How to boost your presentation delivery techniques

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Here’s some really simple but effective ways to improve the delivery of any presentations you’re giving.

Because, whether you’re preparing to give a speech for your AGM; to be the key note speaker at a big conference; take part in a round table discussion, or just going to record a short vox pop, its always worth taking a few moments to consider whether a few simple changes might boost how well your words are received.

People were asked to watch TED talks with and without the words and the results are both startling and useful:

1. The words don’t actually matter

The audience rated the talks the same, with or without words, based on how the speaker looked and moved.

2. Smiling makes you look smarter

“Smiling not only gives off positive energy, but people actually perceive those who smile as more intelligent.”

3. The use of hand gestures adds context

The research found a direct correlation between the number of arm movements and how highly the talk was rated.

4. Storytelling is crucial

Fluctuating speaking tones are more captivating, with charisma felt to come from the varying tone, volume and pitch of the voice.

 5. Make a grand entrance

“On average, TED speakers who smiled, used hand gestures and acted comfortable before words were exchanged within the first seven seconds were perceived as more personable and charismatic.”

I was surprised to see these results from talks which are so famed for their leading edge content, rather than their delivery.  They prove that even the most interesting content can be made more impactful by paying attention to just a few simple presentation delivery techniques.

You can read more about the research from the brilliant PSFK website.

5 basic tips for shooting video for social media

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Now most of us carry a smartphone, we’re all budding Spielbergs taking short videos of our loved ones, dinners and adventures. More than 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every MINUTE and 1bn of us visit the site every month!

Through video, schools, brands or businesses can build strong relationships with their target audiences. On a basic level by providing helpful tips and insights through video, viewers develop a greater level of trust and positive associations with key organisations.

So if you’ve always fancied giving it a go, here’s five tips for shooting video for social media:

 1. Think about your objectives

5 basic tips for shooting video for social media

Ultimately videos are just another part of the marketing mix, they need to fit in with your business goals. So if your objective is to increase sales, a video showcasing new products with a link to shop is going to tick all the boxes!

2. Tell a story

5 basic tips for shooting video for social media

By telling a story through your video, you keep your audiences’ attention. Think about your key points and the order you need to tackle each one. I always find the famous advertising acronym – AIDA works wonders. Get their ATTENTION, keep their INTEREST, invoke DESIRE and finally cause ACTION.

3. Different angles

5 basic tips for shooting video for social media

Unlike 1950s TV, we are used to seeing fast paced film with multiple angles and not just one shot to camera. If you have the luxury of time, try shooting the same interview or scene from three different viewpoints.

4. Landscape not portrait!

If you’re using your smartphone don’t forget to turn your phone landscape, otherwise you’ll end up with that classic columns look! And just because you’re shooting for social media, doesn’t mean we want to see the nasty camera-shake. It’s easy to avoid by investing in a basic tripod and for a phone, this neat grip – (something we recently introduced to us by the guys from YouShoot!)

5. Sound and lighting

There are people in this world who dedicate their lives to perfecting light and sound on film shoots. But there’s a couple of tricks we can use in the field.

For sound, a simple mic plugged into the jack on your smartphone and attached to your subject’s lapel will help cut out any background noise. And for lighting, its worth just taking two minutes to examine the best angle for your subject. You might find that stood slightly out of direct sunlight illuminates their face better and using a simple reflector or a trusty piece of tin foil can also help to reflect light onto your subject.

5 basic tips for shooting video for social media

#TEAMNIGELLA: A lesson in crisis media handling

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As the 6 ‘o’ clock news bulletin ran across the TV screen back one rainy day in December with the latest update on the Grillo sisters fraud case, I felt a congratulatory punch in the air was needed in solidarity to #TeamNigella, as the domestic goddess walked head high, well-heeled into court to give evidence.

Now, I hasten to add, that this is not a piece that condones illegal drug taking in any shape or form, and indeed, Nigella is being investigated for her substance usage and I shall leave any necessary punishment up to the legal system and the Metropolitan police; yet for her media handling, I feel Nigella should be applauded.

As the Grillo sisters were being tried for their crime, media focus switched to Nigella’s drug habits, creating an environment as, she would later be quoted, being ‘maliciously vilified without the right to respond’.

Her success remains in the detail, even down to her courtroom makeover as dubbed by the Daily Mail.  Her understated, nude makeup shades, the sombre well-cut suit treaded the line between the domestic-goddess we all know and love and the more recently exposed mistreated wife. The entire image giving her an appropriately serious yet confident manner.

Even before the trial at the time of the divorce, Nigella’s composure has stood at odds against Saatchi’s own erratic behaviour, which brought an intensely personal period into the public eye.  Although some reported Nigella’s lack of response to Saatchi public accusations as a mere admission of guilt, it also rings true to my mother’s playground mantra – ‘if you have nothing nice to say, then say nothing at all’. Avoiding a public mud slinging match, dwindled the Paul McCartney/Heather Mills effect.

Only recently has Nigella spoken publicly about the trial, after a respectful-yet-not-too distant time period, the celebrity chef spoke to Good Morning America as part of her publicity tour for her new show, the Taste.  Under this gentle grilling, her considered answers demonstrated her own humour, ‘I’ve eaten a lot of chocolate’, whilst recognising the distress caused to her family as well as showcasing a humble sense of self perspective:

‘To be honest, to have not only your private life but distortions of your private life put on display is mortifying but, you know, there are people going through an awful lot worse…to dwell on any of it would be self pity and I don’t like to do that.’

I feel that Nigella’s composed and ‘attention-to-detail’ handling of the media furore surrounding her over the last few months has only added to her strength of character; fans rushed to buy the royal blue Diva frock she wore on the opening show of the taste. As David Cameron was so publicly rebuked for stating, I’m still ‘a massive fan’.