Today I’m happy to share the interview with Matt Abrahams – coach on communication and presentation skills, educator and author. He’s gonna tell us about the role of presentations in public speaking, his challenges in preparing for a speech and a lot more. Enjoy 🙂
Matt is a passionate, innovative educator and coach. Matt developed a software package that provides instant, proscriptive feedback to presenters. Prior to teaching, Matt held senior leadership positions in several leading software companies, where he created and ran global training and development organizations.
Matt is also Co-Founder and Principal at Bold Echo Communications Solutions, a presentation and communication skills company based in Silicon Valley that helps people improve their presentation skills. Matt has worked with executives to help prepare and present keynote addresses and IPO road shows, conduct media interviews, and deliver TED talks.
Here are some examples of Matt’s slides we helped to redesign, that he was preparing to illustrate the tips to reduce anxiety:
Anastasia: How do you see the role of presentation visuals, such as
PowerPoint, in public speaking?
Matt: Visuals are critical to helping communicators get their message across, but slides must be in service of a broader message or story. I firmly believe in putting the message first and then ask how can slides help.
Anastasia: What are your challenges in preparing presentations? If you could, please share the tips to overcome similar challenges you suggest our
Matt: First and foremost, slides are for your audience, not for you as the presenter. You need to ask is a slide necessary to help my audience understand my point? Will a slide help clarify or simplify my point? If you decide a slide is necessary, then ask yourself: “What is the least amount of information that I can put on a slide to help my audience understand my point”. We often put too much on a slide…especially words and bullet points.
Anastasia: What visual aids do you like applying the most in your
presentations (photographs, diagrams, iconic symbols …)?
Matt: I prefer images (pictures and icons) to help folks learn without using the visual processing areas of the brain.
You can reach Matt at BoldEcho.com or NoFreakingSpeaking.com. He recently published the third edition of his book Speaking Up Without Freaking Out, a book written to help the millions of people who suffer from anxiety around speaking in public.
Matt, thanks for sharing your experience and tips 🙂