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How to be a presentation all-rounder using D.I.V.A.

Kaye blog

Written by Shola Kaye

When audiences hear that I’m about to deliver my ‘How to be a presentation D.I.V.A.’ speech, the men sometimes worry that the talk won’t be relevant to them. However, D.I.V.A. is an acronym and represents what it takes to be an all-rounder at presentations so have no fear, this talk is most certainly relevant to all.

Did you know that the word ‘diva’ is derived from ‘divine’?

So, in this blog I’m going to describe what the D.I.V.A. acronym means and give a few examples of how to be a divine speaker the next time you make a presentation at work.

D is for DYNAMIC

Do you need to ramp up the energy when you speak, or at least provide a little light and shade in your delivery? That’s what it means to be a dynamic speaker. No, you don’t have to jump up and down, punching the air like Tony Robbins. There are a variety of ways to be more dynamic on stage without breaking into a sweat. You can do it with your voice, with your words, with your movement, with audience engagement and more.

I like to use examples from the world of pop music to bring things to life for my listeners, so I liken a DYNAMIC performer to someone like Pink. She’s a bit quirky, she does her own thing and she’s not afraid to grab your attention.

One super simple way to become a more DYNAMIC speaker is to use more pauses when you speak. Yes, it seems a basic change, but whenever I ask my audience to practice a short poem or rhyme with additional thoughtful pauses, they’re amazed at the difference it makes to their expression, their meaning and their delivery. Even their diction and emotion changes.

I is for INSPIRING

Being an inspiring speaker is all about telling stories. These could be powerful stories that move your audience to take action, as well as small, simple stories about everyday life that show you’re human and help to build a connection.

People remember stories more easily than they do facts and figures, so wrapping your message up in a story is like sugar coating a health-giving pill, or making a controversial or difficult idea much easier to take on board.

Performers like Ed Sheeran are all about stories and during my speech I give the audience two simple but highly effective storytelling frameworks they can use at work.

V is for VALUABLE

To be a valuable presenter, do your audience research and make sure your content is suitable, interesting and relevant. You don’t want to waste anyone’s time so make sure any charts or diagrams are clear and easy to read, your slides are impactful and don’t contain a jumble of bullet points and tiny text, and most of all, that your message is useful and actionable.

I think of the valuable entertainers as the all-rounders with big shows that keep everyone happy. Like consummate all-rounders Beyonce or Prince, the valuable presenter makes sure all the boxes are ticked and they put the audience first and foremost.

A is for AUTHENTIC

Authentic speakers are truly themselves on stage. They’ll hopefully be their best self, but they don’t try to copy the words or the motions of anyone else. They know that being themselves is enough. But being yourself doesn’t mean being the same person all the time. As humans, we’re all multi-faceted. We might behave in one way with, another with a partner and yet another way when we’re with a child. It’s important to not limit ourselves and our behaviour so a thorough exploration of our different personas in different situations can reveal a lot. We see the range of expressions and behaviours available to us, and can use them in our public speaking.

I love using David Bowie, who had multiple personas like Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane, as well as singer Adele, who is much-loved for being down to earth with no artificiality, as two examples of authentic entertainers.

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I hope you have a better idea of how to make your next presentation stand out using the D.I.V.A. framework. Becoming a divine presenter is only a few steps away!

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