90% of your presentation is in the preparation. And as always in business, you must answer the all-important, “So What….?” question.
- Know your outcomes – what does it mean for your career to do make this presentation? What’s the point? So what? Be certain why you are there, because your engagement will inspire the audience to be engaged with your message. Be passionate – your passion will ignite your audience. It gets you noticed.
- Know your audience – what will be the predominant personality profile of your audience? Do they want chapter, verse and detail, or quick bullet point answers? How do they want you to talk about your solution and how it will help them? Or do they want to be inspired by you? When you know what’s expected of you, you can adapt your message to make it more effective. Plan how you want your audience to react. What do you want them to feel? What do you want them to think? What do you want them to do?
- Know your content – the content is not what you want to tell your audience. It’s what they want to hear – it must solve their problem, issue or question. Your job is to bridge the gap so your audience moves from where they are to where you want them to get. To do so, they need to trust you, trust in your leadership. To inspire that trust, you will have already demonstrated that their problem is important to you. You care about it. And you have the authority and passion to speak about it.
Every presentation is a piece of marketing – whether you’re giving a sales presentation, asking others to agree to your proposal or impressing at a job interview. You need to focus on what you want your audience to take away with them – and especially what action they are to take. Even with an outstanding presentation, after 48 hours they will only remember 25% of what you say; after a week, only 10%. And they will only remember the content that directly refers to them. Make sure you know what’s in it for them and communicate this effectively.