To inspire you to be confident in giving presentations, it’s vital you deliver content that engages your audience. If you have your audience on side from the start, their belief in you will encourage you to perform at your best.
Here are 10 ways to shape content that will have your audience following your lead:
- Opening: Start off with arresting statement/question. Don’t answer it. Leave it hanging whilst you get on with answering the following –
- Who am I? What gives me the right to talk to you?” This is your ‘Earn The Right’ bit. Outline what you do that ensures you’re entitled to speak to them on this subject. Use examples in the form of stories. Then answer your initial question.
- Demonstrate Empathy: – Show you understand their situation, their worries, needs or uncertainties: “I imagine that you’re feeling/thinking…..” Show them you are concerned, that what they’re thinking about matters to you. If it’s a controversial or uncomfortable issue, the more you have the courage to name the elephant in the room, the more authority you have. It can bring tensions to the surface to be alleviated and engage your audience immediately.
- ‘Call To Action’: Tell them what you want them to think/feel/do or have happen by the end. What’s the outcome? It’s wise to be clear as to your intentions – and again, it shows your authority. It’s helpful to number things if you have a list – much easier for your audience to remember.
- Main Body Of Content: Continue with your content. Outline what you’re going to tell them – and then tell them! (Often people make the mistake of thinking that this bit is what a presentation consists of – ie telling them what you think they ought to know. No!!!! This is probably the 75% they’ll forget within 48 hours and is usually there to reinforce the message that you’re the expert.)
- Summary: Briefly go over what you’ve just said ie tell them what you told them.
- Repeat The ‘Call To Action’: Recap the numbers so they really ‘get’ what want them to think/feel/say/do/have happen afterwards.
- Questions And Answers: Ask for Qs and As. Say, “We’ll limit questions to 2 minutes” so you give them a time frame. If there’s a deathly hush, suggest questions that you imagine they may be wondering. It’s just kind! If there are a host of questions, see whether there are 2 or 3 that are similar and put them together to answer. Make it clear you are available afterwards to discuss further the issues brought up for them.
- Signal The Point Of The Presentation: To round off after Qs and As, just give a reminder of what you and they are assembled to do.
- A Treasury Of Stories: Collect a number of stories about your experiences of applying your methodologies and their outcomes – to illustrate your points easily. Remember, the more confidence your audience has in you, the more they will believe in and follow your leadership.
Anrah’s blog: Dip into other posts here in my blog for more advice and help. For instance have a look at:
- “Is Powerpoint: The Bullshit Shine Of Your Presentation?” (I promise – it’s a technical term!)
- “Presenting For The Plain Terrified”
- “10 Bad Mistakes I Watched People Make In A Sales Presentation”