First of all, why do we talk about personality in the presentation topic? Does it affect directly at your performance in a presentation? Well, actually, it affects two ways; in the way how you tell your audience and the way they receive it. There are both good and not-so-good sides in each personality. That’s what you will learn here to improve your presentation skill based on your personality. Introverts or extroverts? Which one are you and how you will improve? Let’s start!
Introverts: The Extra Detailed presenter
According to Fabricio Teixeira, introverts are usually compensating their discomfort with verbal communication through more polished, more detailed and more thorough design deliverables. They usually end up covering all imaginable use cases and variations. Super detailed user journeys, impeccable wireframes, and sitemaps. For short, they include all details and covered all technical explanation.
What’s good? With so many details covered, there will no much technical questions.
What’s not-so-good? Slides tend to be heavier on content (many slides) which can make each person in the room focus on a different part of what’s shown. This will lead a person to question things that already explained–not a good thing for our fellow introverts
How to Improve? make sure you are gradually revealing information in your document, and pay attention to the good visual hierarchy to balance out the amount of information you are trying to show.
Extroverts: The one that tells a story
Extroverts, with stronger verbal communication skills, are able to capture people’s attention. They make the audience focus it on the story being told in the meeting. Their slides tend to be sharper, more focused, and work more as a reminder for the designer of chapters of the story they are trying to tell.
What’s good? Extrovert storytellers know how to humanize the story to make sure people in the room can relate to the problem and the solution they provide
What’s not-so-good? focus on the ‘humanize the story’ making the extroverts not focusing on the facts and the technical. It will leave the audience having ambiguous interpretations of how certain functionality will work.
How to improve? Talk is your main power, so be sure to use it right. Balancing out the tone of voice to punctuate emotional and rational moments of the presentation, so your audience what to takes or not in your presentation.
The ultimate question: how to balance these two skills?
We can’t force a person to be someone they’re not. Forcing the introverts to be more talkative or the opposite. A more realistic scenario is; know yourself and find what you are capable/ Then compare yourself to what others can. This is like knowing your best points, then try to improve anything you lack.
First, as I said before; know yourself. Are you introverts or extroverts? If you’re working in a team, ask your manager to pair you with the talkative friend (or if you’re a manager, you can arrange and balance your own team!). Try to balance your team to have professionals that sit in different places of the introvert-extrovert spectrum.
It’s not easy, I know. People with different personalities tend to have different opinions. Swallow your ego, and take any advice and critics as your point of improvement. But these difference, in the end, will improve each other skills.
How to be not stuck-in-the-middle
Whatever personality you have, everyone have the sama chance to be a speaker. Do you know what’s really important beside your skill and presentation content? It’s the way you design your slides. Trust me, visuals are important. If this is your first time thinking about design your own presentation slide, you might want to check this guide about making your your own presentation template.
Here’s the advice from Fabricio Teixeira
- Create two versions of your document — the pitch version and the documentation version. Let one focus on the emotional side of the story, and the other one on the details.
- Bring prototypes instead of static boards. Bring videos instead of photos. Bring mockups instead of grayscale wireframes. Make the work shine. Polish can help reduce a lot of cognitive friction for the people in the room.
- Avoid defensive tone when answering questions from your peers in the room. If they have questions, it is because you left a few holes when explaining your document. Be respectful, listen to the question carefully, confirm what the question is before answering, and be soft on our tone. 99% of the questions are simply focused on making the work stronger.
- Put yourself in the user’s shoes when telling a story. Instead of “this is how I imagine the homepage will work”, focus more on “this is what our persona John is going to see when he lands on the homepage”. This little trick helps others put themselves into the user’s shoes when judging the work — and keeping the user’s interests in mind when providing feedback on the design.
- Deliver the story in small beats. You have spent days — sometimes weeks — thinking about that problem, but others in the room are seeing and thinking about it for the first time. Be fair with them.
- Don’t dive right in. Use the first 3 minutes of a meeting to recap the context, explain what you have been working on since the last time you met, and how you ended up with that end result you are trying to show.
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