Put an end to mind-numbing presentations with these tips

Remember the last client presentation you sat through, sneakily scrolling through your smartphone? Remember the last presentation you gave, where your clients sat sneakily scrolling through their smartphone?

Mind-numbing presentations are a major cause for concern in the small business world – even more so if you’re using them to try and secure a contract or new deal.

Busy executives have minimal time (and bandwidth for anything boring), so you’ve got to be able to get your message across quickly and succinctly to have the right impact and influence.

Cut it out

A powerful presentation is clear, easy to read, has simple language, infographics that visualise key points and highlight the benefits. A poor presentation, on the other hand, is overloaded with facts, stats, numbers, corporate jargon, dense text, inconsistent design elements and no key message.

Therefore, it’s more than important than ever to cut out all the clutter from your presentation. What gets left out of your presentation is more important than what goes in.

Some of us are clearly better at this than others. Many of us believe that sharing everything and blinding our audience with data is the best way to create a connection – 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.

Make them feel it

In business we’ve traditionally been taught to do the opposite, to just present the facts. But these days, we know that people buy from people they like. We buy based on how we feel about something – or someone.

This is because up to 90% of the thousands of decisions we make each day are reinforced through our feelings and emotions. In fact, studies have shown that 74% of participants have changed their decision after their emotion was changed.

So you need to take your audience on a journey with you, tell a story to get them to buy-in to what you are saying. Do this by using images that match your words and make your clients feel an emotion, whether that’s excited, happy, angry or sad. I’ve seen people use video in place of static images to make their message more memorable.

The most influential presenters are those who can use a combination of facts and emotion to show a future that everyone wants to be a part of.

Start and finish strong

If you start your presentation by rambling then you might get kicked out faster than you came in.

Begin by telling your clients how long you are going to talk for – 10 minutes is good. Share your understanding of their challenges, which you have researched well head of time.

Then, describe what their world will look like with your help, product or whatever you’re providing … that’s the hook. That’s how you create interest and excitement for what you present.

Spend a couple of minutes providing key statistics and a case study, in well-designed infographics and illustrations, of course, before closing with a call to action. You need to let them know what you want them to do after the presentation. Should they sign up to a membership? Or support your next venture?

When you keep your presentation short and sweet, you’ll have plenty of time at the end for questions and coffee. Who wouldn’t respect you for that?

TOP 6 PRESENTATION TIPS

  1. Cut out all the unnecessary clutter from your presentation
  2. Create an emotional connection with your audience
  3. Use stories and images to help
  4. Stick to the time limit
  5. Describe what their world will look like with your product or service in it
  6. Show enthusiasm, emotion and passion for your subject

 

 

 

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Emma Bannister
Emma Bannister is the founder and CEO of Presentation Studio, APAC’s largest presentation communication agency, and author of ‘Visual Thinking: How to transform the way you think, communicate and influence with presentations.’ Find out more: www.presentationstudio.com

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