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No. 1 priority for presentations

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in Career Management,Workplace Communication

In the hurry to share gobs of data or wow people with over-the-top technology, too many presenters forget to build rapport with their listeners—and that’s a big mistake. Follow these tips to connect with your audience:

Be honest and vulnerable. You don’t have all the answers and not everyone is going to love what you have to share. Talk openly about the downsides to your proposal and share your doubts. If you ignore or sugarcoat obvious issues, people won’t trust you.

Ditch the slides. People are bombarded with data-dump slide presentations that leave them squinting at the screen—and struggling to stay awake. Skip the slides and use a flip chart instead. Writing one simple word on the page, and then telling a powerful story that relates to it can be more effective than fancy slides.

Make your presentation a conversation. Encourage people to join in by stopping to ask if anyone has any questions or to ask listeners to weigh in.

— Adapted from “3 Low-Tech Speaking Tips That Still Work in 2016,” Lisa Nirell, Fast Company, www.fastcompany.com.

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