This week, we interview Eric Molin of PresentationExpert.net who is an international expert in presentation design. He specializes in coaching presenters when they are creating presentations to international audiences. Eric offers a number of great tips that will help if you are delivering presentations to audiences with diverse nationalities or who have English as a second (or third) language. We also have a new TechFind this week that helps meeting organizers update presentation timing on the fly during a meeting. Make sure to subscribe to the podcast on your phone podcast program (just ask Siri to open “podcast”) to access each episode when it is released. Also, if you like the podcast, make sure to give us a good review on Apple iTunes when you download the podcast!
Tech Find: PresenTime
Most of the TechFinds that we highlight focus on the needs of the presenter, but this one actually helps organizers of meetings keep speakers within the allotted time frame. PresenTime Synchronized Presentation Timer is an app that allows meeting organizers to synchronize speech countdown timers on the fly. I know that there are a lot of countdown timers in the app store. I also know that they all pretty much do the same task — counting down speaker time. That is until now. This app uses the infrastructure of iPhones and iPads to synchronize multiple devices from a master device. So, if a speaker is interrupted and needs to spend time answering a question, the person controlling the master timer on his/her iPhone can pause or add more time to the presenter without having to access the machine in front of the presenter. This gives the event organizer a lot of flexibility on the fly which is often needed when delivering big conferences or meetings. The countdown feature also has customization of the color of the numbers in the timer. So, as the time expires, the colors can change to let the speaker see that his/her time is running out without losing his or her place in the speech.
Presenting to the International Audience with Eric Molin
Eric Molin is a presentation coach based in Austria who specializes in helping his clients create and deliver presentations to international audiences. He has a new book that will be released at the end of August 2017, and listeners of the podcast can download a free copy of the book by accessing it through his website, PresentationExpert.net.
During the podcast, Doug Staneart interviews Eric Molin asking him questions about best practices for designing presentations for audiences of diverse nationalities. Eric started out by telling us that the number one rule in all presentation design is to know your audience. He mentioned that when delivering presentations in Europe, speakers have to keep in mind that the audience is often composed of different and diverse nationalities and different languages. He also said that some of the things that go over very well in the US are frowned upon in International audiences. His main caution was in using regionally specific analogies and metaphors such as “they got the ball to the one yard line,” because cultures without American football won’t understand the reference. Eric also pointed out that the English language itself can be challenging with idioms because “a slim chance” and a “fat chance” pretty much mean the same thing.
Although here in the US, we admire enthusiasm and energy, in other cultures, over-the-top enthusiasm can be a negative. Eric suggested that you have the same inner passion but let the passion be seen in your voice and your confidence instead of the big gestures.
Another great tip is to slow down your delivery as a speaker. When your audience has to internally translate your words, it can take some time. So for clarity, take more pauses between your sentences to let your audience catch up.
Finally, Eric spoke about how images, music, and videos are universal. When designing his own presentations, he sometimes uses images of his bullet point versus the text. He also talked about how, although we can lose US based metaphors and analogies because of nationality diversity, we can actually use YouTube videos as analogies to make a point in the presentation. The video gives the audience the background that is often missing from regionally based metaphors and idioms.
For details about how to hire Eric as your presentation coach or to download a free copy of his new book, visit his website at http://presentationexpert.net.
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