Be courageous enough to pause and give your audience time to think. That means slowing down your points of wisdom to the point that people can hear a penny drop.
I just can’t help it. My nerves get the better of me and my mouth just runs away with me.
Well, I am sorry, you can.
In training people are always telling me how worried they are about getting all of their information out in the time they have to present, they felt they just want to get it over with and so just rush, rush, rush and so the presentation comes out almost as a stream of unstructured information. Just think about what this means. The message a poor presenter who rushes through their slide show or talk says quite clearly:-
a) I have not prepared my work well enough to deliver the salient points succinctly
b) I don’t care if people cannot understand what I’m talking about because I’m talking too fast
c) I do not respect my audience sufficiently to give this presentation the way it should be
And the final message he/she is indirectly giving out is ‘I do not believe that my reputation or that of the organisation I represent is worth upholding.’ OUCH.
Pretty shocking really, isn’t it?
Now, let’s re-write this scenario and imagine a situation where a presentation has been worked on and you conclude your presentation and receive a great heartfelt round of applause – and know you deserve it. That is such a great feeling and you can achieve such an outcome when you’ve prepared with the audience in mind. Try using this to guide you:-
First Hot Three Tips – For a Successful Presentation
I’ve given these in ‘3’s’, as this seems to be easier to remember.
Before anything, consider what the objective of your presentation is and ask yourself why you have been asked to deliver it. Then consider your audience, be it of one or to many people.
- Who am I presenting to?
- What time has been allocated?
- What is the most relevant information can I give in the time available
What you are doing here is 'starting with the end in mind'
Now you know your audience, time and key information for your content, you need to think about:-
- The key message
- The structure and delivery – to make it both interesting and appropriate, making sure you have an opening to get people’s attention, enough substance to hold their interest and a strong closing which reminds the audience why you were the right person for this occasion.
- The audience ‘take-away’, focusing on 3 key points – ‘sound-bites’ or ‘nuggets’ you want your audience to remember
Try mind-mapping to give you an outline - what I call 'the presentation framework'
Now for the Hard Work
- The CREATION, writing, editing, souring of images
- Continual EDITING ensuring your pitch, pace and strategic use of pauses all add, never distract and only what is useful remains. You may use story telling, or another delivery style to weave together your content to make your presentation flow
- Rehearsal, PRACTICE, time and time again. Refining more and more each time.
this is the magic of 'how' you bring it together to make your presentation flow
It sounds so easy. And it is .. incredibly easy to get it wrong. Especially when you don’t allow for the PAUSES, you are not giving your audience time to think, time to process the valuable information you have prepared. When you talk too much and ad-lib, you are likely to move away from your key message and run overtime, disrespecting your hosts and if other speakers are following your speaker slot, your overrun may literally ‘steal’ their time, as they are obliged to keep to the overall schedule and cut their speech or presentation short. It will nearly always take longer to deliver than you think, so be stringent in your editing. LESS IS MORE. More memorable, more digestible, more enjoyable. For your audience and for you. The more experienced you become, the more competent you will be and the more effectively you will be able to move ‘off script’ but as a new presenter, it is best to follow guidelines. The most important thing to remember though, is to be yourself.
If you’d like to work with me on a one to one basis, or are interested in group training for your organisation, click to contact me directly or phone me on 086 8572005.
Click here for details of our January event for HR Professionals