Successful Presentations

Presentations Are Powerful In-Person Content Marketing Weapons

Giving a Great Presentation Hard Work But Well Worth It

Death by PowerPoint. You’ve probably heard the phrase and certainly suffered that fate. Either you were dying on stage backed by a zillion lethal bullet points–or you were in the audience dying for the speaker to finish.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

After all, you have certainly seen at least one brilliant presentation which captivated you and your fellow listeners. So you know it can be done. But how?

Do you have to be outgoing and gregarious to be effective? Do you have to be naturally funny? Is it magic? Is there a secret presentation society with a special handshake?

Happily, none of these things is true. If you apply the following core concepts, you will emerge as a persuasive presenter.

Creating a Persuasive Presentation

  1. Understand your audience
    1. What’s their demographic make up?
    2. What information is most important to them?
    3. What motivates them?
    4. Are most of them happy to be there?
    5. Are they likely to be skeptical about you and what you have to say?
    6. What do they want to take away from your presentation?
    7. Tailor your presentation to all of the above
  2. Know where you want to take them
    1. What is their current state of understanding and acceptance about the topic of your presentation?
    2. Where do you want them to be when you finish?
    3. What action do you want them to take?
  3. Know your material so well you could speak without notes or slides
    1. Rehearse until you have it cold
    2. Your comfort level will convey your credibility
    3. You can concentrate on your audience rather than notes or bullet points
  4. Have a clear presentation flow
    1. Big opening that engages everyone–and gets them out of their bored/skeptical state
    2. Communicate exactly what you you will be covering, why they should care, and what they will take away
    3. Have a logical path from concept to concept–and/or from slide to slide
    4. One concept per slide
    5. Summarize often
    6. Limit your take aways to 3 or 4–or they won’t take away anything
    7. Big finish with call to action
  5. Use PowerPoint carefully
    1. Avoid or minimize bullet points
    2. Use visuals to support your point
    3. Use BIG TYPE
    4. Subtle transitions–no fly ins or flashing letters
    5. Always ask if the slide if for you or for the audience–if it’s not for them, delete it.
    6. Think of your slides as your back up singers and don’t let them upstage you
  6. Communicate visually
    1. If you are using slides, make sure they are primarily visual with few or no words
    2. If you aren’t using slides paint verbal pictures
  7. Tell stories
    1. Your audience will remember stories before they remember anything else
    2. Stories make for great openers, closers, and illustrations of points you want to make
    3. Stories connect you to your audience
  8. If you’re not funny, don’t try to be
    1. Don’t open with a joke because if bombs you may never recover
    2. Don’t tell jokes unless you are naturally funny
    3. Don’t ever tell off-color jokes
  9. Engage your audience
    1. Ask frequent questions to guage audience interests/concerns
    2. Have them add to your points by sharing their experience
    3. Do informal polling to take their topic temperature
  10. Big finish
    1. This is what they will remember most
    2. Wrap up your 3 or 4 most important points
    3. Tell an inspirational story supporting the purpose of your talk
    4. Ask them to take action steps

By following these steps you’ll be both meaningful and memorable. You’ll go from a prisoner of PowerPoint to a persuasive presenter.

If you’d like help in creating persuasive presentations, contact us. We’d love to help.

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