Presentation Essentials: How to Share Ideas That Inspire Action | Simon Sinek | Skillshare

Presentation Essentials: How to Share Ideas That Inspire Action

Simon Sinek, Optimist and Author

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6 Lessons (33m) View My Notes
    • 1. Trailer

    • 2. Introduction

    • 3. Storytelling: How to Begin

    • 4. Design Your Talk

    • 5. Presenting: Bring It All Together

    • 6. Tips for Presenting

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About This Class

Make your next presentation unforgettable — and banish fears of public speaking! Learn how to deliver an effective oral presentation with this popular class from Simon Sinek, the thought leader whose TED talks have 20+ million views.

In this 30-minute class, best-selling author Sinek shares his secrets for giving a presentation that audiences love, remember, and repeat. You’ll learn how to:

  • identify your passions
  • speak with conviction and master public speaking
  • transform nerves into natural energy
  • articulate what you really want to say

From the importance of stories to nailing your onstage presence, Simon backs up every insight with examples you’ll never forget. The class is perfect for creatives, professionals, conference speakers, and everyone looking to make lasting connections with an audience.


1. Trailer: I'm often asked, "How did you become such a good presenter?" and I like to joke that I cheat. I only talk about things I care about, and I only talked about things I understand. You can't manufacture passion. You can manufacture energy. You can bounce on the stage and scream and yell. That's not passion. That's just too much caffeine. My name is Simon Sinek. I speak, I write, and I teach about the concepts that inspire us and help us build teams in which we feel safe amongst each other. The fact that I have a part of my career involves speaking so heavily now is because I had an idea that I was able to communicate, and because I was able to communicate it, people kept inviting me to speak about it and talk about it more. The assignment that students will have to do is to prepare up to four-minute talk as if they were auditioning for a TedX event. We will show them how to do that, how to present their ideas in a few minutes in a way that is compelling and leaves others wanting more. Then I'll offer some tips and tricks that I've learned over the years on just how to present those ideas more effectively. 2. Introduction: I'm devoted to the idea. I'm devoted to the vision of building a world in which the vast majority of people wake up every single morning, inspired to go to work, feel safe when they're there, and return home fulfilled at the end of the day. My name is Simon Sinek and I've completely devoted my life to building this world that I imagine. I speak, I write, and I teach about the concepts that inspire us and help us build teams in which we feel safe amongst each other. I'm doing this class today to help advance that idea. The assignments that students will have to do is to prepare up to four minute talk, as if they were auditioning for a TEDx event, and we will show them how to do that, how to present their ideas in a few minutes, in a way that is compelling and leaves others wanting more. It's not just going to be me telling you what you should do and what works but actually I'll go through it as well. Then, I'll offer some tips and tricks that I've learned over the years on just how to present those ideas more effectively. The three chapters of this course. The first one is to start with the end goal in mind. The second one is how to tell the story to get to that end goal, and the third one is the actual art and act of presenting. These kinds of classes are usually given to people who are doing presenting, whether you're a leader or you have a presentation to give. But at the end of the day, I think they're basic human skills. At the end of the day, we all have to interact with somebody. Sometimes, it's even presenting ideas or thoughts to our families or in a meeting of our colleagues. They can be used if you're giving a speech at your best friend's wedding. The point is, it's about you presenting your thoughts, your ideas, and your feelings to a room of people and all the same rules apply. I'm often asked, how did you become such a good presenter and I like to joke that I cheat. I only talk about things I care about and I only talk about things I understand. You can't manufacturer passion. You can manufacture energy. You can bounce on a stage and scream and yell. That's not passion, that's just too much caffeine, and if you don't care about the stuff that you're presenting, in other words, its some corporate thing that you don't really care about, you have to find something in that that you actually do care about, a component of it. There has to be something that gives you some sort of emotional connection to what you're presenting, so that your natural passion for the concepts can shine through. And remember, I was given opportunities by bosses, it's like, all right, your turn. And the stress and anxiety then went with that. Not being good when I started, I would speak too fast or I would read off the slides. Pretty, we've all done this, and in time, watched people who were better than me. People who were better presenters, I would admire them, and try and learn from them. I was lucky enough to have people give me chances to try and fail, and try and fai, l and improve, and as is my nature sort of pay attention to what works and what doesn't work. Also notice the times when I was naturally better and naturally worse. When you're relaxed, I was naturally better. When I was tense I was naturally worse, for example. The fact that I've sort of have a part of my career involves speaking so heavily now is because I had an idea that I was able to communicate, and because I was able to communicate it, people kept inviting me to speak about it and talk about it more. It was only because I was able to communicate an idea clearly did people invite me to speak about it more often than I expected 3. Storytelling: How to Begin: The best way I thought to help understand these concepts is to actually go through it myself. I'm going to try and prepare a talk that I haven't prepared before this class. In other words, I'm going to go through it as you may go through it. So, the TED Talk, the TEDx Talk that I'm going to try to do in four minutes or less is the importance of interpersonal communication, and sometimes forgoing texting or email and things like that. So, I have to start by painting a picture. Presenting is like a journey. There are ups and downs, and there's intrigue sometimes. But there's always a place we want people to get to, whether it's to inspire action, or to learn something, or to perceive the world differently, and we have to start with that end goal in mind so that all of the pieces move towards that end goal. When you start with the end in mind, the audience then understands a sense of progress. Very often, presentations or the presenting of ideas to an audience can be blind. In other words, they don't know why you're telling us this stuff. It may or may not be interesting to them. If there's an end goal in mind, it actually makes people more patient at the slow bits, so the structure is really important. How are you going to start? What's that frame that will get you going? Now, there's no right way to do this, but what I've found is that the best way to do it is to start with some sort of story. Some sort of metaphor analogy that captures the idea that you're going to be presenting about. So, in my own life, I've been at dinner with people, where we're having a wonderful time and they just pick up their phone and start typing. I feel kind of stupid, and I start looking around. As we all tend to do, when someone else picks up their phone, we pick up our phones because we want something to do while they're doing something. But it's that feeling. I remember that feeling that I had. If I feel that way when people do that to me, then it only follows that I make other people feel that way when I do those things. So, now I'm starting to form a picture. You could see, I'm starting to talk about the world that we would live in, the end state that I want to get to. So, we can start off with something as basic and quite boring as imagine if. Imagine if you were to sit down with someone in a meeting and they hang on every word you said. So, you can see what I'm trying to do. I'm actually talking about what the world would be like if that phone wasn't there. So, what you need to do is practice telling that story. Practice telling whatever story you're going to use for your presentation in a safe environment. Tell it to your friends. Tell it to your family. Tell it to your colleagues. Pay attention to the world around you. Pay attention to the people who would benefit or engage with whatever product or service you're trying to talk about. Over the years, I've learned that the best motivation to present an idea is to come with a spirit of giving. It's really funny, you can see this. When you see when someone has something to sell, when they want something from you, they want you to signup for their Facebook, join their Facebook fanpage, or become one of their Twitter followers, or buy my product, or invest in my company. The way they present is about themselves. They're selling all the time, and it's actually off putting unless they're selfishly motivated people in the audience, in which case, it's a transaction. That's not actually something inspiring. But when someone shows up with the desire to give, to share an idea, to share a perspective, to share a new product, to share a new way of looking at something, people are much more receptive. Though there may eventually be some sort of reward for the presenter, showing up with the desire to give is actually the best way to achieve that. The amazing thing is this, when you show up wanting nothing in return, when you show up to share what you've learned, to share what you know, to present what you've discovered, to share your idea, your perspective, whatever it is with no desire for anything in return but to share this idea, people become fans, people become curious for more, and that's when the ideas of trust and cooperation start to evolve. So, all presenters regardless of what industry they're in, when you show up with the intention to give, the desire to give, it immediately makes the presentation vastly more effective. Very often, people start talking about themselves. They start by offering their credentials, I've got six PhDs, and I've run seven Nobel Prizes, and I teach at this esteemed university, and I work with some of the biggest companies. In other words, they start by presenting their credentials as if to say, I'm qualified to tell you what you're about to hear. I found that that's actually not very helpful. Remember, when you're starting with a notion of giving, you're not going to start talking about yourself. All right. So, immediately those who start talking about themselves, it starts to become alienating for the audience. That stuff's important, but not to start a presentation. The other thing that I found is not helpful, is to start with facts and figures. In other words, you're going to start by building a rational argument as to why this is important and why you should listen to me to get to this end of state. Again, good stuff better for later. Better the facts and figures will come inside the jigsaw puzzle. They'll come later. They don't help capture people, their attention. It doesn't help by getting people to lean and say, "This will be interesting." Because quite frankly, it goes right to the neocortex, it's a thinking thing and it sort of starts to create. It's not a emotion, it doesn't suck people in. So, really the best way to get people to pay attention and to set up the scene that you're about to present, is to start with some sort of story. Some sort of story that is emblematic of the end result. 4. Design Your Talk: The next stage, once we have the picture on the box nicely describe our story that opens up, is now we have to deconstruct it. Once the picture on the box is clear, once everybody knows or has a sense of where we're going, once the story is told and people are craving more, now we actually have to do the hard work of putting the pieces of the puzzle in place. Now, we actually start to break down the story and say, "How did this happen? How did this person get there? How was this product developed? How did we come up with this innovation that will change lives?" Then, we have to go through the much more structured, much more linear process of putting the pieces in place to demonstrate how we got there. In other words, we deconstruct it. So, what I want you to do is go write an outline. Now, here's a little trick. Our mind, the way we think is we actually think constructively, not destructively. If you think about how we write PowerPoints, for example, what we do is we tend to have a PowerPoint and we say at the top of the page sort of like, budget or something like that, and then we make an argument. At the end, at the bottom, we put the conclusion, the big reveal. This is what we do when we do these things. Go do that as you normally would and then when you're done with your outline for your talk, simply reverse it all. So, it's different than most people think. They think they have to build an argument to get to the end, which produces a ta-da. The process that I espouse is start with the end in mind and then deconstruct it, so there's no ta-da, there's no reveal with the curtain. What ends up happening is the audience starts to understand themselves as you deconstruct and reconstruct the image, and then basically, you'll end up where you started. So, number one is, what does human connection mean? What does it mean to have a human connection? What human connections are? So, I'm going to have to somehow figure that out. There's some sub things here that I'm going to have to try and explain what human connections are. The second thing is, what are the things that break human connections? Then, I want to probably have something to do with the role of the technology. Once we fully understand our logic here, what human connections are, the things that break them, and the role technology plays in breaking them, I probably want to offer some practical steps, how we can recreate these, how we can mitigate the cost of this technology. That seems like a pretty good outline. If I do my job right, the conclusion I will come to will look exactly like the picture I painted at the beginning. Hopefully, people will start to believe my argument by the time I get here. They'll start to see that I have a point and the whole role for the practical steps are somebody says, "Wow, I buy into this but what am I going to do?" This is very often where if you're presenting a piece of technology, a product, a service, a design, it's probably at this low level, believe it or not, that your design or your application, your technology will actually now be presented. The techniques for presenting are not just for presenting ideas. You can present designs, you can present products, you can present innovations, you can present policy if you like, all is the same structure. You have to show the benefit, the end result that will come to life. So, let's talk about a car example. A car salesman trying to present this new car, very, very often what starts to happen is the car salesman starts just by telling you what's in the car. It's got great gas mileage, and it's got leather seats, and it's got a big engine. They just start throwing facts and figures hoping that they're making a compelling argument for something. Again, they're showing up with a taking mentality, sell the car. Now, what if you showed up with a giving mentality? It begs the question, what are you buying the car for? "Well, I'm a parent and I'm trying to get my kids to school every day, that's really all I need." Okay, imagine this. Imagine, painting a picture, right? Imagine that you're living this life where it's easy to get the kids in and out of the car, where when you're in the car, it's peaceful and fantastic and your kids love traveling with you in the car. It's not a burden. It's not a big deal. You never have piles of mess in the car. It's this remarkable life that you're living. Is that something that's interesting to you? Well, of course, it is. Well, now let me tell you how you'll get there. We have big sliding doors that kids can get in and out easily. We have TV screens so that they're entertained while you're driving. We have these carpets that lift up easily so that you can easily clean it, so it always stays nice and easy. The point is I'm not selling the car, I'm making the argument. I'm building the facts that support the image that we're trying to get to. It's just much more compelling because people don't see themselves in the car, they see themselves in the image that you painted at the beginning. Zig Ziglar said it best, "People don't buy drills, they buy holes." So, instead of talking about the drill, we have to talk about the hole in the wall. So, often people present, when they give a presentation, they start with the technology that they have and then explain the value of the technology, as opposed to painting a picture of our lives and then shows how the technology or innovation fits in or amplifies whatever it is we're trying to achieve in our life. In other words, the example we've used before with the car, it's not that a car can simply go fast and you can get good gas mileage, and it's not simply about getting to the places you need to go, it's about the human desire to explore. It's about freedom. It's about being able to live farther away from our workplace because we can commute. It's lifestyle stuff. It's human stuff. This technology, this car is the answer. It's the thing that advances the picture that we painted. So, it's really important that you understand what you're going to be presenting. Now, understanding doesn't just mean the technical details of your product or service or idea, it also means understanding the people who will benefit. So, for example, the hard work isn't just understanding all of the spark plugs and electronics of the car, you actually have to have a deep understanding of the people who will buy the car, of the people who will benefit from it. Understanding is more than engineering, it's actually human. Any idea that someone has to present the minimum standard is to understand their own product or service. But it's vastly more compelling if they understand, they've done research, they've done work, they've spent time with, best one all, they are one of the people who will actually benefit from use and enjoy whatever product, service or innovation they're proposing. So, understanding is more than the technical. Understanding is also understanding the human beings who will derive benefit. Now, once you have an outline, even a bad outline, and I'm a great believer in practicing when things are imperfect because you will discover the imperfections, you'll discover the things that work and don't work, and amazingly, you'll usually discover the solutions when you actually practice out loud. Once you get good at understanding your own story, your own talk, then practice with a clock. Then, understand where you can make cuts and edits. We want to have people around us that we can turn to. The problem is, the only way to ensure that those people will be there for us in our time of need is that we invest the time and energy to make it happen. I've run out of time. I've 50 seconds left, there's no way I can get through this in 50 seconds. Okay, I'm going to start again. So, now, I have four minutes. The problem is, I think I've more content here than four minutes. I'm going to have to take a different strategy. I could probably lose most of this stuff with a couple of exceptions like I want to keep the word investment in there for sure, that our relationships are investments, and then get into the interruption of phone. So, I'm going to give it a try again. I'm going to keep my opening story in. I'm going to let my story do all the heavy lifting about the value of relationships and avoid all the science of the relationships, and then get right into my addiction arguments. So, let's see how that works out. Okay, I'm going to try and do a run-through now with a timer. So, I now have four minutes. I was out with a friend recently for dinner. It's a friend I haven't seen in awhile and she just got back from vacation. I was really eager to hear about her vacation. It was really fantastic. She went and hiked a mountain. It was just wonderful. I was telling her what I did over the holiday and in the middle of me telling her, her phone lit up and she went and grabbed her phone. I remember feeling small, I remember feeling dejected. Like here I'm excited and engaged and all of a sudden, whatever was going on on the phone was more important. Worse than feeling the way I felt, I realized that I do that. That I go out for dinner with my friends and I reply on my phone, and I walk them through what's going on to prove that it's okay for me to somehow justify the interruption. In other words, for some strange reason, we are all keenly aware when we do things that are interrupting these relationships. Not only do I not want to feel like that anymore when I go out with my friends, but I don't want to make my friends feel like that either. So, it gets me thinking, why does that happen in the first place? I know that human connections are some of the most valuable things in the world. The very success of the human race is because we worked together, we've done it together. None of us is strong by ourselves, none of us is able to accomplish much by ourselves, it's our ability to form trust. The problem is, trust is not an app. There's no rush to making a trusting relationship, which is we're investing in building these relationships except when we're supposed to be spending the time and energy. In other words, investing in getting to know someone and building up the trust or maintaining an existing relationship, we keep interrupting it and it actually destroys that investment. So, if we really want to strengthen the relationships we have with our friends, if we want to build trust on a level with our colleagues that is stronger than ever before, if we really want to fill that trust bank with lots of our time and lots of our energy, maybe we should start by going out for dinner and leaving our phones at home when we do. What if we didn't keep our phones on our desks when we talk to people so we don't have the addiction? We put it in a drawer when they walk into our office so we literally don't have the addiction. It is upon us. We will beat the addiction and we will build better bonds of trust if we can invest the time, if we can take the risk to start to wean ourselves off these addictive phones for no other reason than because it feels good. 5. Presenting: Bring It All Together: When you have a talk in mind, when you have something in mind that you want to share with people, you have an idea, you have a product, you have an innovation, something you want to share with the world, something that you think has value and you have the spirit of giving that you want to share it with. The first thing you want to do is start with your end in mind. Remember the first thing we do when we do a jigsaw puzzle is we put the picture of the box against the wall. So you have to know what that end state is, what is the picture on the box? Where do you want people to get to? That's number one. Then, come up with a story, whether it's a personal story or of yours or someone else's personal story that you're going to recount. But some sort of true is better but fictional is okay. But some sort of story that helps capture, frame and paints the picture that's on the box, the thing you're going to get to. The third thing is now make an outline. Now actually go write an outline for the talk you're going to give. You can practice doing things like writing outline as you imagine it and then try it in reverse, see if that works. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't depending on the talk you're giving but you've got to have an outline. You have to understand the logic you're going to do as you work to fill in that jigsaw puzzle. Sometimes you can get away with doing it randomly but sometimes there's a logic that's required. You'll only know if you do an outline. Then once you have it, practice. Practice out loud even if you practice out loud by yourself at your desk while you're writing, that's a huge help but at some point you want to present to an audience, a couple of people if you can, friends it doesn't matter, but you want to practice out loud. And once you feel comfortable and you're ready to get out there and give your presentation, remember your presentation skills. Simply having the picture and the words are only half the job. It's also about you standing in the front of the room presenting, that's the other half. The content is only half of it and those presentation skills are designed to help you connect with your audience and ensure that they're really interested in listening to whatever you have to say. And then finally present your work, record it and upload it so the rest of us can see it. I'm really looking forward to seeing some of the results and hearing about the images and the pictures that you have to share what the future may look like and the ideas that you have. And most importantly, I'm really excited to see how your ideas will inspire all of those people around you. 6. Tips for Presenting: Over the years, I've learned more about how to become a better presenter. I'm certainly way better now than I was when I started a few years ago. So, what I thought I'd do is share some of the things that I've learned. The first thing that I've learned seems really obvious, but it's amazing how often we forget, which is to be yourself. It's really important that people can see the kind of person that you are. In other words, bring your own personality to bear. If you have a sense of humor, use it. If you like facts and figures, use them. Dress in a way that makes you feel comfortable. The second most important thing, and I've said this many times, which is to show up with an attitude to give. If you have something wonderful, if you have an idea, remember, you're going to share it with a room of people who've never heard the idea. You're showing up to offer them a new perspective or an invention that they may not have thought of themselves. You're there to give, to educate, to enlighten, whatever your motivation, it has to be with this desire to give to the audience, not to take from them. It makes a huge difference to how they will receive your message. One of the most important things to do when you speak is own the room. Remember, you're the one on the stage, you're the one in the front of the room, you're the one with all the light and attention on you and you should remember to use it to your advantage. Let me give you an example of one of the common mistakes. What's really amazing is how often people start speaking before they've even arrive on the stage. So, here's what happens very often. Your name gets called out, you're brought up on stage and you walk in and say, "Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. I'm really happy to be here." You start talking before you even arrived. Now, what this does is it communicates that you're not confident being up there. So, practice this. Practice getting all the way to the place you want to be and then speak. Let me show you what I mean. Thank you very much for having me here today. Same thing. I'm just introducing myself, and yet I waited to get to where I was going before I started speaking. In fact, if you really want to take a risk, try being quiet for a minute at the beginning, just take in the room. Take a look. They will wait for you. It's sort of an amazing feeling. So, this happens. Thank you ladies and gentlemen for having me here today. Same thing. But that pause and that willingness to wait to get to where you're going, it communicates unbelievable confidence that you have. It happens very frequently that while you're presenting, you will lose your train of thought. It just happens, we're human. The most important thing to do then is to go completely quiet. Never say um, don't go um, just go quiet, find your train of thought. If you need to refer to your notes, that's fine. Look down refer to your notes. Don't say "I've lost my place, just looking for my notes here." In other words, the temptation is to explain to people why we're going quiet or why we've stopped talking. Don't worry. Remember, if you own the room, they'll wait for you. On those rare occasions that you do all these techniques and yet you still don't find your train of thought, the best technique there is to be yourself. I was giving a talk once to a fairly large audience, it was like 1,500 people, and it was a very prestigious event that I'm speaking at. I was doing my thing, and in the middle, I lost my train of thought. Now, it happens, and so I went quiet and I tempted to regain and find my train of thought and I couldn't. I panicked a little bit, but not too bad, and I continued to stay quiet and try and find what I was thinking about, and I couldn't. Now I thought, okay, just start talking, tell a story. I've got a database of hundreds of stories in my mind and yet, on this particular moment, I could remember none. I wouldn't be surprised if I couldn't remember my own name if somebody asked me at this time. I mean, my mind was blank. I didn't know what to do and now panic set in. So, I turned to the audience and I told them what I was experiencing. I turned to them and said, "Have you ever had that experience where something goes horribly wrong and your heart starts pounding and you start to sweat? " I said, "Have you ever had the experience?" I said, "I'm having that right now." They all started to laugh. Now, they were on my side. I said, "I've completely lost my train of thought, I'm completely embarrassed. So, if anyone could just help me out please, I'd love that." Somebody screamed out what I was saying last. Thank you, that's what it was. Because now, by being myself, by admitting not what I was going through, but admitting how I felt, I talked about the feelings I was having, people could relate and were now rooting for me and actually helped me and it actually became a funny experience. Here's a technique I learned recently and it's really helpful. For many people speaking in front of an audience, it can be the scariest thing they've ever done. People actually say I hate public speaking, I'm so afraid of public speaking. But one of the techniques that I would offer is to reinterpret that fear as excitement. So, if you're standing backstage and you're about to go out and you start to get nervous and you peek through the curtain you see hundreds of people, you've never done this before, you don't know what to do and you start panicking. Say to yourself this is exciting and you'll be amazed simply how reinterpreting the data that your mind is receiving completely changes your state of mind. Much like taking your time to get started, it's really important that you take your time when you're actually speaking. Strangely enough, there's actually no such thing as too slowly when you're giving a talk. Too fast, that comes easy and we're all susceptible to it. Nerves or just watching clocks or whatever it is makes us race or we think we have to get all the content in as quickly as we can and we start speaking faster and faster. As you can tell right now, the faster I go, you're actually less interested in everything I have to say. Yet, if I speak really slowly, sort of uncomfortably slowly where in my mind I'm thinking this has to be too slowly, and yet for some reason, it's way more interesting to hang on every single word instead of racing through your content. Related to the pace in which you speak, you have other tools at your disposal: the volume of your voice, the emphasis of words, the length of your pauses, all can be used for dramatic effect. One thing which people don't realize about me which surprises people is I'm actually an introvert and I'm actually uncomfortable with large groups of people and it's actually helped me be a better public speaker because I don't like speaking to groups, but I can speak to individuals. Looking at individuals and talking to one individual at a time, giving them an entire thought or an entire sentence, hugely powerful for creating a connection with your audience, no matter the size of the audience. Remember, a speech isn't just the giving of the speech, it's the manner in which you give the speech, it's the way you show up on the stage, it's the pacing of the speech, it's also how you end the speech, it's how you accept the applause from the audience. Applause is like a gift, they don't have to give it to you. If they didn't really like you, they'll give you some sort of polite applause and it'll be over immediately. But if they really appreciated what you said to them, maybe they'll give you standing ovation. Or maybe they just will keep applauding and applauding and applauding and applauding. It goes on and on. These are all the expressions of gratitude, and they're gifts. So, just as if someone were to give you a gift, a physical gift in a box, it'll be rude to just push it back. It'd be rude to say I don't need a gift. So too is it really important to accept the applause with gratitude. So when they applaud you, you stand on the stage, you look at them one at a time just as you did while you were speaking, and you say thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. You look at each one in the eye and you say thank you. Once you've decided you've said thank you enough and you've decided to walk off the stage, walk off the stage. Just as you came on with confidence and then stood and waited to start, when you've decided that you've said thank you and you can now leave the stage, you walk off the stage. Don't stop. Don't come back. Don't do lots of these on your way out. You said your thank yous and now walk off with the same confidence that you walked on, and that's when you're presentation is concluded. Sometimes when you give a talk or give them presentation, you'll be required to answer questions at the end. The most important thing to remember is you don't have to know all the answers. If you know the answers, tell them what you think. If you don't know the answer, then tell them you don't know. In other words, it actually demonstrates more confidence when you say you don't know something than pretending. Because when you pretend, not only does everybody know that you don't know the answer, but you look like you're pretending and you actually destroy the confidence they had in you. It's remarkable how the Q and A can make or break you. There's only two things you should really stay clear of. Don't read your stuff. Know your stuff. Notes are to help keep you on track if you need that, but you should really know your stuff instead of just reading it. That's number one. Number two, if you're going to use PowerPoint slides, don't put all the content on the PowerPoint slides. The PowerPoints are like chapter sections, they're designed to guide or add a little depth or adds an imagery to the things you're saying. It's still about you. It's not about the slides. It's about the ideas that you hold. So, use all of these things, but use them sparingly.