How to deliver a GREAT presentation
Presenting; one of life’s great emotional roller coasters. The request to stand in front of other human beings and talk is enough to strike fear into the hearts and minds of even the most experienced senior managers and leaders.
Ask some of those I’ve worked with and they’ll tell you. “I can’t believe I’m 53 years of age and still scared of standing up in front of people…” said one to me.
Having been asked for presenting tips on many occasions, I thought I’d take a few moments to write down the one tip that has helped more people present than any other; even the good ones. The tip? It’s the foundation structure of a great presentation.
During the best presentations I’ve seen my clients complete there have always been 5 stages:
- Grab attention
- Test for commitment
Identify and practice how you will grab your audiences attention and make the focus of the time before them you and on what you’ll present.
For example; Good morning or hello and welcome or play music, clap your hands or even stand silent waiting for those around you to pause and listen.
The most important part is to stop the room dead and create anticipation for what you’re about to say next.
Now you’ve got the attention of your audience; help them to understand the benefits of listening to you as quick as possible. You do this in three parts:
State the aim of your presentation. For example; by the end of this presentation or session I want you to be able to…
Share with your audience the topics you will cover in the order they will come. Expressing the agenda you will cover you will ensure your audience know what’s coming and recognise it’s worth staying until the end.
Now it’s time to share what you want the presentation to mean to your audience. Knowing your audiences wants and needs helps co spiders my here. For example; What I want this to mean for you is that you feel…we are able to…we are all clear…
Having expressed the relevance of your presentation to your audience now you need to identify engage your audience.
By engage I mean interact with your audience. Insert questions to get group participation. Ask the audience to stand and for half the room to sit down if you want to represent “…50% of all people…”.
Show visuals, play music, provide handouts (being careful not to hand them out at s time that will distract from what you’re saying), move purposefully around the room or towards the crowd; resist the temptation to do a Michael McIntyre and pace back and forth.
The most important part is to make your audience feel part of the journey and want you to succeed by being part of it.
Having grabbed attention, hooked your audience in with relevance and engaged your audience throughout its time to ask your audience for action.
If you don’t want your audience to think, feel, do or ask someone else to do something differently why are you presenting?
The number of times I hear; I’m just giving information. My question to you is why are you giving the information if it’s not to create change you might as well talk to the wall.
If you don’t want to specify the action you want ask the audience what they will do as a result of your presentation and then look to agree consensus.
The most important part is to make your audience want or choose to act. The presentation you deliver before asking should be designed to create the momentum for that request.
Test for commitment
Having asked for action; the most effective presenters I’ve seen and work with test the commitment of their audience before they leave the stage.
For example; whose with me? Can we do it? Who’ll be the first to complete this?
You’ll tend to find that the quickest to respond (genuinely) are the more committed.
A significant benefit of testing for commitment is that it can prevent you having to go back weeks later and ask for it again or…
This will ensure you can challenge why not if they’re not committed and focus your whole session on gaining commitment.
In my experience a lot of the fears of presenting can be reduced significantly by a) knowing what a good presentation consists of and b) writing a presentation to that structure and practicing, practice and practicing again.
Having structured your presentation in the way outlined and practiced it; now it’s time to:
- Trial your approaches with smaller audiences to increase your comfort and confidence levels.
- Score yourself for each of the letters of G.R.E.A.T after you’ve presented and identify what you could have done under each letter to make your score higher by one.
Questions to consider:
- How are your presentations measuring up?
- What would it mean for you to be able to stand and deliver presentations with confidence?
- What will it mean for you if you don’t?
If you’d like more insights…
If you’d like help with putting a presentation together or help with the remaining nerves once you’ve practiced get in touch; I’d love to work with you.
Phone +44 (0) 7736942382
Who am I? Stefan Powell…
I am yourleadershipcounsel, a father, husband, part time rock star and passionately bonkers about helping leaders get the most from themselves and their people.
What my clients have said…
“I spent two days working with Stefan after which I came away feeling very motivated and eager to try out my new found presenting skills and techniques. Stefan is a master of his art as well as an excellent t coach and I would recommend him to anyone looking to improve either their own presentation skills or those of their team.” Ian Bradley, UK Business’s continuity and resilience manager Santander UK.