LMA delivers year-round education mapped to the Body of Knowledge (BoK) to help ensure legal marketing, business development and client services professionals are positioned for success. We can't deliver this education without the efforts and expertise of our exceptional speakers.
To assist our speakers and ensure you are also set up for success, we've curated some of the best tips, videos, articles and other resources on a variety of speaking topics. Whether you are speaking for the first time or looking to boost your confidence or hone your message, these resources will help you stand up and stand out.
Remember these five tips to help you deliver a successful presentation in any setting:
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Various studies show that within one hour, people forget 50 percent of new information presented. Within 24 hours, that number rises to 70 percent, and within a week, it rockets to 90 percent. Use the following guidelines, outlined in Adult Learning Principles, to help you tailor your presentations to adult learners:
Adults are voluntary learners
- Their willingness to learn is in direct correlation to the ROI or relative importance/applicability of the learning. Relevance to real life and “what’s in it for me” play a very important part in cognition and engagement.
- Clear learning outcomes, real life applicability, examples and connections to existing knowledge help define relevance for the learner.
Adults like to know the plan
- Clear and articulated learning outcomes help set a road map for success. Having each new piece of information build logically on the last allows for learners to understand where the learning is going.
Adults learn best by being active in learning
- A typical lecture where attendees sit passively can produce cognitive overload. Adults will retain more information when they have opportunities to actively practice their knowledge and skills.
- Stories, case studies and real-life scenarios connect the learner to the lessons. Asking the learner to actually do something (analyze, share, discuss, reflect, demonstrate or present) allows for active processing and better learning.
Adults come to a learning session with prior knowledge and life experience
- They should be encouraged to reflect, share and discuss their knowledge and experience during the learning process.
Adults learn best By repetition and reinforcement
- Creating associations between concepts can increase our ability to remember details by as much as 40 percent. As Caine and Caine (1991) explain it, “the greater the extent to which what we learn is tied to personal, meaningful experiences, the greater and deeper our learning will be.”
- Research shows attention is at its highest when something unexpected (humor, activity, visual aid, interaction, engagement, etc.) is introduced into a learning activity.
- Less is more when it comes to learning — a focus on key elements and a few strategic learning outcomes is better for learning transfer and helps to avoid cognitive overload.
A learning outcome is a statement of what the learner will know, understand or be able to do as a result of attending your presentation. You should articulate outcomes at the beginning and end of every program.
Good learning outcomes guide content development, provide accountability between you and the attendee, offer clarity and build a strong foundation for learning. When writing learning outcomes, apply SMART logic:
- Specific: Focus on the key elements; the action should be observable
- Measurable: Include a measurement that can be observed or counted
- Action Oriented: Incorporate action verbs; identify what action the learner must perform
- Reasonable: Action should be realistic and achievable
- Time-bound: Outcome can be achieved in the time allotted
Additionally, always consider whether the action taken by the learner can be assessed immediately after the program. If not, the learning outcome is not effective.
Examples of Strong Action Verbs
Creating slides for a presentation allows you to paint a picture for the audience. Slides should serve as an outline for your presentation, not a script. A good goal is to have no more than one slide for every two to three minutes; a one-hour presentation should have no more than 25–30 slides. When creating content, aim to keep slides SIMPLE:
- Short and sweet: Limit your slides to seven lines of text and seven words per line
- Illustrations: Use images and infographics in lieu of text; white space helps emphasize the most important point
- Maintain font color and size: Consider your delivery method; can attendees see the text from the back of the room?
- Placement: Ensure your message does not get lost; it should be front and center
- Less is best: A learner can only absorb so much from one slide
- Enrich: Build in videos, polling and/or other interactive elements; give your slides a story
Research shows that attention is at its highest when something unexpected is introduced into a learning activity — for example, humor, polling, an activity, a visual aid or group discussion. For the best results, pick a few interactive elements to incorporate into your presentation:
- Incorporate learning activities to demonstrate value
- Mix up your session formats
- Fun ideas to spice up your workshop
- Creating powerful panels that engage your audience
- Tell a story to build confidence and stage presence
It's time to take the stage! Whether virtual or in-person, it is important to arrive early and begin on time. Do not wait until the day of to review the technology and ensure it is compatible with your equipment. Take the time to schedule a tech rehearsal and practice your presentation beforehand. Avoid last minute changes to your content or format.
Take a minute to freshen up on LMA's helpful delivery tips for any occasion!
- In-Person: Read up on what a TED speaker coach recommends before you go on stage
- Webinar: Dive into eLearning Industry's 14 Tips to Create and Present a Highly Effective Webinar
- Podcast: Download LMA's Podcast Presenter Checklist and visit The Podcast Host for more podcast presentation skills
- Chris Anderson on TED's secret to great public speaking
- Dananjaya Hettiarachchi on 4 essential body language tips from a world champion public speaker
- Lead Star on how Your Story Can Save a Life
- Utilize LMA's Education PowerPoint Template
- Align content with LMA's Body of Knowledge
- Dive into more tips and tricks with LMA's Speaker Guidelines