This document is based on the book and presentation from Jay Surti. Mastering the Art of Perfect Presentations. We use this in the iwibdus network so this is easy to follow and with clear instructions.
Who is your Audience?
What do they want to get out of this conversation? Who are they? What do you want to tell them? Research this before you start writing content.
It is tempting to tell them too much. But what do they need to know?
3-5 bits of information MAXIMUM.
What are the 3 main bits of information that you need them to know?
You can keep back the other parts and send out extra information via email later.
Opening and Closing
You need to grab attention from the very beginning.What is the purpose of this talk? Why are you here?
Pause at the beginning – take a deep breath. Make sure your audience has the time to start listening to you.
Focus on a call to action in the Close. What is their take home?
Be clear on your opening and closing. But if you have less time, focus more on the Opening than the Closing.
Stories and Case Studies
Elevating the pitch is about storytelling.
|Use Analogies, Stories and Case studies|
These ideas hook people into the presentation and make it more memorable.
Some people say “I am not good at storytelling” but these personal experiences do offer insights into your “brand”. Read more in my blog about 3 Tips for Good Storytelling.
Case studies with clients/colleagues or projects you have worked on could be a good hook to the presentation. These can be less personal to you if you don’t want to share. You can even borrow examples if you feel they add to your point.
Note good stories so you can add them to future presentations.
Putting difficult or technical language into easy to understand information is essential.
Think about giving the information context.
So, new vs old could be in pictures OR think of the “classic”: volume of something in Olympic size Swimming Pools. (FYI: 2.5 million litres!)
Firstly, do you really need them? Think of them as only a visual prop.
If you have all your information on a set of slides – why are you even there? So they must be helping the audience with your points. Not making the point.
Design visually appealing slides:
- Font and Colours for the back row of the room
- Good quality images – they should fill the entire screen
- Very little text
- Contrasting colours – easy to see and use
Use your House Brand or if you don’t have one, use Black / White or Dark Grey / Blue.
|Top Tip: If you have more information to give to the audience, send them an email afterwards. It shows you are knowledgeable and reminds them who you are. iwibdus can help.|
Delivery and Non Verbal Communications
Facial Expression 33%
Body Language 33%
So think about all of these things when you are presenting. You need to be congruent with your voice.
- Think about your tone and your pace when you present.
- Think about what clothes you will wear and check they are comfortable, professional and true to you. e.g. Don’t wear high heels if you would never normally wear them.
- Use cards or a sheet of notes to help you remember everything.
- Go at half your normal speed when speaking and raise the volume of your voice as much as you can.
- Stand on both feet and keep still and steady.
- Breathe. Try to smile !
- Look at the audience as much as possible – look around the group.
Please please please, rehearse your presentation.
Speak it out loud.
Check your timing
Are you getting the tone right?
Try to do it in front of people and get feedback.
Ask them – what were my main points? Check if you are getting your message across.
Video yourself. This is easy to do and very effective to give yourself feedback.
Questions and Answers
Many people dread not knowing the answer to any questions!
Focus on the audience. What do they want to know? What are the typical Questions?
If you don’t know the answer – that’s ok! Be congruent with your professionalism. Rehearse an authentic way of saying “I don’t know the answer to that but I can get back to you.”
What happens if there is silence?
Have a couple of prepared questions in advance. You could say “Here are some questions I always get asked…” or “While you are thinking, here is a top tip…”
This one is more difficult. Easier to pitch humour if you know the audience well. But always be politically correct. Never make jokes about politics or religion.
Don’t use an icebreaker. Ever.
This is very hard to get right and professional comedians can still get it wrong.
I am here to help with your presentation skills.
Please contact me to arrange a practice session.