What is empathy and how to use it in presentations

What is empathy and how to use it in presentations

While making a presentation, communicating with each and every one like if you were talking to them individually allows you to create a unique bond with the audience. This is the kind of result that those able to control empathy achieve.

 

But what does empathy mean? Empathy is when you can put yourself in someone else’s shoes, trying to understand their opinions and emotions. It’s not about feeling the same way or agreeing with the other person but respecting and understanding their ideas, feelings and speech.

 

Empathy can be described by the idea of rapport, a concept of psychology that represents harmonic bonds among people. This synergy enables interaction and exchange of information. It leads to respectful and healthy relationships.

 

 

Empathy during presentations

 

While preparing a presentation and during the process of creating the script, you must think about content but also about the way your audience wants to receive the information. Knowing the audience is the best way to develop a bond between the presenter and the public.

 

Try to find out what your audience already knows about the subject, what they don’t, what messages  are they supposed to register and to what cultural environment they belong. Is it a formal or informal audience? Would they appreciate numbers or stories? These are some ways to get closer to your audience and create an empathetic bond.

If you feel you are not being empathetic, don’t worry, we’ve good news for you. This is a skill that can be developed.

 

 

  1. The first advice is to call people by their names

Human beings seek individual connection. When answering a question to the audience ask their names and call them by their first name. When it comes to interaction with the audience, ask rhetorical questions which do not really need to be answered. In doing so, you make the audience think and feel like you are establishing a direct connection.

 

  1. Always smile

Scientific studies verified that we have a group of cells called mirror neurons and that by simply observing other people’s action,  activates the same areas in the observer’s brain. So, if you express joy it will help your listeners to feel the same way you do.

 

  1. Match the rhythm 

Pay close attention to your listeners: do they speak fast? Do they speak slowly or move a lot? Try to interact with the listeners the way they interact with you. By doing so the audience will understand better the message you want to deliver. Vary your tone of voice and the rhythm to reach a larger number of people while speaking.

 

  1. Don’t be judgmental

An attitude that destroys empathy is judgment.

“That guy is so boring! When will he stop asking questions?”. In order to not be judgmental, you must break through your “reality dome” built by your experiences, jump into the other person’s realm and understand the world through their eyes taking their perspective, emotions and behavior. People see the world based on who they are. When using only personal references and beliefs, you build a wall to empathy. Remember: respect and understanding. “Yes, he really asks too many questions but that is probably because he wants to understand and know better the subject”.

A communicator can’t judge the audience. Instead, he should understand their needs.

 

With these advices you can start establishing  empathy in your presentations and ace on your next one.

 

6 Templates to improve your presentations

 

You know exactly what you are going to talk about, you speak well in public but you’re not the best in putting the slides together? Well, we have the solution for you to turn good presentations into great presentations.

Here are a few free templates that you can download from our website. They will help you present unforgettable presentations!

 

Template for Proposal Approval

 

 

Having your new ideas and projects approved is not always an easy task, no matter how good they might seem to you and your colleagues. To increase your chances of success, download this free template created for proposal meetings. It will help you organize your ideas and present them in a good-looking way.

 

Template for Presenting Results and New Goals

 

 

Results were achieved and there’s a new set of goals to be completed. How to present all the data? In order to show your company’s performance and keep everyone engaged in new goals, you need a presentation with good strategy, creative script, and striking images. We’re here to help you! Present the previous, the current and the future year’s scenario and goals, benefits of having achieved them. Display new goals and strategies for the next year in a persuasive, beautiful and in a well-organized way with our template Download it here for a great presentation.

 

“The World Cup PPT Template”

 

 

Everybody will eventually have to present a new project. However, nobody needs to realize that you lack practice and that you are still an amateur. Use our “The World Cup PPT” template and your presentations will be way more professional. We designed this template based on the most important stages that support any new project: current scenario, opportunity, project, action plan, benefits, improvements, budget and next steps. Use this template to come as an amateur and leave as a professional.

 

Your Training PPT

 

 

If you are in the training sector of your company or work with in-company learning, use our “Your Training PPT” template. Talk about the history of a company or a school or even teach in a more creative way. Introduce your ideals using striking images. Have flexible slides, easily adaptable to specific needs of your audience. Be creative and professional at the same time with this template.

Getting a YES Template

 

 

Do you need a “yes” for your project, an idea or a product? Great, then the hardest part is already done and you can now count on us for a “Getting a YES” template. This template will help you get the audience’s attention. Each image is strategic, designed to match every step of your argument. The slides are divided into five important steps of the process of selling an idea: your idea, why to invest, how to invest, ROI and where to invest. Download this template and get your YES.

 

SOAP’s Tasting Template

 

 

The end of the year tends to be a critical moment for every company. Projects for next year are presented and being approved or not, you will need a presentation for that. In this template you will find slides that will help you sell your product or service; a visual identity focused on solving your audience’s problem; images that will help you get your message across in an open format that can be easily changed and adapted. Try now!

 

 

 

10 tips on how to make slides that communicate your idea, from TED’s in-house expert

Click here to read the Original post  by TEDBlog

 

When your slides rock, your whole presentation pops to life. At TED2014, David Epstein created a clean, informative slide deck to support his talk on the changing bodies of athletes. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

 

Aaron Weyenberg is the master of slide decks. Our UX Lead creates Keynote presentations that are both slick and charming—the kind that pull you in and keep you captivated, but in an understated way that helps you focus on what’s actually being said. He does this for his own presentations and for lots of other folks in the office. Yes, his coworkers ask him to design their slides, because he’s just that good.

 

We asked Aaron to bottle his Keynote mojo so that others could benefit from it. Here, 10 tips for making an effective slide deck, split into two parts: the big, overarching goals, and the little tips and tricks that make your presentation sing.

 

preparing to fail

Aaron used this image of a New Zealand disaster to kick off a slide deck from TED’s tech team — all about how they prepares for worst-case scenarios. He asked for permission to use the image, and credited the photographer, Blair Harkness. View the whole slidedeck from this presentation.

 

The big picture:

 

1. Think about your slides last.

Building your slides should be the tail end of developing your presentation. Think about your main message, structure its supporting points, practice it and time it—and then start thinking about your slides. The presentation needs to stand on its own; the slides are just something you layer over it to enhance the listener experience. Too often, I see slide decks that feel more like presenter notes, but I think it’s far more effective when the slides are for the audience to give them a visual experience that adds to the words.

 

2. Create a consistent look and feel.

In a good slide deck, each slide feels like part of the same story. That means using the same or related typography, colors and imagery across all your slides. Using pre-built master slides can be a good way to do that, but it can feel restrictive and lead to me-too decks. I like to create a few slides to hold sample graphic elements and type, then copy what I need from those slides as I go.

 

3. Think about topic transitions.

It can be easy to go too far in the direction of consistency, though. You don’t want each slide to look exactly the same. I like to create one style for the slides that are the meat of what I’m saying, and then another style for the transitions between topics. For example, if my general slides have a dark background with light text, I’ll try transition slides that have a light background with dark text. That way they feel like part of the same family, but the presentation has texture—and the audience gets a visual cue that we’re moving onto a new topic.

 

4. With text, less is almost always more.

One thing to avoid—slides with a lot of text, especially if it’s a repeat of what you’re saying out loud. It’s like if you give a paper handout in a meeting—everyone’s head goes down and they read, rather than staying heads-up and listening. If there are a lot of words on your slide, you’re asking your audience to split their attention between what they’re reading and what they’re hearing. That’s really hard for a brain to do, and it compromises the effectiveness of both your slide text and your spoken words. If you can’t avoid having text-y slides, try to progressively reveal text (like unveiling bullet points one by one) as you need it.

 

5. Use photos that enhance meaning.

I love using simple, punchy photos in presentations, because they help what you’re saying resonate in your audience’s mind without pulling their attention from your spoken words. Look for photos that (1) speak strongly to the concept you’re talking about and (2) aren’t compositionally complex. Your photo could be a metaphor or something more literal, but it should be clear why the audience is looking at it, and why it’s paired with what you’re saying. For example, I recently used the image above—a photo of a container ship about to tip over (it eventually sank)—to lead off a co-worker’s deck about failure preparation. And below is another example of a photo I used in a deck to talk about the launch of the new TED.com. The point I was making was that a launch isn’t the end of a project—it’s the beginning of something new. We’ll learn, adapt, change and grow.

 

new beginning

 

Here, a lovely image from a slidedeck Aaron created about the redesign of TED.com. View the whole deck from this presentation.

 

 

And now some tactical tips…

 

1. Go easy on the effects and transitions.

Keynote and Powerpoint come with a lot of effects and transitions. In my opinion, most of these don’t do much to enhance the audience experience. At worst, they subtly suggest that the content of your slides is so uninteresting that a page flip or droplet transition will snap the audience out of their lethargy. If you must use them, use the most subtle ones, and keep it consistent.

 

2. Use masking to direct attention in images.

If you want to point something out in a photo, you could use a big arrow. Or you could do what I call a dupe-and-mask. I do this a lot when showing new page designs, particularly when I don’t want the audience to see the whole design until I’m finished talking about individual components of it. Here’s the original image.

 

 

unmasked

 

 

 

Here’s the process for masking it. (1) Set the image transparency to something less than 100. (2) Duplicate that image so there is one directly over the top of the other. (3) Set the dup’d image transparency back to 100. and (4) Follow the technique here to mask the dup’d image. You’ll end up with something that looks like this.

 

 

mask technique

 

 

 

You can use this technique to call out anything you want in a screenshot. A single word, a photo, a section of content—whatever you want your audience to focus on.

 

3. Try panning large images.

Often, I want to show screen shot of an entire web page in my presentations. There’s a great Chrome extension to capture these—but these images are oftentimes much longer than the canvas size of the presentation. Rather than scaling the image to an illegible size, or cropping it, you can pan it vertically as you talk about it. In Keynote, this is done with a Move effect, which you can apply from an object’s action panel.

 

4. For video, don’t use autoplay.

It’s super easy to insert video in Keynote and Powerpoint—you just drag a Quicktime file onto the slide. And when you advance the deck to the slide with the video that autoplays, sometimes it can take a moment for the machine to actually start playing it. So often I’ve seen presenters click again in an attempt to start the video during this delay, causing the deck to go to the next slide. Instead, set the video to click to play. That way you have more predictable control over the video start time, and even select a poster frame to show before starting.

 

5. Reproduce simple charts and graphs.

Dropping an image of a chart into a presentation is fine, but it almost always disrupts the feel of a deck in unsightly fashion. If the graph data is simple enough (and you have some extra time) there’s a way to make it much more easy on the eyes. You could redraw it in the native presentation application. That sounds like needless work, and it might be for your purposes, but it can really make your presentation feel consistent and thought-through, of one flavor from soup to nuts. You’ll have control over colors, typography, and more. Here are some examples.

 

 

 

charts

 

 

 

Lastly, I’d love to leave you with a couple book recommendations. The first is Resonate, by Nancy Duarte.

 

It’s not so much about slides, but about public speaking in general – which is the foundation for any presentation, regardless of how great your slides are. In it, she breaks down the anatomy of what makes a great presentation, how to establish a central message and structure your talk, and more.

 

(One of her case studies comes from Benjamin Zander’s charming TED Talk about classical music, a talk that captivated the audience from start to finish.)

 

Think of this as prerequisite reading for my second recommendation, also by Duarte:Slide:ology. This is more focused on presentation visuals and slides.

 

Happy slide-making

Why Is It Critical to Invest in the Visual Part of a Presentation?

It’s true that a presentation doesn’t necessarily need to involve visuals, but we’ve found that  good visual support always uplifts a presentation.

 

This doesn’t happen by chance. In meeting rooms and auditoriums, people visually track the presenters while listening to their stories. So this characterizes any lecture as an audiovisual event, even if the message is supported only by the behavior of the speaker. So if the audience has eyes and ears available, it simply makes no sense to ignore the visual when it can be such an impactful communication channel.

 

Allied to the spoken part of a presentation, visual information improves the quality of the transmitted messages, thereby increasing communication effectiveness and the success of the presenter. There are several reasons for this:

 

Teaching Shortcuts

Because visual stimuli wake up the eyes and thinking and allow for the rapid transmission of concepts, visual information acts as a teaching shortcut, synthesizing ideas and accelerating the understanding of the audience. When there’s a lot of information to convey in a short time, using visual information is an excellent path to short explanations and descriptions.

 

Attention

Since the human eye is attracted to movement, changes and unfolding scenarios, animated images draw the viewers’ attention, triggering continuous receptivity to what’s being transmitted. If we view each slide as a new beginning, a new chance to impress and win an audience’s attention, then we have dozens of chances to recapture that audience throughout a presentation. On the one hand we have presentations that rely on good slide visuals, and on the other we have those based exclusively in speech. Drawing a parallel with the movies, the latter are the equivalent of “films” made only with narration … Would that make sense?

 

Understanding

When representing a verbal concept by an image, the presenter is leading the audience to think visually, and this process can transform complexity into simplicity. Also, visuals themselves are a means of sending information to an audience. Some of us retain better what we hear. But far more of us retain better what we see. So by combining speech and pictures, a presenter can reach both camps.

 

Retention of Messages

Visual language is a way of encouraging the retention of concepts. Imagine a representative of an organic food company giving a talk to nutritionists. She can say, “Recent studies show that the high concentration of dyes in foods causes serious damage to the body, especially the skin.” But if the speaker wants to be more impactful, an image of a can of paint with a warning label – “contraindicated for meals” – can be shown. The striking image both embodies the concept and increases the chances that the audience will remember the concept later.

 

Identification

Just as words do, images can lead people to identify with what they see. And having an audience feel somehow related to the images being shown is the best way for that audience to “buy” the complete package, including the concepts imparted in it.

 

Dynamism

People are used to processing visual and verbal information at the same time, and quickly. The visual, in particular, is absorbed immediately, as various images appear. Interestingly, this dynamism brings comfort to the mind, as opposed to the unrest generated by the monotony of a blank screen.

 

Strengthening the Narrative

A sequence of images helps to shape a story, embodying a presenter’s speech. And when a story is being told, the pictures themselves can become visual narratives. In an analogy with comic books, the drawings are the slides and the speech balloons are the remarks of the presenter.

 

So next time you start working on a new presentation, think carefully about the visuals that can help you to best tell your story. Good visuals will always uplift a presentation!