Presenting can be a daunting task. Audience expectations of content, accuracy and accountability are high and people demand to be enlightened and informed – rightly so.
It's important to realise delivering effective presentations is dependant upon not only how good you are at transferring information but how successful you are in influencing, inspiring and making what you say memorable and actionable for the client or prospect.
However if you’ve noticed that when you speak to clients they not only look at their watches but shake them during one of your presentations, it’s time to consider the following strategies for delivering effective presentations and engage their hearts and minds.
1. Consider your listener
Frame the presentation as though you were the one sitting in the audience. Effective presentations should be targeted to meet the specific needs, wants and emotions of your audience. You risk losing their interest and focus after just two minutes if there is no relevance to their financial, emotional or physical well-being.
2. Ensure your audience knows what's in it for them
And if the answer is not much, you may as well pack up and leave before you bore them to snores.
Want more articles like this? Check out the presentation skills section.
3. Begin with the end in mind
Let them know what to expect, how they can use the information and the direct benefits to them. People buy benefits and outcomes, not promises and generalities that bear no relevance to their lives. So begin with the end in mind and tailor your presentations to the needs of the audience or customer you are speaking to.
Now your content is prepared you can look more closely at your delivery.
4. Speak as if to one individual
Deliver your speech as though each person was the only one in the room and you were speaking directly to them. Make the presentation personal and consistent with why they have come to listen to you in the first place. If you are an expert in the topic give them assurance that by the time they will leave the presentation they will have a greater understanding and knowledge and will be able to apply the information given.
5.Practise your presentation style
Be aware that your delivery will utilise three different styles namely audio, visual and kinesthetic (hands-on). How do you move between them?
To know for sure, it pays to practise. One method is to organise a video recorder and tape your prepared presentation. Then show it to your partner, children and/ or trusted friends. Ask for their honest and constructive comments about style and delivery.
You may need to brace yourself for their feedback! However it is worth taking on board. Others' perspectives can help you dramatically improve your delivery and so increase your chances of winning over your 'real' audience.
“ By all means, use your experiences to frame the presentation but whatever your expertise your audience need to get W.I.I.F.M. – what’s in it for me. ”