Anyone can present with varying levels of confidence, clarity and impact but high impact presenting is a specific skill. It’s not about being able to read a shiny, well animated slide deck – it’s about being able to get your message across in a way that engages your audience and keeps them hooked.
Whether you’re pitching to a new client, managing an existing one or simply trying to persuade your colleagues to buy into your idea, the key is impact and the steps below will help.
- Tell your story
No matter what industry you work in, you want your audience to leave understanding and supporting the ideas you’ve just delivered. The art of storytelling will do just that and like any great book, it has a beginning, a middle and an end and more importantly, takes the audience on a journey. A good story will enable you to present in a compelling way and bring the audience with you on that journey.
- Become your audience
There’s a reason why you’ve been asked to present, it’s likely because of your knowledge, expertise and/or experience and the best way to convey that is to think about what you’d like to see and take away from someone presenting to you. So, put yourself in your audience’s shoes. A little research here goes a long way – think about how much knowledge they have (and don’t have in some cases) and what they will find the most interesting and useful.
- Keep it simple
Yes, the content of what you are presenting is important and shouldn’t be ignored, but don’t forget, the audience (regardless of size) wants to listen to you and what you have to say. Keep your slide deck punchy with bullet points and try not to overload the audience with pages of text.
- Practice, Practice, Practice
A presentation that tells a story but is to the point, well thought through and rehearsed will have them hanging on your every word. Don’t underestimate rehearsing your presentation and if you think you have it nailed, practice it again!
Here at Futureproof, we know how important this skill is and have lots of useful content in our courses on the subject. Please talk to us about:
- New Business Presentations – Pitching with Confidence
- Presenting your Products & Services – Demonstrating Value-Based Propositions
- Key Account Review Presentations
- Presenting to Key Stakeholders / Senior Colleagues – with Purpose & Poise
- Effective Team Briefings & Project Reviews
- Public Speaking Skills – Engaging an Audience