In this guest post, presentation expert and CEO of Presentation Studio, Emma Bannister (pictured below), does what she does best – offers top tips to your best preso ever…
Presentations are our most powerful tool. They’re how we – as marketers, advertisers and media execs – communicate information, ideas, vision and value and yet, the majority of the time, we present our ideas wrong.
Important and urgent messages are hidden in badly designed slides, complex paragraphs of information, verbose language and screens of bullet points that have no clear purpose or call to action.
You might have the most creative or innovative idea in the world, but if you can’t communicate it clearly then it’s lost
To stand out in today’s noisy and chaotic marketplace, we need to connect with our audience – human to human – through compelling visuals and emotional stories that convince them to buy-in or change.
This is the only way you can truly capture anyone’s attention so that they remember you and what you said long after the lights have gone down.
Don’t dig too deep
Our messages fall short when we dig too deep into detail. We overload our presentations with data, bullet points and crap clip-art slides.
Many of us share everything and blind our audience with numbers thinking it’s the best way to be transparent and open – that couldn’t be further from the truth! This will only put the people you are trying to engage off, and make them lose interest faster.
The trick is to pull out one clear message that sums up your presentation. This might be one sentence that communicates your purpose, or a visual that is easily understood. This is what you will use at the beginning and end of your presentation and at key points while you present.
Once there is a clear bumper sticker message then it’s easy to figure out what the key take-home message is for the audience and what it is they should do as a result.
Cut the crap
On average, only 10 per cent of a presentation is remembered. This means most of what is said could be condensed or cut in half.
When presentations are too long, we tend to waffle on.
It’s like we’re searching for the right message, any message, that might somehow hit the mark. This happens a lot in slides that have been used time and again for varying, and often differing, reasons.
If you’re presenting an innovative idea then you must present an innovative presentation! Not one dug up from the archives
Cut your presentation down to 15 minutes and then allow time for questions. Then take back control regroup everyone’s attention and close with a clear call to action (what you want your audience to do afterwards) and then send everyone out on a high.
Make it emotional
The best ideas are those that are communicated using facts and emotion.
Use stories and images that match your words and make everyone feel something towards you, whether that’s excited, happy, angry or sad.
Remember, people buy from people they like. We buy based on how we feel about something – or someone.
It’s your passion and authenticity that will really make your message stick.