Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to Presentation Skills for Supervisors. This is the next topic in the Deer Oaks EAP Services 2020 Leadership Certificate webinar series. My name's Greg Brannan from Deer Oaks. Glad that you've joined us today.
Before we get started, I want to make sure our technology is working for us. If you can see the slides clearly and if you can hear my voice clearly, would you please click on the raise hand icon that's in the upper right-hand corner of your GoToWebinar software? Again, if you can see the slides clearly and if you can hear my voice clearly, would you please click on the raise hand icon that's in the GoToWebinar software in the upper right-hand corner of your screen? Thank you, folks. Looks like we're good to go technology wise.
I've got a couple of reminders before we get started. Reminder number one is, this presentation is the third out of four installments, or topics, in the 2020 Deer Oaks EAP Services Leadership Certificate webinar series. Those of you that attend all four seminars, or all four webinars, in the series this year, will receive the Deer Oaks Leadership Certificate at the end of the year. And you don't have to attend all live. If you missed some of the live presentations, we started off the series with How to Build a Strong Team in January. We came back in April with How to Become a More Effective Manager. Today, of course, is Presentation Skills for Supervisors. And we'll end up with Emotional Intelligence for Supervisors in October.
And so if you weren't able to catch any of the earlier sessions live, they are available via recording. And so all you would have to do is hit Reply to your GoToWebinar invitation for today, and just ask for the links to be sent to you for any of the previous sessions that you missed. Again, How to Build a Strong Team was in January. We came back with How to Become a More Effective Manager in April. Today is Presentation Skills for Supervisors.
And if you haven't already registered for the last installment in October, that's entitled, Emotional Intelligence for Supervisors. So if you'd like the recording link to the first two, or you would like the registration link to the last one that's coming up in October, please feel free, again, to hit Reply to your GoToWebinar invitation. We'd be happy to send you that information.
And again, if you participate in all four of these, either live or by viewing the link, and we have software that tracks attendance both live and those that are viewing on demand by clicking on the recording link, at the end of the year, you'll receive the 2020 Deer Oaks Leadership Certificate. We've had actually several thousand people receive those the last couple of years. And so I'm looking forward to being able to provide a lot more of those certificates for participation this year, as well.
The second thing I wanted to share before we get going is that we're going to handle our questions in two different ways today. There's going to be three points within the presentation. I'm going to start with a question here in a moment to try to get some involvement. And that part of that is to illustrate part of what we're talking about today with presenting effective-- or facilitating effective presentations.
And then in the middle of the program, I'm going to have another opportunity for people to give input and submit questions. And at the end, we'll have a final question and answer session. So there will be three opportunities today for you to submit questions. I just wanted to let you know the vehicle for submitting questions and all three opportunities will be the question box in the GoToWebinar software in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. So if you can just locate that right now. And that's how you would type in your questions.
Let's go ahead and get started. Let me start first with an over-- with an overview of the benefits of having good presentation skills. I mean, number one, it's-- I think for all of us that are in leadership positions, when you're a good presenter, when you're a good communicator, I mean, it's-- those are-- I think we all know those are skills that are important in training our staff and in motivating our team.
They're also important in giving recognition and encouraging people and engaging them. And so, I mean, it really does make sense to continue to develop your presentation skills and your communication skills. Number two, it increases our effectiveness. I can honestly say to you I've been managing people now for over 25 years, and I'm also a trainer, as some of you know, because we've been on some of these sessions together.
The fact that I've like-- and I've worked hard on this. I've not only gone and taken a lot of classes and read a lot of books, but I've also practiced a lot. I've really worked at becoming a good presenter. And I haven't arrived. I mean, I'm continuing to try to become better and better and better. I just want you to see, though, that the better your presentation and communication skills, the more effective you'll be as you supervise people, as you coach people, as you mentor people. Because communication really is the central leadership skill that really makes a difference in how motivated and engaged your team will be.
The third benefit I want to mention today is, when you're a good presenter, when you're a good communicator, it does position you as a respected leader, as a content expert, or a subject-matter expert, both inside and outside of your organization. So I mean, it's effective in positioning you as an important and respected professional. And it's really important-- it's an important part of our leadership arsenal. We really need to be good communicators to be effective leaders.
And then last and not least, it really builds your confidence as a professional. My confidence-- and I don't mind sharing. I'm 60, so I've been doing this a long time. But my confidence has never been better than it is now. And I try to make sure I keep that under wraps. I don't want my confidence to become cockiness. And I struggle with that every once in a while. I try to pull myself back in.
Remember, it's not about me. I'm here to help. But my confidence as a professional has never been better. I can go into situations now, if someone said-- and as long as I have some comfort level with the content area, I can go into a big meeting, a briefing, a formal presentation, a sales demonstration. I mean, I just feel more comfortable than I ever had before.
And now, of course, I've been doing this a long time. And certainly time and practice helps in that. But my presentation skills, I think, more than anything else has given me confidence that I can get up in front of people. I can get online and do a course like this one. I can jump into a big meeting and get my point across. And I can position our organization in an effective way when I'm speaking to different groups.
And so it really does help your confidence as a professional. Now, I also do recognize, folks, that it's the number one American fear. It's not easy to speak in public. And right now, of course, a lot of us who are teachers and presenters, we're doing a lot of this online now because of COVID. But as we get past the pandemic, hopefully, not before-- I mean, in not too much more time, we're going to be doing a lot more of these presentations in person again.
And so-- and there is a difference, and I will talk a little bit about the differences today between presenting in person versus presenting online. Similar skills, similar approaches, but there are some differences that I do want to share with you. But I just-- I can't overestimate the importance of being comfortable presenting. And it takes practice.
When I first started doing this, I was in my mid-20s, just to let you know how long I've been at it. I was scared to death. I was absolutely scared to death to get in front of people. I mean, I would-- I mean, I wanted to do it. I wanted to be a teacher. I knew-- my wife told me from early on in our relationship I told her I always wanted to be a trainer. That was a career goal of mine.
But I was scared to death. Even though I'm an extroverted person, I was scared to death to get up in front of people. And so I recognized that it's hard for some of us, but it's overcomeable. With training, as your comfort level gets better with your skills and you become more practiced, some of the fear does start to subside.
And you'll still have some butterflies. I mean, that's normal. It's normal to have some butterflies before starting a big presentation. I still do. But I'm not scared to death anymore like I was where I'm losing sleep the night before, I got sweaty palms, and my heart's beating fast. But again, it takes-- just to let you know, if this is something as-- that you signed up to learn more about, if you're in that place where you want to do a better job with this, you want to be able to do more of this but it really frightens you, don't feel bad. It's very common. It is.
In national fear surveys, the number one American fear is speaking in public. And so-- but I want you to know with practice and training, your comfort level will get better, and the fear start to subside. All right. So let me give you all an opportunity. So here's our first opportunity for questions. I'm going to open up the question box.
And so what I'm looking for is I'm looking for questions-- I'm looking for some thoughts from you all as to what you'd most like to get out of this presentation today. What would you like me to spend my time focusing on that would make you feel like this was a good use of your time? If you could take a moment and think about that and chat in some questions, or some suggestions for that, I'd sure appreciate it.
So here's one on tips on how to increase engagement. Absolutely, we will definitely talk about that. Thank you for that suggestion. That's great. How to temperature check your audience. I love it. We'll definitely talk about that, as well.
How do you balance it so that you don't do death by PowerPoint? We'll talk about that, as well. Thank you. These are great questions, folks. You guys are really hitting the nail on the head. How to determine if the audience is learning what you want them to learn? That's great. Absolutely.
I'm going to just do a couple more. I'm getting a ton. So this is wonderful, folks. We do-- by the way, folks, we've got 100 folks on the line today, so it's a great turnout. There's a couple more that I'll mention and then we'll move on. How to not be a boring presenter? That's important. Absolutely.
How to keep your crowd engaged? That's awesome. As a young supervisor, tips to be respected by the staff that are older than you. Another good one. Thank you, folks. That was a wonderful starting point for our conversation today. I'll try to integrate a lot of those into our conversation.
All right. So let me go ahead and move on. And so this first slide is a jumping off place. So these are keys to an effective presentation, OK? So if you were just to boil it down into a small handful of focus points, this would be the starting place for that.
And so number one, I think most of you would agree, you want your presenter to bring enthusiasm to the presentation, right? So if the presenter is not interested in the topic, or if they're not excited about the conversation, it's going to be hard for the audience to get excited. Enthusiasm, I think we all recognize, right? Enthusiasm is contagious.
And so I love-- like just think about the-- think about the times you really enjoyed listening to people online and on TV, right? If you're watching a sporting event, when you have an announcer that gets really excited when a big play happens, that draws the crowd in. I mean, that's exciting. If you're-- even if you're watching some sort of a YouTube video, and it's an instructional video and the guy is like really, really excited, think about some of those TV commercials where the guys get on there and their voice is really enthusiastic and they're talking about how this will slice and dice and do everything you possibly would ever want it to do. But they make their points with such enthusiasm. So you want to bring enthusiasm to the presentation. And that's important.
And so as we get into content development here in a minute, you have to have an interest in the content. Because I've been doing so many presentations for so many years, you can probably tell this is a very important piece of content for me. I mean, this is a skill that I really value, that I spend a lot of time with. And I've spent a lot of time on. And I want to help others, also, become as effective as possible. So that's where some of my enthusiasm comes from.
So obviously, if you're going to be enthusiastic, some of it comes from your personality. But some of it comes from your passion about the subject. If you're making a presentation about something that's really boring that you don't really care a lot about, it's going to be really hard to maintain a high level of enthusiasm throughout the presentation.
On the next piece sort of follows, I'm going to open up the question box. And you can't see it, but I can see it on my side. And I wanted to hit on a couple of the earlier points is, how to engage the audience? And so here's a couple of things here. How to determine if they're learning what you want them to learn.
When you ask for questions and you get a lot of questions, like I just got. Like you guys gave me a tremendous amount of questions. I easily had 15 or 20 questions, which was wonderful. So you all got engaged right away. So getting-- interacting with your audience is real important.
If I'd have asked, what do you want to focus on today and no one would have spoke up, I would've known I had more work to do to get you engaged. But all I had to do is ask, what would you like to talk about today? And I found that a lot of you came to the session today with a high level of interest.
But it's incumbent upon the presenter to draw that out. So ask questions. Start with asking the audience what they want to get out of this. Ask what's of interest to them. That's a good way to get on the same page with the audience from the beginning. And it's also an important way to make sure that you can tailor your presentation to what the audience really wants to come away with. And so that's an important piece of that.
Another one of your colleagues at the very beginning said, tips on increasing engagement. I think that's the beginning of engagement is to ask people what they want to focus on and to make sure that at least in part as you're presenting your material, you're focusing it at least somewhat on those areas that folks-- that the participants took the time to let you know that they were interested in. So then you've got that connection. The audience knows you heard them. And so that was a great question, folks.
All right. Then number three is to follow adult learning principles. Let me dwell on that for just a second. I know some of you have a lot of information, and a lot of-- and I know I want you-- I also want to make sure that everyone on the call today knows. I recognize there's a lot of accomplished presenters on this call today. I would bet on it that a lot of you have done-- have done lots of presentations in your career. And maybe just want to continue to develop your skills and maybe just get jumped on to reinforce some of the things that you're already doing, or take it to an even higher level. And I really admire that. That's a lot of the reason I jump on these kinds of presentations is I want to continue to get better. I want to be more effective. And so you can never attend too many classes. I think y'all would agree with that.
And so here's adult learning principles, though. So for those of you that aren't that familiar-- some of you will be-- is you want to start with the why. You probably noticed that from my first slide of the bene-- I started with the benefits of-- the benefits of becoming a better presenter, or a better communicator. And so you want the audience to understand from the beginning of the presentation why something is important to know, or why should they learn to do this new thing that you're presenting on that day.
Number two, we want to make sure that we facilitate the presentation in a way that speaks to different learners. I think most of you know that some people are visual learners. That's me. I'm very visual. Some people are auditory learners. They love books on tape. They could listen to those all day, because they can learn and actually as people are speaking to them, they can actually create mental pictures immediately. They process audible information. I'm not good at that.
But I rec-- I rec-- my wife is awesome at that. I can-- she can be doing six different things, and I can be talking to her at the same time and she hears every word I say and processes it and stays with me. She's an auditory learner.
And then a third category is tactile. That would be the hands-on. Folks that learn better from hands-on. Now, most of us are a combination of those things, of course. We usually have a primary. My primary is visual. My secondary is tactile. So ask yourself, what's your primary? Do you want to see it? Do you want to hear it? Or do you want to be hands-on with it?
And so-- but make sure when you're developing a presentation, you're involving all three. So so far today, I've got a visual aid for you on the screen, right? I'm speaking to you. So you've got the auditory working. And I gave you an opportunity to chat in questions, or to chat in content areas that you wanted me to make sure to focus on. So I got you-- I got you a little bit hands-on at the beginning. And so that's what we ought to be thinking about. We ought to be thinking about trying to engage all three learning styles for maximum retention. I'll talk to you more about that in a minute.
And then as much-- as experiential as you can make the presentation, try to make it experiential. So as hands-on as you can make it, as specific-- you can give specific stories and illustrations, is really important. We want to engage the imagination. So either get-- you make it experiential for folks, or more experiential for folks, by making it hands-on, but also by giving a lot of colorful, specific examples and stories and illustrations so that people can engage their imaginations and not just think about the content. But really experience in their mind's eye what's going on, or to see themselves doing something, following the steps, or have them actually really get engaged in an example at a heart level, or at an emotional level.
So now, let's talk about developing your content. So that's the beginning piece. Now, I do want to share because I, like most newer presenters 20 or 35 years ago, I started presenting probably in my mid-20s. I struggled with content development. I obsessed about it, like many new presenters do. We start thinking that our presentation needs to be perfect.
And this is, obviously, 35 years ago. For me, it was even before PowerPoint. I mean, I was doing-- I was doing over-- slides on an overhead projector. That's how far back I go. I'm dating myself, I know.
But it's interesting. I love how technology has brought it a lot further. And of course, I'm only using-- I'm only scratching the surface. You can tell I'm a baby boomer, right, because I'm not using a lot of the visual aids that I could use even within PowerPoint. Only be-- and part of it's because of my own comfort level. But in developing your content, again, number one, start with a topic that you're invested in or interested in or passionate about. I'm a true believer in presentation skills. They have done so much for me in my life and in my career. It's helped me in so many ways professionally and personally.
I've used them in my personal life. I've used them as a volunteer. I'm an ice hockey coach on the weekends. I use presentation skills in coaching. I mean, I just-- I mean, I-- and I do have an undergraduate degree, believe it or not, even though I've got a counseling background. I have an undergraduate degree in speech communications. So I actually did go to school for this, although that wasn't what motivated me to become a trainer.
And just matter of fact, I remember-- talking about being scared to death, I remember my first speech class having to get up and do the semester-- the final for the semester, and my speech class was getting up and doing a full speech. Well, talk about not sleeping and sweaty palms. I mean, I was a mess. And so we can get past it. We can with more training and with practice, we can get past that. I just want to share some of that to encourage you, so if you're thinking to yourself, this guy seems really comfortable. I've done thousands of these. And so certainly with anything else that any of us do a lot of, you're going to get more and more comfortable. There's no question about it. But I still want to continue to get better.
And so you can tell, I chose a topic here that I'm interested in. This is the space that I live. I mean, this is what I do, and I love. If there was one thing that I could do if someone came to me and said, you've got one hour, what one thing do you want to do at that hour? I would teach class. Just-- I mean, that's my favorite thing to do. I feel like I'm making a difference. I feel like I'm helpful.
And so be thinking about when you're choosing content, try to make sure you're choosing a topic that you're at least interested in. Ideally, choose a topic that you're passionate about. That would be the best. Because you'll bring more enthusiasm and more interest to that than anything else.
But I do want to remind you, because this is something that a lot of you already know, I want to remind you that less than 10% of the effectiveness of a presentation-- and this is in satisfaction surveys-- less than 10% are the words you use is the content. Most, though, over 90% of the effectiveness is a-- of a presentation is how engaging you are with the audience. How well you connect with the audience. How you draw the audience in. How you interact with them. How enthusiastic you are.
So how you present is more important than what you present. So remember that. So when you're stressing about content-- so that's why I want to make this next suggestion. When you're going to develop a presentation, start with three or four main points. Most of my presentations I do four main points.
I'm building-- I want to give you an example. I'm building one right now that I'm going to present this week for the first time for Deer Oaks. It's a pandemic related topic. It's how to cope with anxiety during difficult times. As many of you know, a lot of us have been dealing with a fair amount of anxiety during the pandemic trying to keep our family safe, having to adjust to a lot of changes, dealing financial pressures. There's just been a lot going on in our world, right? I don't want to preach to the choir about that.
And so the reason, though, that I chose that topic particularly about how to cope with anxiety during difficult times, is in my 20s, I had anxiety attacks. So I personally experienced severe anxiety and went to a counselor and got tremendous help with it. And I guess I was so impressed with the help that the counselor did in helping me learn how to manage my anxiety and give me relief from anxiety, through some good counseling, is that I decided to go to school to become a counselor myself. And so again, another content area that I'm really passionate about.
And so as I'm developing that, again, I'm starting with four main points. So I pick something I'm passionate about. I'm starting with what my four main points. Those points are understanding anxiety is number one. Number two is, I'm just trying to give you the outline so you can kind of track along with me if you're wanting to make this more real on how to develop and do a new presentation.
So understanding anxiety is number one. Number two is acknowledging and expressing emotion. Number three is managing our thinking. And number four is coping skills for dealing with anxiety. So those are my four points, my four main points. And so I started-- as I've been developing this, I started with a basic outline of the main points. And then I start drilling down into some sub bullets that's explaining where detail each point. And I also identify places to give examples, or to tell a story.
And so I actually build it that way. It's-- and since I've learned to do that, I've probably been doing it that way now for about 10 years or so, give or take. Before I simplified it to that four main points, start with the main points, and then just sort of drill down into sub bullets with examples and stories. And it's a formula that really works. And especially, if it's a topic you're interested in. It'll flow for you.
And of course, then you can do research. So you got your four main points. And now you can do-- you can do-- I do Google searches around my main points just to see what the latest research is in that content area. And I pick up-- and there's so many, as you all know when you do Google searches about content, you'll get so many. Five steps to being a better presenter. Nine things to do to overcome fear of presenting.
So you'll get a lot of great content. And I try to pull from reliable content, reliable sources, right, like we all do. And I'm looking for SHRM, the Society for Human Resources Management. I'm looking for Forbes Magazine, Harvard Business Review. I'm looking for those to make sure my content is reliable. But that's basically in a nutshell how I build a presentation. I try to keep it as simple as possible.
Now, as I'm building out my content, as I mentioned a moment ago, I'm also trying to remember that some people are auditory learners. Some are visual learners. And some are tactile learners. And I want to give you a statistic that's really, really kind of impacted-- it's had a big impact on me over the years, is that people retain 30% of what they hear, 50% of what they hear and see, and 70% of what they hear, see, and do.
So ideally, you want to combine. You want to have a combination. Not only will that touch all the different learners in your audience, but it's going to maximize participant retention, is if people get a chance to hear what you're saying, they get a chance to see what you're talking about, and get a chance to be at least a little bit hands-on with what you're dealing with.
And then as you're developing the presentation, the PowerPoint, try to make sure you're including, right, some audio, visual, and experiential delivery, for maximum retention. And so you want to have some verbal presentation, like I'm doing now. Some visual aids, like the PowerPoint, some hands-on exercises. Now, one of the things I do better in person when I'm teaching is I do breakout groups. And I know with Zoom meetings, you can do breakout groups.
And again, this is where I show my age with being a baby boomer. I'm not-- I've not learned how to take Zoom to that level yet. I'm going to need to. But when I'm teaching classes in person, I will do a couple-- typically a couple breakout groups, especially if it's a two or three hour class. I'll do a-- I'll try to do a couple of breakout groups throughout the class to give people an opportunity to be hands-on with the material, rather than just sitting in the audience listening to me talk, even though I do try to be interactive and I try to draw people in by asking questions of the audience.
Breakout groups, when people can be hands-on with the material, can be a great way to make it more experiential. And again, I will need to be learning how to do that via Zoom breakout groups.
All right. So now, here's the second opportunity for you to be hands-on, OK? I'm going to open up-- I'm going to open up my window again, my question box. So if you're thinking right now about, how do I create a great presentation, what questions do you have? I gave you a high level overview of creating an effective presentation. But what additional questions do you have about creating effective presentation?
If you have questions, type them into the question box in the GoToWebinar software. And I'm starting to get some. Thank you, folks. This is awesome.
All right. The first one is, what examples do you have for experiential delivery? All right. So the first example I gave is the one that I use most when I'm teaching in person is I'll do breakout groups. And basically when I do a breakout group, I'll assign content to each group.
Sometimes it's the same content that groups-- small groups and at tables will go through together to give-- because-- and to think about this, some individuals that go to an in-person seminar aren't real comfortable that-- they might be more introverted in their personalities. So they might not be as comfortable answering questions in front of the group. Because I do ask a lot of-- to engage people, I ask a lot of questions. Like what are your thoughts about this? Has anyone ever experienced that? Has anyone ever done this? How have you approached this in the past?
And as I make it-- as I make a point I'll say, does anyone have any experience with that? Does anyone have an example? So I do a lot of that-- I do a lot of quest-- I ask a lot of questions in person to get people to be as hands-on and experiential as possible. But again, there are some people in the audience when you're teaching in person that don't feel as comfortable answering questions in a group, or asking questions in a group. But when they get into the small breakout groups, they're more comfortable sharing their thoughts and opinions, and asking questions in a smaller group.
And so that's the value of breaking up into smaller groups is it's more comfortable for people. But then I'll give them an assignment so they can be more hands-on with my material. For example, I was doing a leadership training a while ago. And what I did for a breakout group was, I told each small group that they were a leadership team. And I asked them to develop a training program for their team.
And so I gave them a scenario, because it was about how to effectively teach people to do X, Y and Z. And so-- and training skills for managers, that kind of stuff. And so I gave them an opportunity in those small groups to actually develop-- I gave them scenarios and to actually develop a training program for their staff with goals and to put together how they would approach it, what the curriculum would be. How they would facilitate the training, and so on and so forth. What the goals for the training would be.
So-- and so I hope that helps with some. I've got a couple more questions here. When attendees don't engage with questions, how do you reconnect with them? That's a great question, because sometimes attendees won't engage with questions. Again-- and that's another reason why I use a breakout group.
Now another thing you can use online is polling questions. I don't tend to use them as much as I could. But I have used them in the past. And so for some people who won't ask a question, will do-- will do an anonymous poll. Have a polling question and say, how many people on a scale of 1 to 10, what-- how many think that this particular thing is important? And give people an opportunity to weigh in with that.
And so that's another way you can try to engage people online. You can have people submit their questions in writing is another way to engage people that might not be-- before break like, let's say you're going to be taking a break halfway through a presentation. You could say to people, I'd like to have everyone take a moment here during the break and think of one question that you would want to ask about what we've talked about so far, or to write down one idea you would want to make sure that we cover in the second half of our presentation. That would be another idea to connect with people that might not be willing to ask a question out loud, especially in front of a group of people.
And here's another suggestion from one of your key-- one of your peers that real time surveys seem to be a good-- seem to be good for honest feedback. Absolutely. You can do real time surveys. You can survey your audience, either by polling them online, or even in person. You can do-- I mean, there's technology where you can generate polls in a room if you have the right technology, and people get a chance to do polling questions.
Or you can do surveys. Or a combination of surveys and polling question. And so you're right, real time-- so your colleague is 100% right. Real time surveys during a presentation can help you see if the audience is tracking with you. When I come back from breaks, because another one of you earlier asked a really important question about-- it said, how do I make sure that people are getting from the presentation what I'm hoping they'll learn from the presentation?
I will do a touch base with the audience, typically coming out of a break. I'll say to the audience, what have you gotten from this so far? I want to make sure that I'm presenting the material in a way that's most helpful to you. What have you gotten from this so far? And that-- informally, that is another opportunity to double check and make sure that people are tracking with you, and that they're learning what you want them to learn.
These are-- folks, you guys are doing great. Thank you so much for interacting with me. So let me go on with the content.
All right. Preparing for the presentation. So now you've developed your presentation, you're passionate about the subject. You've got a really good four step your four point presentation. You've drilled down. And so you want to be prepared.
And so first and foremost at the beginning, at the outset, try to do some version of what I did at the beginning today. Learn whatever you can about the needs or interests of the audience and integrate it into your presentation, like I've been trying to do today. I mean, I asked you all, what would you like to cover today? And I've been-- and as I've gone on through the presentation, I'm trying to integrate some of your questions and some of your areas of interest into my presentation.
And so you can do that ahead of time. You can-- if you really want to get a head start and while you're developing your content, you're really wanting to tailor it as well as you can to the needs of the audience, you can send some information out in advance to the participants if you know who the participants are going to be. You can send out a week ahead of time. I'd love to know-- thank you for signing up for this class next Friday. I would love to know in advance what content you would like me to make sure that I focus on or touch on during the class.
So that would be another way. So do whatever you can. And I usually always open with that, because that-- to me, that's the easiest to start a presentation by asking, what would you like to get from today? And then again, you've got to-- you've got to make sure that you take a few notes and that you integrate what you're hearing from people at the beginning throughout your presentation. So that's number one, make sure that you're trying to tailor the presentation as best as you can to the needs and interests of the audience.
A lot of times, also, the person who asked you to do the presentation, just spend a few minutes with them and really kind of drill down. Tell me what people are most interested in. And what are your goals for this? What do you want people to come away with? So really spend some time with the organizer of the presentation to make it-- because they probably will have as good a feel for the needs of the audience, the specific needs of the audience as anybody else.
And then, of course, after you do your presentation, review the materials and practice the presentation. When you really know the content, you won't be reading the slides. You know how boring it is? I think we've all gone to presentations when people are just reading off the slides. I mean, you won't be reading the slides. You'll be engaged in the content.
And so I've done that-- because I present all the time, I didn't have to do a lot of preparation for today. But I still went through my notes twice. And so before I started with you all this afternoon, I went through my notes twice, even though I've done a lot of presentations and I've done this particular class many, many times. I still went back. I wanted to make sure that I was reconnected with the content so I could give you the best possible experience.
Because again, the more comfortable you are, that's going to help reduce your anxiety as you're presenting, and it's going to help you to be more interactive with the audience and less focused on the content. Because remember, what people really want when they come to a presentation, they really want enthusiasm, and they really want an engaging conversation. So as best as you can do that, and the more you know your content, the less focus should be on your content, the more free you'll be to just be engaged with the audience.
And even include practicing the stories and examples you use throughout the presentation, as well. I decided this morning as I was preparing for this that I would use my-- the new coping with anxiety presentation that I'm working on this week, that I would use that as my example. And so-- but be prepared for that. Don't just kind of go into it and hope you think of an example along the way.
Remember, the more examples and stories you can tell as part of a presentation, the more engaged your audience will be, and the more they'll get out of it. So you need to be prepared in advance as to-- make some notes. As you've got an outline, make some notes like, at this point, I'm going to tell this story. At this point, I'm going to make this example, and so on and so forth.
All right. So last but not least, delivering an engaging presentation. And then I'll open it up for more questions. And so from an attitude standpoint, go into the presentation as a facilitator, not a lecturer. We don't want to talk at people. And all new presenters are all people that are learning to be better presenters.
We'll get into lecture mode sometimes. I slide into it sometimes. You can probably tell. We all do. But we want-- our mindset ought to be, I'm here to facilitate a conversation. Now, in person, I can do a better job of that because I can use body language. I can make eye contact. It's harder to do that online. I think most of you probably recognize that.
And so I try to make do and still make it as engaging for the audience as possible, like I'm trying to do today. But in person when you're presenting, I really try to-- I try to look-- I don't go in thinking I have to make a presentation. I go in thinking I'm going to facilitate an engaging conversation about this topic. And so I'm constantly asking people for questions, asking them for their input, for their ideas, for their suggestions. And I just try to make it as interactive as possible.
And again, my mindset is, I'm here to facilitate. I'm not here to teach you something. I'm here to facilitate, hopefully, a meaningful conversation for all of us that you'll get as engaged in as I am. And so as you go through the presentation, your job is to introduce the next topic. And then consistently ask the audience for input into that topic. And that's how you're continually leading sub conversations throughout your presentation about the content.
So I'm going to flip back for a second to the initial questions that you all-- or the initial focus suggestions that you all gave me. So that's a good one. Remember one of the good ones that your colleague asked earlier today, or suggested earlier today, how do you balance-- how do you balance a presentation so you don't create a death by PowerPoint scenario? That was my paraphrase.
And so you do that by, again, not reading the slides. And again, that's why I only do four major points. And you probably noticed, I don't have a whole lot of bullets. I try to keep it high level. And because my goal is to introduce each content area of the presentation, and then lead a conversation, or give examples, or tell stories, or get input, or get ideas from the participants about these areas. And so that's how I stay out of the PowerPoint.
If you find that you're always speaking to your PowerPoint, what that means is your focus is too much on the content and not enough on facilitating a conversation, or an interaction with the audience. But thank you for that. There was another really good one here.
Well, here's a great one. As a young supervisor, what are some tips that-- what are some tips to help me be more respected by the staff, by staff that are older than I am? I think that's a great question.
I remember my first management job. I got my first management job at 27. And I remember that. And I had some people-- I was managing a 40-year-old at the time. And she thought she knew a lot more than I did. And she did. She'd been around a lot longer.
And so one of the things I learned early on with her, and I've carried that throughout my career, is one of the best ways to engage older learners that may have more experience, or just have been around the block longer than you, is to ask for their input. People love when someone will show a little humility and will bring-- open up a subject or open up a topic and ask for their advice, or ask for their thoughts, ask for their-- to share their experience, their expertise.
And so what tends to aggravate older, more experienced people is when a younger facilitator or supervisor will be a little too directive in their presentation, acting like they know it all. Like here's what you need to do. Here's how you need to do it. And you'll have-- that's when it can cause some discomfort with older workers who've been around for a long time. They're thinking to themselves, I've been doing this stuff a lot longer than this guy or this lady has been doing it.
But if you approach it in a more of a facilitator way, where here's what I want to talk about at our meeting-- at our team meeting today, here's a couple of topics that I want to discuss. And let me open it up for the group, and then you can point to some of the folks that are more experienced, or have more tenure, and say, hey, you've been here a lot longer than I have. What are your thoughts about this? What do you think we should be focusing on here?
And as you're facilitating conversations a lot in that way and drawing people in, showing respect for their expertise and experience, that generally takes care of those issues. And you've done it-- you'll generally get more respect from those folks. Thank you for that. That was a great question, or a great thought.
All right. So a couple of additional thoughts and I'll open it up for questions. And so, of course, you want to have a good opening. And the opening that I chose at the beginning was to get you involved by asking what you'd like to cover today. Sometimes I'll start with an opening quote. Sometimes I'll start with-- I mean, I did one this morning. I did a emotional intelligence presentation this morning. I started with a quote from Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, about emotional intelligence to try to get people into the conversation.
Sometimes I'll tell a story. Sometimes I'll tell-- I'll use a little bit of humor. I mean, I do-- I kind of-- I use different ways to start a presentation. But you want to get off to a good start, a good interactive start. And you guys made my job easy today. I asked the one question, what would you like to cover today? And I got 20-- out of 100 people, I got 20 of you. That's pretty impactive. I got 20-- basically, 20% of the audience chatted in and said, this is what I'd like to cover.
So I knew from jump we were-- all of us were enthusiastic moving forward about the content. And that's what you want to do. You want to get off to a good start and get people interacting from the beginning. The worst thing you can do is start with 10 minutes of lecture. You'll start-- people's eyes will glaze over. And I think we've all been to those presentations. So make it is as attention getting and interactive as you possibly can.
And remember as you go through the content, remember to keep the audience involved. You've seen that I've tried-- I've done two so far today. I've stopped and done two opportunities to ask you to chat in questions, where to give me your thoughts, or suggestions for what to focus on. And so make sure that throughout the presentation, you're doing some of those. It breaks it up. Particularly, if the presentation is lengthy. This one isn't very lengthy because we're just getting ready to wrap it up.
But if you're doing an hour long, or a two hour long presentation, make sure that there's breaks built in, small group discussions, hands-on exercises. You want to break it up. Remember this, folks. Most adults, particularly nowadays, have short attention spans. I mean, we're talking and there's different studies on this. But most adults, 15, 20 minutes and they're ready to do something. They're ready to think about something. They're ready to experience something, laugh at something. And so just be as you're setting up your presentation, make sure your brain-- you're putting in some breaks and some humor and some examples and some activities. And just breaking it up so you can keep people engaged and attentive throughout.
And also, don't forget your nonverbal communication. I mean, I've been trying to do some nonverbal here today with you, even though I can't make eye contact with you. Because we're not using video right now, I'm trying to use voice inflection and enthusiasm and my tone of voice. And enthusiasm in my approach and my pitch.
I'm trying to show interest, ask you questions in a way that I'm interested in learning from you and hearing from you. But if you're in person, make sure you're making good eye contact, you're using positive hand-- body language. Like you don't want to cross your arms in front of your body. That shows that you're closed. You want to keep your hands either in front of you or down by your side. You want to make good eye contact. You want to smile, use hand gestures.
And remember, nonverbal communication is a really important part of communication, as well. All right. Last but not least, let's talk about managing anxiety and then open it up for final question. And so as I shared at the beginning here, and I did that for a reason because I wanted to engage your feelings at the very beginning today.
And so knowing how scary it is for some people to do presentations in public, and knowing how much I suffered at the beginning of my career as I was trying to learn how to do this, I wanted you to be thinking about-- I wanted to give you a little bit of hope at the beginning. I wanted you to-- I wanted to engage your feelings at the beginning about it. I wanted you to feel some of that anxiety. But I wanted to give you a little bit of hope. I wanted to give you a little bit of a feeling of hope that I started in a really rough place, too. And with some training, with a lot of practice, I've been able to get more-- a lot more comfortable with presenting. And you can, too. There's nothing special about me.
I'm a guy. I'm a little bit extroverted, which might be helpful. But I'm a guy like-- and I'm probably no more educated than most of you, no more talented than the most-- than the rest of you. We all have our strengths, right? We all do. We-- I mean, I'm sure that if I met every one of you on the call today, or on the webinar today, I would learn some really exciting strengths that all of you have that would be complementary to what I bring to the table.
I mean, we can all support each other and complement each other. I've just done a lot of this. The only reason that I'm good at it now is I practiced it a lot. I've studied it. I've gone to school for it. I've made it a focus. Any of you that did the same thing that I've done could be just as proficient at presenting as I am. And some of you would be even better.
So I just wanted to give you-- I wanted to give you encouragement. And so-- but here's some steps to manage anxiety. Don't focus on your performance. So I want you to see-- if you could see what's on my desk right now, I wrote, be helpful. And I've got it on a yellow sticky. It's a wrinkled yellow sticky because I use it before almost every presentation to remind me to not-- that I'm not presenting to perform for you. That I'm not presenting to impress you. To somehow make you feel like I'm some great presenter. That's not my goal.
Earlier in my career, I did fall into some of that ego stuff a little bit, and I had to get that under control. Nowadays, as I've gotten older, my goal is to help. That one of the reasons why I like presenting, I like teaching, is it's one of the primary ways I think I give back to the world. I like to help.
And so when I facilitate a conversation, I'm hoping that some of you come out of this conversation today feeling encouraged that you can improve your skills in this area with some ideas that will help you be more effective and more comfortable where you can present in a more confident way. And so number-- so don't focus-- if you're focused on your performance, you're going to get anxious. Performance anxiety comes from trying to perform.
I haven't been nervous at all today because from the beginning of our conversation, I've been trying to help you. And so-- now, it took me a little while to get into the right headspace with that. I had to get my head on straight that-- and my wife has helped me. She's helped me keep ground-- to stay grounded with this. Like she's said to me sometimes, she's said, dude, you know, you're not there to wow them with your presentation skills. You're there to help. It's an opportunity to help. And I've needed to hear that.
And so-- but the more I focus on helping, the less nervous I am. Because it's not about looking good or presenting well. It's about just helping people. And I think we can all relate to that.
Number two, make sure you get a good night's sleep before you have a presentation. It's hard to keep your emotions under control when we're tired. It really is. It's-- I think you all know that. When you're tired, it's easy to overreact emotionally. It's easy to be a little bit more nervous. So make sure that you get a good night's sleep, a good night's rest, if you can so you'll be-- you'll have more natural energy and more ability to manage your emotions the next day.
Watch your caffeine intake, folks. I mean, I do a little bit of caffeine in the morning. But then I do decaf and water the rest of the day. And I used to do a lot of caffeine. 30 years ago, I used to drink coffee on and off throughout the day. And that was one of the reasons I was as anxious as I was is I was doing too much caffeine.
So a counselor helped me to do less caffeine. It's helped me to be a better presenter when I do less caffeine, to be less nervous when I'm presenting when I do less caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant. And it actually creates more anxiety in people. And so a little bit's OK. I mean, there's a lot of research says a little bit of caffeine can help make you more alert and that's been-- it's OK. But too much caffeine, again, can just actually make you more nervous, make you more jittery.
And then moving around during a presentation can help release nervous energy, too. I have a swivel chair and I've got a headset here. And you haven't been able to see me, but I'm spinning around and I'm going back and forth. And when I'm presenting live, I mean, I'm walking. And so if I have a microphone, if it's a bigger audience, I always do the lapel mikes, the portable lapel mikes so I can walk around.
It helps me. It helps me work out my anxiety, keep the butterflies flying in formation, if you will. All right, folks. We've covered a lot today in a very short period of time. I want to thank you for being with us today. And 100 of you stayed on the entire time, which I appreciate. Thank you for that. I know your time is valuable.
What questions do you have in closing? We've got time. We've got about seven minutes. What questions do you have that we could discuss together? And I will try to get to as many questions as I can in the last seven minutes here.
Here's a really, really good question. Folks, I got to say, you guys have been tremendous today. I've seen some incredible, insightful questions and points made. And so thank you, thank you for taking this so seriously and for being so interested. So this is a really good one.
Is there a way to possibly engage that one negative person in the audience? I used to try to do that. So I'm really glad that you asked that. And presenters are naturally-- we naturally want to please people. We want people to like our presentation. And that's human. That's part of being a human being.
And so I obsessed about that early in my career. And you can see from people's body language, you can see those couple of negative people in every audience, right? And then I would try to win them over. I would be talking to them and trying to get them to nod. And I got to a place where I realized that I can't make anyone like my presentation. I can't make anyone learn. They have to come to it and want to enjoy, and want to learn, want to be engaged.
And so I just probably halfway through my career, I kind of let go of trying to engage the more negative folks. But I did obsess over it for a long time because I wanted everyone to like the presentations. Even when I would look at evaluations, I would dwell way too much on the few negative ones.
But I've come to realize you can't make everybody happy. And so-- and I have no control over other people's feelings and their likes and dislikes. And so I just do the best I can to help. And if someone doesn't like it, I try not to sweat it. If they have-- if they do an evaluation and they've got something constructive to say, I try to take it to heart. So if they say, hey, next time do more breakout groups, or I think you lecture too much. I try to take that to heart.
OK. That's constructive. I can do something with that. But if they are just being negative, because there's some people that just are negative, that you couldn't please. And so I used to obsess about it, but now I just sort of let that go. But thank you for asking. I think that was a good point to make.
All right. Let's see. Here's another important one. Would you send me the link so I can review this again? If you would like a copy of this presentation, folks, or a copy of the recording link, just hit Reply to your GoToWebinar invitation for today and request that we-- our staff would be happy to send it to you.
Here's a really good question from someone that I know really well. Says, how can we select the right voice tone based on the audience and presentation place? Or should we use the same voice tone across all presentations? I'm going to answer that in two ways.
Number one, be yourself. Don't try to be me. Don't try to be a presenter that you've seen that you thought was dynamic. I had the great pleasure to work for Zig Ziglar, the motivational speaker. Some of you who are older probably remember. I worked for him in the '90s for a little bit. And it was a wonderful experience. I learned so much from Zig. And he was going around the country doing huge presentations to 3,000 and 5,000 people. And I learned so much from him.
But one of the things I really learned from him was to be myself, is that I can't-- I couldn't be Zig. I have to be me. Zig was real folksy and real down home. He grew up in the country in Mississippi, and so he had a really folksy style that people really bonded with. But I can't do that. That's not me. I grew up in upstate New York and I am who I am. And so I just try to be me. So that's the first way I'll answer that question.
The second way I'll answer it, though, is try to temper your tone based on the content. I'm doing a lot more enthusiasm today. I mean, I typically am pretty enthusiastic. I'd be at a 7 out of 8 out of 10 all the time because that's my style. But I try to stay up around eight or even nine on this presentation, because I wanted to model enthusiasm for-- as you're presenting.
And so-- now, if you're dealing with something serious, like for example when I do this new presentation I've mentioned a couple of times today, how to cope with anxiety during difficult times. That's serious. And a lot of people are struggling right now. I'm not going to use the same tone. I'm going to be a little bit more conversational, a little bit more-- try to come across a little bit more empathetic, a little bit more serious, because people are struggling. And I need to acknowledge that with my tone. So thank you for that. That was a great question.
Let's see, I've got time for one more question, folks. Here's a good one. Here's another one on content and developing your content. So do you put notes in areas of where to ask questions, or just randomly ask them?
I think when you're first starting out when you're getting comfortable, I think it's helpful to start with an outline. I used to-- I did like a lot of presenters back in the day, I started with three by five cards. And so-- and this was even before PowerPoint. And so I would write out my presentation on three by five cards, and I would actually make notes on my three by five cards as to when to ask questions, or when to make an example, or when to tell a story.
And so I think it's helpful when you're first getting comfortable preparing. I think it's helpful to-- and nowadays, you can just print out your PowerPoint and just put notes on your own copy. So as you're getting ready to go through the PowerPoint, you've got it there in front of you. So I do think it's helpful to get that organized initially.
Now, as you get more experience and more comfortable with the content part, and you get more-- and your focus shifts away from the content, which is normal. The more comfortable you are, the less you're going to be thinking about the content, the more you'll be focused on facilitating conversations in the general areas that you're covering. Then you can be more informal and just be asking questions as they come to you to engage-- to further engage the point-- the audience in sections.
Or if you notice that you're-- maybe they're kind of glazing over a little bit to start asking more questions to re-engage them again. I actually planned today the three times I would ask at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end. I planned it ahead of time so I knew when I was going to ask those three questions to engage you virtually. And so-- but that was great, folks. Thank you.
All right. Folks, we've come to the end of our time today. I truly appreciate everyone staying on for the entire presentation. And it's a pleasure for Deer Oaks to be your EAP Services Provider. Please remember your EAP services during these difficult times.
We're still providing counseling, even though it's not face-to-face at this point. We can still do telephonic or chat counseling, and we can provide a lot of resources for you and your family. So if you need to reach Deer Oaks, because all of you on the call today have Deer Oaks as your EAP program, please reach out to your human resources office and ask for the 24 hour help line for Deer Oaks. And please feel free to reach out for help if you need it.
So thank you, folks, again, for being with us today. I really appreciated your time and your engagement, and I hope you have a great rest of the day. Stay safe and healthy, and I hope to be with you on another presentation here shortly. Take care. Bye-bye.