So, you’ve been invited to deliver a presentation on behalf of the company – a daunting prospect in anybody’s books. After all, with attention spans being what they are these days, it’s easier than it’s ever been to bore an audience to tears.
But while the urge to fidget and check all 417 of our social media accounts is unlikely to subside anytime soon, there are a few easy ways to shift the focus from phone screens to your presentation.
What’s important to remember is that much of your success will depend on your delivery, and while content is undeniably important, it’s often how you convey it that makes the difference between impressed gasps and embarrassing snores.
So whether you’re presenting to a boring bunch from finance or to a hip and happening social media crowd, here are 5 ways to make your presentations pack a more powerful punch.
Start off strong
People are more likely to pay attention to your entire presentation if they’re intrigued from the get go – lose the audience at the start and you’ll struggle to win them back. An intriguing question or an entertaining (but relevant) YouTube clip are usually winning ways to get you starting strong.
The power of three
It’s no secret that our concentration levels nowadays just aren’t the same as what they used to be. So if you’re going to stand a chance amongst the litany of online stimuli, you’re going to have to keep things short and sweet. Research has proven that people are most engaged and likely to retain information when it’s broken down into three key points – so tempting as it might be to wax lyrical about your numerous business achievements, you’d be well advised to keep to the abridged version if you want to keep your audience awake and alert.
Show and tell
Visual stimuli can instantly take your presentation from drab to dazzling if used correctly. After all, reams and reams of text are unlikely to inspire even your most ardent supporters. So if you’ve got a lot of information to convey, try to get it across in a variety of visual forms, whether they be graphs, videos or infographics. By engaging multiple senses, you’ll keep your audience on their toes and invested in whatever comes next.
Make an emotional connection
While the way to a man’s heart is undoubtedly through his stomach, the way to our heads is through our hearts. So if you want to appeal to your audience’s cognitive sensibilities, you’re going to need to include personal stories that will affect them on an emotional level. It might be a personal account of the struggles you faced putting together the financial reports or a recap of how you started the business from scratch. The moment you make your presentation relatable on a personal level, you’ll find that people will be infinitely more receptive to what you have to say.
Go out with a bang
Save a trump card for the last moment of your presentation – whether it’s the introduction of a new product or the launch of an exciting competition. Think about the one thing that you want your audience to remember and make sure that’s the last nugget of information you deliver, as it’s the thing most likely to stick in peoples’ minds.