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There will be times in your career when you will be required to deliver a presentation to a bunch of individuals. This may be a sales presentation, a presentation to a client, to your colleagues or to your bosses. Regardless of who you need to deliver this presentation to, the ability to deliver an interesting and engaging presentation is a rare skill and one well worth cultivating as it will make you stand out from the rest of the crowd.
Think back to the best and worst presentations that you have ever attended. What made that presentation so great? Was it the speaker, the way that he engaged the audience or his slides or a combination of multiple things? On the other hand what made the dull presentation so boring? Was it the speaker, the fact that it seemed like it was death by PowerPoint or his lack of focus on the audience?
In this podcast, we are going to talk about six ways that you can make a presentation engaging and interesting. These six tips are:
- Presenting is all about the audience and what they want to hear
- People buy your information until they buy you
- Understand that there is a process for delivering a presentation
- Use stories and anecdotes to persuade others
- Try and involve your audience (but don’t lose control of the group)
- Put less on your PowerPoint slides
1. Presenting is all about the audience and what they want to hear
The first thing that great presenters know is that it is the audience that matters the most, not the presentation or the speaker. So they spend some time thinking about the audience they need to address. What do they know? What do they want to know? What questions will they have? What are the demographics? Etc. When you understand what your audience wants, you will be in a position to craft your information in such a way that you deliver that information in a way that is as relevant to them as possible.
2. People won’t buy your information until they buy you
Remember that your information can be the best in the world, but people won’t buy your information until they buy you. So make sure that you are presentable and have a pleasant demeanour. What is the kind of presenter that your audience would like to hear from? What kind of behaviour would he or she have? Once you have identified that, you can begin to behave and dress in accordance with that.
3. Understand that there is a process for delivering a presentation
There is a formula for a successful presentation. This is a formula that has worked for thousands of successful presenters around the world and you can use this to craft your presentations as well. Every presentation begins with an attention grabber or something that makes your audience sit up and take notice. This could be a fact, a show of hands or something outrageous. Then comes the three TELLS.
- Tell the audience what you want to tell them – introduction
- Tell them – your main points
- Tell them what you just told them – recap
4. Use stories and anecdotes to persuade others
People respond best to stories and anecdotes. So spend some time thinking how you can weave stories and anecdotes into your presentation. You can look for stories on the internet or you can draw on your own personal stories and talk about things that have happened to you.
5. Try and involve your audience (but don’t lose control of the group)
This next point is a bit tricky, and takes some practice, so ease into it slowly. You want your audience to be involved, but you don’t want them to take over the conversation. So you can involve them by asking simple yes/no questions, or by asking for a show of hands or an opinion. Don’t leave the floor open for questions right in the beginning or more aggressive members in the group may try and upstage you.