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Compelling Presentations

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Compelling Presentations

  1. 1. COMPELLING PRESENTATIONS Engage. Connect. Persuade. 16 practical ideas to help you create great presentations Adrian Harcourt
  2. 2. “ The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” George Bernard Shaw
  3. 3. Out of millions of presentations delivered each day, too many will look like this ...
  4. 4. and result in this ...
  5. 5. Death by PowerPoint
  6. 6. now for the good news ...
  7. 7. Anyone can become a compelling presenter ...
  8. 8. Step 1 PREPARE
  9. 9. Know your DESTINATION. The first step in creating effective presentations is to be really clear on what you want to achieve, where you want the presentation to lead to.. Think of your presentation as guiding your audience from point A, what the audience currently think, feel and do in relation to your topic, to point B, what you want the audience to think, feel and do as a result of experiencing your presentation. When you need to achieve specific outcomes, know where you’re going and then you can plan your route. Don’t let your presentation become a magical mystery tour!
  10. 10. Solve PROBLEMS “The only reason for the existence of a presentation of an idea is that it be an answer to a problem.” – Henry Boettinger All problems consist of a mismatch between 2 things: Where we are now, and where we want to be. The purpose of your presentation is to show your audience how to get to where they want to be. Your presentation should address a real problem that the audience cares about and really wants to solve. Even an ‘update’ presentation may be able to help your audience to do things better, cheaper or faster. Rather than a person who just provides information, you can build a reputation as someone who helps solves problems. Ker - ching!
  11. 11. What’s the BIG IDEA? Walking talking rabbits, time travel, schizophrenia, bizarre therapy sessions – no it’s not your company’s latest marketing update presentation, I’m talking about the movie Donnie Darko. Despite having a cult following, it features on many ‘most confusing movies of all time’ lists, and the main message of the movie is still being debated by it’s own fans! You want to make sure you don’t do a ‘Donnie’ on your audience. With the high costs of attending a presentation in terms of time and money, your audiences want and deserve complete clarity. An effective presentation develops one core, big idea and supports it with 3 or 4 key points. Will the audience be able to summarise in a word, a sentence or phrase what your next presentation is about?
  12. 12. Be a giver of VALUE. You may have a very clear, specific objective, but your presentation isn’t really about you, it’s about your audience, and what’s in it for them. Remember people will listen to you for their own reasons, not for yours. Look for ways to add value to your audience. Focus on their needs and wants. What questions do they need answering? What concerns do they have? What would make their time with you worthwhile? Focusing on your audience and giving value has two big benefits for you too. First is you stop worrying about how you’re coming across , you’re too busy thinking about how you can serve their needs. And second, you start to connect at a deeper level, talking with them rather than at them. So... why would your audience want to do what you want them to do?
  13. 13. Brainstorm, group and REFINE.Brainstorm: Brainstorm all the possible content that could help you achieve your desired outcome. Use post-t notes to capture ideas. One idea per post-it. Set a time limit and go for quantity over quality – just get all those ideas out of your head. The brain dump must be part of your preparation not your presentation. Don’t judge ideas, consider them all as contenders rather than finalists at this stage. Group: To start to turn the chaos into some form of order, you can group connected ideas into clusters or themes (3 or 4 is good). This is the advantage of using sticky notes and index cards – you can move them around. Refine: Now that you’ve defined the possible content, it’s time to reduce that down to just the critical ideas. Be ruthless with your editing - what doesn’t add to achieving your outcome will detract from it.
  14. 14. Classical story STRUCTURE. Are you sitting comfortably? An effective way of structuring your presentation is by thinking of it in terms of a story, with a clear beginning (Act I), middle (Act II) and end (Act III). People are already familiar with this three-act structure through the stories told to us in film, documentaries and books. This is how a presentation could look using this structure: Act I: Opening, problem statement (where the audience is now, and where they want to be), your solution key point overview Act II: detailed information to support each solution key point Act III: summary of problem and solution key points, Q&A, conclusion and call to action
  15. 15. Steal THUNDER. “Stealing thunder” is when you bring up a point against your recommendation and then systematically get rid of it. It’s a concern you’d have to answer at some point anyway, but now you’ll be seen as more credible and understanding than if it was raised by someone else first. As you prepare, include all the information to support your viewpoint, but also anticipate the likely objections, concerns or questions your audience will have and how you will answer them. Some people don’t always voice their objections or concerns during the presentation. Stealing thunder is a practical way to help potential silent objectors feel heard, open up and gain their support.
  16. 16. Use the principle of PLEASURE & PAIN.This is one of the most valuable ideas, in fact it’s the key to selling your ideas. The principle is: We are all motivated towards people, experiences and companies that can help us feel pleasure and/or avoid pain. We’re basically all rushing around trying to find ways to feel good. Think about a sales presentation. What pleasure feelings does your audience want to feel? They probably want to be able to trust that you have their best interests at heart. They want to feel understood and have confidence and certainty they’re making the right decision to buy from you. What typical pain feelings do they want you to help them avoid? Things like: feeling misled, misunderstood, vulnerable, confused, bored, stupid. So how can you help your audience to feel good about themselves, you and your ideas?
  17. 17. Step 2 DESIGN
  18. 18. Use simple elements of DESIGN. The B-I-G message: We are all (A-L-L) designers. Each and every one of us gives off dozens – probably hundreds, perhaps more – of ‘design cues’ every day. In the way we present ourselves, our project output.” -Tom Peters We are all designers. Yes, even you! Every time you present your slides or a document it says more about you than you might realise. Here are some simple ideas to give your visuals a more designed look: • Reduce the amount of text on slides by creating a handout for the detail • Slides should resemble a newsreader’s background graphics rather than their teleprompter • Keep headings, colours, fonts type and size consistent • Replace text with relevant quality images
  19. 19. Give the numbers MEANING. When you show slides showing data, it’s important to see them from your audience’s perspective. People aren’t interested in the data on it’s own, they’re interested in what the data means to them. To make it easier for your audience, consider using handouts to show complex data and use your slides to interpret the data, highlighting the information that’s important for your audience to know. Another way to display data effectively is to strip the visual clutter or ‘Chart Junk’ away from your charts and graphs so the main point the data is making can be understood at a glance. Don’t make your audience work too hard!
  20. 20. Don’t create FRANKEN-SLIDES. Franken-slides: The result of trying to cobble together slides from different presentations. How many people, as soon as they hear they have a presentation to give, immediately start looking for a ‘presentation donation’ - in other words slides from presentations that they or their colleagues have delivered before. The result can be visuals that look cobbled together and don’t seem to belong to the same presentation. Inconsistent fonts, colours and overall style create the equivalent of continuity issues that sometimes crop up in films and TV. Look for ways to create consistency throughout your slides and avoid creating a monster of a slide deck!
  21. 21. Step 3 PERFORM
  22. 22. Be an EMOTIONALIST. Greek philosopher, Aristotle, claimed that to persuade, you must use 3 types of argument: credibility and honesty (ethos), emotion (pathos), and logic (logos). Facts aren’t enough to persuade on their own. Most people tend to buy for emotional reasons and then justify with logic. In other words, think + feel = do So when you plan your presentation or training, think in terms of creating an experience for your audience rather than just delivering information. What positive target emotions do you want your audience to feel? A sense of wonder? Motivated? Trust? Confident? You can use things like stories, metaphors, benefits, humour, evocative images and surprise to help create those emotions. Go on. Bring out your inner theatre director. 23
  23. 23. Let people see the REAL YOU. “Just be yourself.” How many times have you heard that! It’s true, we connect better with people who are being real, but when it comes to giving presentations, it’s not as easy as it sounds. People that are naturally warm, engaging and interesting can suddenly switch to ‘presenter mode’ - using words, phrases and odd body movements they they would never use normally. They end up boring their audiences while their personality and reputation is tragically flat lining. To let the real you shine through: • Adopt a more natural conversational style rather than give a rigid speech. • Avoid ‘big’ words and jargon – use normal language your audience will connect with • Express your emotions – let the audience see and hear how you feel about your content - speak from the heart
  24. 24. Present with PASSION. We’re not talking rampant motivational speaker style (unless you are a rampant motivational speaker), just that you connect with your audience on an emotional and intellectual level. It’s delivering your message with a sense of energy and honesty, and genuinely wanting to contribute to others. Even if you’ve been handed down a presentation you’ve had no part in putting together, look for how the content can help your audience and tap into your feelings of wanting to add value. After all, if you’re not enthusiastic about what you’re saying, why should anyone else be? Ok. We’re done with this tip. Everybody shout “I am a presentation superstar!” and high five the person next to you.
  25. 25. Have a clear call to ACTION. Your call to action is the purpose of your presentation, it’s where it’s all been leading to. Whether you’re trying to inform, entertain, or sell, an effective presentation needs a call to action that clearly states what you want the audience to do next. What do you want your audience to do? Sign the contract? Buy the product? Agree to the next meeting? Provide feedback? Remember and apply new skills and knowledge? That’s your call to action. Whatever your desired outcome may be, be sure to clearly state what the next steps are during your conclusion. Finish strong and on purpose!
  26. 26. Think and feel differently to STAND OUT. What does presenting mean to you? Something you’ve got to give, or get to give? A means to sell products and services and earn commission, or a chance to sincerely help clients succeed? A way to dispense information and instructions to your workforce, or an opportunity to inspire people to work together to overcome a new challenge? The way you view presentations and your audience affects how you feel. And how you feel ultimately affects how you treat both the presentation and your audience. You may not even be fully aware of how you’re coming across, but your audience will be. Here’s an important point. Most people don’t like to present and they don’t know how to prepare. By changing how you think and feel about presentations you’ll naturally start to do the things that will help you stand out for all the right reasons.
  27. 27. You can become a compelling presenter ...
  28. 28. For PDF copies, or to find out how I can help you create compelling presentations, send an email to: adrianharcourt@totalise.co.uk “It was fantastic. The content was “I would like to say thank you for making the 100% on the button. Best training course so relevant for us all and also for course I’ve attended!” pitching the days just right so the nerves managed to magically fade!!” Kyle Dawson, Sales Account Manager Charlotte Bantleman, Pricing Manager “Great course, and even in the 2 days I saw a big improvement in my delivery of my presentation. Possibly the best course I have “Unlike any presentation training seen done so far with TGP and was really beneficial!!” before, has given me a new way of looking at how to communicate a message. Great Charlotte Mullaly, Sales Account Manager course. Thanks Adrian!” Andrew Becconsall, Credit Team Manager Photos from iStockPhoto.com/Frankenstein image by Rick Baker 2005

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