation. Sometimes I ask my listeners to add me on LinkedIn or to put likes on my Instagram. It’s all about context and it works
Simplify complex things
Here comes a two-in-one. The way to make any difficult content look simple is to use infographics and ratings such as the top-10. Last year my team and I made a huge presentation about the real estate market in Dubai. We have researched over 12 000 real estate agencies in the UAE. However, there was only one slide with the top-10 real estate agencies in Dubai. At the end, all the mass media that were at the venue only used this one slide, because it was simple and comprehensible. So, always try to make complex things as simple as possible.
The last but not the least: don’t be afraid of the stage and the audience. Nothing bad will ever happen to you on the stage. Even if you’ve had a failed presentation, it’s not the end of your life. You will get invaluable experience and you should enjoy it. So, try to take part in any conferences and webinars and always strive to give at least a very short speech. Sometimes it’s crucial just to say anything. So, do presentations whenever you can and have fun!
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