A presentation is a powerful experience. It an information exchange, a communications exercise and an opportunity to take the audience on a journey. A good presentation (and presentation company) creates content with this in mind.
A great presentation, however, goes one step further and acknowledges that the audience is not passive in this exchange. A great presentation is mindful that the audience gives something back, something that we all value and fiercely protect.
In this hyper-connected world, we must respect the time of our audience and deliver something of value. Something that references their current needs and challenges. Relevant content, relatable and honest communication, and a presenter who is relatable, not only makes for good content but respects the value in what the audience delivers in a presentation.
Here at PS, we create presentations that respects both active participants. And we thought we’d share our top three tips on how to get the best out of your presentation, ensuring your audience’s time is well spent.
1 - Make it relevant:
Delivering a presentation that is well-structured and organized supports a clear delivery of your message. Evidence suggests that our brains are being overloaded with 34gb of info every day, so we recommend the ‘less is more’ approach. This signals to audience members that you value their time and welcome them to respond to your CTA. (Not to mention be more likely to remember your content!).
Nick Morgan, author of Before You Open Your Mouth: The Keys to Great Public Speaking, outlines the importance of keeping the listener’s needs front of mind whilst presenting:
“Audiences begin speeches asking “why” – why should I care, why is this important…If the speaker is successful (and it’s a million to one shot against) the audience will end up asking “how” – how do I implement this idea, how do I make this my own…
That’s the speaker’s job: take the audience from “why” to “how.”
Maintaining an audience-centred approach, means you understand their needs and can identify how to emotionally connect to them – earning the ability to influence and persuade.
2. Tell me a story:
Every presentation has an agenda, and to be upfront about it allows you to tackle the audience’s ‘why’ head on. Don’t be afraid to start your presentation with a question: “What’s one thing I could share with you today that will make this experience worth your time?” An upfront conversation around expectations allows everyone to lay their cards face up on the table. It invites a state of openness, trust, and engagement.
Storytelling in business is becoming more prominent because of the emotional connection it creates between presenter and audience. Of course, it is subject matter dependent, however, don’t be afraid to inject more of yourself into your content. Everyone has the capacity to be influential through their own stories, and an authentic and honest delivery has the power to elevate a key message with greater impact for the audience. This human to human connection supports a deeper level of information exchange.
3. Build a rapport:
Valuing audience’s time, means connecting with them from the very beginning. Smile. Tell a joke. Be yourself. We also recommend techniques such as:
- A strong opening
- Opening the presentation with a question that sparks engagement
- Use inclusive pronouns such as we, our, us instead of you and yours.
To elevate a presentation, presenters can consider these extra steps:
- Referencing the present
- Content/presentation flexibility
- Strong and compelling visuals.
By relating key messages to the present, we are acknowledging how our information can link into and benefit their lives right now. They may understand why you’re invested, but you also have the perfect opportunity to tell them why they should be invested, and why their investment is worthwhile.
Allow for flexibility in your content. We recommend leaving enough time to ask your audience questions along the way or at the end. This invites further activeness and participation from your audience.
Presentations are a valuable communications tool, however to truly unlock their power, it pays to engage with those who live and breathe their value every day. Fresh eyes, creative strategy and expert content creation, all analyse, synthesise, and distil your messages whilst maintaining audience focus. Time is valuable, and at Presentation Studio, we understand how much this means to both you and your audience.