Public speaking doesn’t come naturally to everyone. For some, it can be downright terrifying. Jonathan and Mark, two veteran speakers and industry trainers, are back to share tips with you to help with your next property management presentation.
Only 2% of the public likes or can be a public speaker. That is not a very encouraging statistic. So what can you do to improve your presentation skills? This article will review the top 5 presentation skills you need to be thinking about and share valuable tips to help you master them.
Top Five Presentation Skills
Key Questions/Topics Covered
As the saying goes, you can only make a first impression once. If you aren’t being authentic, people can see that and will tend to focus on that instead of the information you are presenting. Allow your personality to shine through. When you are being your true self, you aren’t focusing on putting on an act; instead, you are focused on your material and your audience. Being yourself is just easier and will provide a superior experience to your audience.
Think of poise like the wrapping paper of a gift. The gift is your topic, but the wrapping paper is how it’s being presented. How are you dressed? How are your posture and body language? Be sure that your appearance is fitting to the occasion and doesn’t detract or distract from your presentation. Ensure that every movement and gesture is purposeful and flows. Practicing in front of the mirror may seem a little ridiculous, but it can be constructive for you to see what your audience sees and possibly make any needed adjustments.
As Mark always says, “You need to love what you do!” If you don’t have passion for what you are presenting, how do you expect your audience to? A passionate speaker can draw in the most distracted or ambivalent listeners. If you are struggling with your topic, do more research. Find a way to relate to it and build your passion from there. Jonathan likens it to a trainer at a gym. Their enthusiasm is contagious, gets everyone going, and keeps them there until the end goal is accomplished. You want to have the same effect with your property management presentations.
One thing that remains constant is that people like to talk about themselves and the experiences they have encountered. Use this to your advantage. Ask questions, encourage group discussion and share experiences. Do this in a balanced, moderate fashion so that the purpose of your presentation doesn’t get lost.
Another way to create that connection is to use eye contact. Without quality eye contact, you can be perceived as disinterested. What do we mean by quality eye contact? We aren’t talking about a staring competition; that’s creepy. Instead, keep your eyes moving, holding direct eye contact with members of your audience for a few seconds before moving on. Talk to your audience, not at them. Doing this creates that connection that encourages better retention and can help with your nerves.
Your presentation doesn’t need to be chocked full of big words, lots of stats, or theatrics. Ask yourself, will the audience understand the terms that I am using? Am I speaking their language? If your listeners are busy trying to figure out what that big word you just used is, they are no longer listening, and you have lost them. The acronym KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) should be your guiding principle. By keeping your presentation understandable and straightforward, your listeners are more likely to stay engaged and retain what you share.
There are many other facets that we can explore when it comes to public speaking and presentations, but we will follow our own advice and start with these main points and KISS.
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Jonathan (00:15): Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Juvohub podcast. I am your host, Jonathan Saar and alongside with me is the magnificent Mark Howell from Howl Creative Concepts. And we appreciate you being on our show today. We know a lot of people use our content for training purposes. So if you haven't followed us on YouTube, make sure you do that. Subscribe to our channel there. That way you can be able to share this video with your team. And we thank you also for those who like it in the podcast version, you can go to any of your podcast stations and subscribe to Juvohub. You'll find us there. We're busy on social, so we'd love to hear your feedback about anything on the show. So find us on Instagram at Juvohub, and you want to make sure you never miss out on any of our content. You can go to juvohub.com/newsletter, and you can sign up for the newsletter there. So today, Mark and I are talking about presentation skills and some of the top skills that you need to be thinking about. We're gonna focus on five today and why they're so important in property management. So Mark, you wanna give us the list of our objectives for today?
Mark (01:25): Absolutely. Yeah. So look, I think that when we are talking about presenting a topic content, if you're a trainer or speaker and it's interesting, I heard there's a little bit of tidbit here that only 2% of the public actually either like to or can do this only 2%. So that's very, very few people that actually enjoy being a public speaker or even maybe a trainer of sorts. But so when you are going to take on that challenge for me, these top fives are very, very important, very key, but it's being truly authentic being you, being who you are. And for me, if anybody knows me, I always like to add humor into anything that I do because I just don't think we need to take so much of our lives so seriously. So I try to, to have a little bit of authentic me and adding that humor in, but your poise, you know, just how you are presenting yourself, bringing your passion into that topic, that content connecting with your audience, meaning the relevance to not just, you know, eye contact, but is your content relevant to the people that are in your audience?
Mark (02:41): And then keeping things simple.
Jonathan (02:43): Yeah. Yeah. Great objectives common ones and ones that I know both you and I, as industry speakers. It's not something that you can just pick up right away. We're still working on our craft and we've been speakers for many, many years. So let's dive into the first one. Why is being authentic so important in presentation as a presentation skill?
Mark (03:07): Yeah. So for me, honestly, I think that's one of the first things it's kind of like that first handshake, that first initial meeting of someone, when you only have that first opportunity to make a good impression they say, right. So if something's unbuttoned or something's unzipped, it's the only thing you focus on, right? If you are not authentic, people see that it's like having a button unbuttoned or something that is amiss in your mind almost focuses on someone that does not feel truly comfortable. Talking about either that topic or just in general being there in front of others. It could be that sort of in your voice the nervousness and look, we all still get nervous. That's what I kind of think makes this fun. I love the nervous jitters before doing some type of engagement, but when you are truly authentic, meaning, Hey, I'm just gonna go out. I'm gonna have a good time. I'm gonna be me. That's when I find that I want to pay closer attention to actually what you're saying, because there's a connection there. I connect to truly authentic people.
Jonathan (04:17): Right, right. That's awesome. Yeah. I totally agree. Like it's sometimes, especially for, if you're a new speaker, you feel like, well, like what's my personality need to be like. Do I have to change things. And you know, flattery is like one of the best compliments. And so I think we've all gone through that where we have seen an amazing speaker and we've tried to, to imitate some of their styles and their approach and that's okay because it's working. It's good. The idea is, is to build your own, like yeah, take these tidbits that you learn, but especially for an audience that knows you, like maybe you are a trainer and the way you talk typically in office is one way. And then you go up and train a class and it's like this completely different personality, then that can be a detraction to that presentation or to that kind of training session. So yeah, love it. Love it. So let's talk about our next one. Why is poise so important as a presentation skill? What are your thoughts on that one, Mark?
Mark (05:23): You know, for me, I look at all of it. It's kind of like a package. It's a present. You sort of look at the, the way that it's been put together, the way that it's been wrapped, then it's the excitement of unwrapping it and seeing what the gift is inside. It's not always about the gift. It's about the entire presentation for me. Poise is half of your presentation. You know, making sure that your posture is nice, that you look nice, that you are, that there's not something that is amiss in that you're overdoing maybe your clothes, your outfits, the colors. Like don't put so much focus on what you look like during a presentation and put more about it in the content itself. So I kind of reverse that the gift is, look at the present, look at how nice it looks on the outside, but there's, it's a trick to that. You know, when you are a speaker, you want it to be about your content, what you're actually talking about, but your poise, the way that you're standing, the way that you're holding yourself, the way that your body is moving in that space says a lot about A, your comfortability. I think also your authenticity. But if we're not very careful about that, sometimes people can make assumptions about how comfortable we are and what we're doing based on how our body language is. And I call that poise.
Jonathan (06:46): Yeah. Spot on, spot on. When I think of poise, I often think of ballet, like my little girl, she went to ballet lessons when she was really young. And I remember going to recitals and I've also, you know, we've seen the professionals do it too. And boy it's like every movement, every movement rather is so clear and it's so crisp and it transitions well from one dance move to another, I don't remember names of all those different moves, but you know it's a work of art. And in that way, I see that relationship to poise. When you are a professional speaker, it's just nice. It flows well to your point, no detraction, whatsoever we're not trying to you know, buy what we wear or our conversational matter. It doesn't take away from that presentation.
Jonathan (07:47): And so that takes, like you think from a ballet dancer perspective, the years of work, it takes for them to be able to master that craft. And so we, our working at our craft for years, but each individual presentation is its own craft. So preparation really is key to be able to feel comfortable with a topic to not be so note bound that you're reading things, word for word, or reading a PowerPoint, but you have your objectives in your mind and you can easily kind of flow and transition from one main point to the next. And that just makes it so much easier for the audience to be able to connect with.
Mark (08:30): Absolutely.
Jonathan (08:31): So that moves us into, you know, the next phase, you know, in our opinion, it's like, what comes out of that? So we we've got authenticity, we've got poise. And now we talk about passion. So if it's just facts, if we're just, you know, reciting material that is true and is factual, is that really enough? Why is passion so important in presentation?
Mark (09:03): Look, this is one of my favorite pieces of this conversation. And I have a tendency to go down a very deep rabbit hole on it because, you know, I always feel like you should be passionate about what you do in life. If you are doing any kind of work, you should love that work. Find the passion every day in what you do or go find the work that you can be passionate about. If you're not passionate about what you're doing today, then go find it somewhere else. Right. So when I noticed speakers, we'll talk about topics that they don't seem very passionate about. I don't feel the energy. I don't feel the excitement. It's almost like a topic they drew out of a hat and they're just sort of muddling through it or only throwing out data or statistics or numbers.
Mark (09:52): And that to me is not, it doesn't catch my attention. You know, it's not something that I want to focus on. I, even if I didn't think I was going to enjoy maybe the topic that was being discussed when I find that a speaker or presenter is very passionate about what they're talking about, I do somehow find ways to relate, and then I get more interested. It just based on their passion level alone, I teach this all the time with leasing consultants and managers and just leadership that you have to teach your employees to find passion in everything they do, because we as individuals or as consumers, we can smell the lack of passion on you. I truly believe that go find the passion somewhere. And if you're talking about a topic that is more about numbers or data driven, then do a little more research, find a way to, again, like we talked about the first step, the authenticity being authentic, the humor of it, find a way to fold that into who you are. I also find that when I have to talk about something that maybe I'm not completely passionate about, I find a way to bring it into some type of story that relates to me personally, or I do more research to find a way to kind of dig in to find more passion for myself.
Jonathan (11:15): Yeah, no beautiful man. Oh, I love it. I totally agree. It's the visual I always have is like of a gym instructor. So we could easily be at home and maybe you have an app for it. It tells you do 10 pushups, 10 sit-ups, 3 pull ups, or, whatever the list is there. And you can read that, but you maybe, you be like, not as motivated. Well, I got to 8 pushups, so that's, that's good enough. And kind of maybe even cheat yourself what a difference it is when you're in front of an instructor, a gym instructor and they're dancing and they're screaming and they got the music going and you could see their passion. You can see that they are in good shape and you're like, you have something that is a visual in front of you. Boy, do you do all of that?
Jonathan (12:04): You do everything that they say, because you can feel it. You can feel that energy. So in the same way with presentations, it's more than facts. As you mentioned, we want them, we want our audience to be able to leave the room with, okay, I'm going to do this today. This is what I'm going to, this was my takeaway from this event and, and apply it otherwise, you know, we haven't done our job as instructor, you know, that is our job I feel is so important that we motivate people to action in some way.
Mark (12:41): That's right. Absolutely.
Jonathan (12:43): Yeah. I agree. So that leads right into, well, how do we go about doing that? So passion now brings us to our fourth point, which is connecting. What are your thoughts on, you know, making sure that passion isn't so over the top that it's distracting, but it is channeled in a way that we connect our audience that we're relevant. Why is that an important skillset also?
Mark (13:07): You know, look, I think it's interesting as presenters or most presenters speakers we do it because we like to talk, I guess, right. Or we like the attention. I don't know. I don't necessarily love the attention of it, but I do love to talk. But what I also know is that other people like to talk to, and what I have learned just about social awareness and emotional intelligence is people love to talk about themselves. But when I think about content in a speaking arena, I always want to embed types of questions, group discussions in my segments, because the more I can get them talking, the more I know that they're hearing and absorbing and feeling the passion behind it, it's not just about my life experiences or what I want you to know about me or how I feel about this topic.
Mark (14:02): And I always usually like to tell people, I don't know everything about everything, right? So I know maybe a little bit about a lot of things, but we can learn from each other by sharing our experiences. And so when I teach, I always try to embed some type of way to say, why don't you tell me about your experience, or I ask a lot of questions to the audience, or I find one person that I can connect with and say, why don't you give me an example of what you've noticed about X, Y, Z what it does to, and I find this to be true is that when one person in the group, an experience that ties into that topic, it tells the other people that are in the audience, it kind of tells their brain like, Hey, it's okay to speak up.
Mark (14:46): It's okay to voice your opinion here, or to have a comment. And it's funny. It usually starts to sort of trickle down. Sometimes you can lose your class by letting too many comments overrun. So again, like you said, this dance, you almost have to understand the dance of allowing that to even happen because you have to know when to stop the extra comments. But I find that having them, the extra comments is absolutely. It's a necessity. You have to be able to have it.
Jonathan (15:20): Yeah. Yeah. So my takeaway from your comments is involve the audience. That's one of the ways you can connect, involve them in a balanced way. So it doesn't again, doesn't become a distraction. Whenever I think Mark of connecting to an audience, I think of like audience contact, just the real simple things. So when we're one on one, if we're not balanced in the way we use that type of eye contact, it can be a train wreck. If you sit there and stare at someone and don't move your eyes, that's creepy.
Jonathan (15:59): But if you're talking to someone, but you're not looking at them, then that means you're disinterested. You know, you're not really invested. And so to me, part of connecting the audience is finding balance depending on your classroom. And this applies even to large audiences, you need to carefully kind of like move through the audience, make a point, you know, make eye contact, maybe with someone for a split second, then you move over to someone else. And, you know, you kind of work the room, work the audience. And that way everybody feels like you are talking to them, but not, you know, talking at them necessarily in a nice, balanced way. So nice fourth tip there, good skillset to have in presentation skills. And that leads us to our fifth and final one for today and that's simplicity, what's your take? Why is that so important Mark, to have a, to maintain a simple approach to presentation?
Mark (17:05): Well, what's the old thing. This probably is gonna date me, or maybe we still use this the kiss, keep it simple stupid. I think it was a great lesson and you don't have to overdo any type of presentation or even conversation. I find it very interesting when people use words that, look, I love that we learn new words, we learn new phrases and we wanna embed them into our daily conversations. But you have to ask yourself, is this audience gonna understand the words that I'm using and you have to ask yourself, am I speaking their language? And so when I think about keeping it simple, you really do need to know your audience. You need to know who is it that I'm trying to, you know, reach out to here. And keeping it simple means that you're using layman's terms that you're not just throwing a bunch of data and numbers, but you're actually talking in their terms, their language, their lingo.
Mark (18:03): So I find that I don't try to put a lot of words on my present either, because then that is also distracting. The more words that are on the screen, people feel like they have to read along and nobody wants to be read to. So I keep things very simple for myself by just using imagery, a picture of something that I know will trigger my brain to take me down a path of something that I know I'm passionate about. But I do. I just, I find it fascinating when I hear people using big words that don't necessarily need to be applied. And I'm, I look around and I'm thinking, did you lose your audience by trying to use these big words? Because now they don't know really what you're talking about, or maybe you've lost them in that sentence somewhere. And now they're focusing on the fact that, well, why don't I know what that word means, right? I''ve done it. You know, like, look, some people use words that I don't even know. And I'm like, I find myself thinking, huh, I'm gonna have to go back and look what that word means and how is it used in the sentence? And then I find myself focusing on that rather than the speaker in general.
Jonathan (19:08): Right, right. Yeah. Yeah. How many times have you seen this Mark too? In the audience? It's like, huh? What do you, what they say? And they're on their phone, looking it up Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Yeah, and they're trying to find it on their - yeah, no, I get it. That's awesome. Yeah, we don't try to get too brainy up there. And I think too sometimes presenters they'll have like a hundred slides, you know, for a 30 minute session. And if you're one of those, your ratio of slide to minute is just so far off. You need to rethink whether or not you have a very simple presentation. Like even for this show today, we have five objectives. It's probably a 20 minute show or so, but we're focused on those five things and not trying to stuff every single presentation skill that's out there into our show for today.
Mark (20:09): That's right.
Jonathan (20:10): So that's part of keeping it simple is keep your audience thirsting for more. They wanna walk away with, you know, what I need to do more research on that topic. I need to check out the references that the speaker mentioned or something along that line. And that way they're able to absorb it, because if you try to put too much into a presentation, you're just going like such a fast clip. And it's just so difficult for an audience to try and try and absorb any of those things, right?
Mark (20:39): You know, I, also think I think it was part of this that, you know, knowing your audience, you just said this you have to ask yourself before, or maybe while you are negotiating, what's the topic that you want me to talk about or who is my audience in the organization? If you're bringing in different sort of team members into one team sort of training, then are all of the people that are in your audience, do they all care about the, the content or the objective here? So I always have to ask myself, how do I bring in? And I'm gonna use an example of like, when I'm doing a customer service training or even just basics of the customer experience or leasing. And I wanna bring maintenance, the maintenance teams into some of my training. I have to make it relevant for them.
Mark (21:27): So I always bring them into the fold. Like this is where you come in. This is why this affects you. I, I talk in a way that says, this is why I've asked you to be in this class, or this is why your company has asked you to be here because this content affects what you do, or you affect what happens during this content, right? And so, you have to make sure that if you're pulling in different pieces of an audience, that it somehow comes full circle to them as well, or else you are going to see the little sleepy Joes in the room, people that don't find your content very interesting, or maybe your style or asleep in your training. And believe it or not, I've had somebody fall asleep in my training too. And, you know, I feel like I'm pretty energetic, but I realized it taught me a very valuable lesson. I was like, huh? Either you didn't find this to be interesting to what you do, or I bored you. I don't know. But honestly, I found out later that he was just really tired. So you never know.
Jonathan (22:24): Yeah. Yeah. Don't take it personal. It's, you know, that's probably another subject for another show on absolutely on not taking it personal. And there's so many other topics, but this has been great. We've covered five key things for our audience today. Thank you for being here. So our objectives today, top presentation skills that we wanted to consider with you, authenticity, poise, passion, connect to your audience and keep it simple. So five simple little tips, and we know we appreciate your support of this show. If you haven't subscribed to us on YouTube, remember to do that, give us a thumbs up. We love the feedback. If you have any questions or topics you would like to have on the show let us know. We would be happy to consider those Mark, where can people find you online?
Mark (23:12): Absolutely. Yes. So Howl Creative Concepts.com, Howl is spelled H O W L and then it's Creative Concepts.com.
Jonathan (23:20): Awesome. Awesome. So nice show, man. Nice, nice feedback. Love it. Good. class. We appreciate your supporting it until next time, class is dismissed. That is the end of episode 52. Take care, everyone.
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