News & Events

Guest Speaker Series: A Tactical Approach to Effective Presentations

September 21, 2020
UBC MEL MHLP Professional Development - Effective Presentations

On September 8, the MEL & MHLP programs were happy to have Ivan Wanis-Ruiz, Senior Consultant at Public Speaking Lab, back to offer yet another informative presentation to our 2020 cohort regarding professional communication skills. This session’s topic focused on developing and presenting effective presentations.

One of the main messages that Ivan shared with students was to consider what they highlight during their presentations and what information they should include on their slides.

Ivan then emphasized how they might create more “curiosity” around their professional presentations.

In order to utilize creativity in your presentation, presenters should be aware of some key concepts and rules that focus on capturing attention, maintaining interest, and delivering strong information.

Some key items that all presenters should be aware of:

There is an area of your mind, called Area 47, that stops engaging in a presentation if the brain recognizes that it is hearing information that it had expected, rather than new and curiosity-piquing information. In order to avoid your audience tuning out, presenters should learn to ask questions that keep their audience captivated. These questions will generate interest, but should lead to an obvious or expected conclusion.

Presenters should always include “Goal Opportunity Statements.” These are statements that explicity indicate that by doing some action, some benefit will be achieved within a given amount of time.

It is one crucial sentence that summarizes the message of your speech. You can utilize this technique by following this formula: “By doing (action), we achieve (benefit) within (time).”

Presentations are improved when attention is put into effectively transitioning between slides. Transitions between slides should be linked to a question or new idea, rather than an arbitrary flipping of slides.

For virtual presentations, keep the “YouTube Rule” in mind: always keep light in front of you rather than behind you, never rest your arms on the table, and show yourself on screen from the mid up.

Effective presenters always abide by the “Lazy Rule:” don’t make slides that answer questions. Slides should always strive to get the audience thinking by including minimal excess information. For example, if you include a chart or diagram on your slide, so not include an explanation on the slide as well—explain it through your dialogue so that your audience must remain engaged with your speech.

The MEL and MHLP programs focus on preparing students to lead and innovate in a rapidly changing world of industry. Communication has changed!

The traditional rules of speaking and presenting must be adapted to fit our modern professional world, which often relies on virtual meetings, seminars, and conferences.

Ivan’s tactical session prepared students to create and present impactful presentations, especially in a virtual setting, so that they might further develop their leadership and communication skills.

This session brought students out of their comfort zones so that they might grow as public speakers and be prepared for any professional meeting in their future.

Master of Engineering Leadership and Master of Health Leadership & Policy students are trained in best practices for creating engaging and effective presentations that prepare them to excel within the professional aspects of their careers, and better reach their goals.

Explore how the Master of Engineering Leadership and Master of Health Leadership & Policy professional graduate degree programs can help accelerate your career.