In May of this year, Susan Weinschenk (also known as @thebrainlady on Twitter) released her 3rd book, the 2nd book in the “100 things” series. In her first 2 books, Susan shared with us, her knowledge on the effects of neuroscience on web design.
Her 3rd book, however, is not about the psychological aspects behind a website, but about presenting. As a Web Analyst this is often an underestimated part of our job. Susan shares very useful tips with her readers, practical tips on how to get more out of your presentation skills.
Hold on… who is Susan? You’re acting like we should know this lady… Susan Weinschenk has a Ph.D. in Psychology and over 30 years of experience as a behavioral psychologist. Susan has worked as an instructor, speaker mentor, and consultant, mostly for Fortune 1000 companies. Some of her customer include Walmart, Disney, The Mayo Clinic, Charles Schwab, and Best Buy.
Accroding to her blog, Susan also has experience in designing stuff [sic] for websites, software, marketing campaigns, TV ads, mobile apps, and trainings. Why is she called ‘The Brain Lady’? One of her clients called her that some time ago and she decided to stick with it.
Can we move on now?
Learn to increase the effectiveness of your own presentations by finding the answers to questions like these:
Susan insists on getting to know your audience first before you even start to set up your presentation. You can do this, for example, by determining how old the participants are and what their business role is. You can also contact the organizer/host of your presentation to verify the knowledge of the audience about your topic.
Use your host as much as possible. Besides asking your audience’s roles and knowledge levels, try to learn a little about the location, other speakers and their topics. Your audience is the key to your presentation being a success, but don’t get caught by those nasty unknowns.
Susan shares with us a roadmap to help prepare for our presentation. Where do we start? There might not be an app for this yet, but there is a more old school ‘magic formula’ for it…
Then you write the content for your presentation. Susan advises to integrate exercises and activities into your presentation. For example: Let your participants choose a prototype for their website. So that they get engaged with your presentation. Because let’s face it… people find it important to have control over their choices. This will encourage them to respond to your call to action!
Let it soak in… it is time that you let these skills become second nature. Susan recommends practicing the magic formula presentation as often as you can. How could you tackle this?
I think this book is an eye opener for every Web Analyst or UX professional who wants to start or already participating in public speaking. You can have the best idea in the world, but if you can’t convince your colleagues, like-minded specialists, or customers, you aren’t going anywhere. Learn how to tell the story, and thanks to this book I’ve got plenty of tips to work on my presentation skills!