This post was drawn from the teachings contained in Duct Tape Selling – Think Like a Marketer Sell Like a Superstar by John Jantsch
I’m sure you’ve probably sat through a number of really bad presentations, so the ultimate goal is not to be one of them. Laziness is usually the culprit behind bad presentations. It takes some real strategy to create a great presentation, but well worth it because you want your audience to walk away having positive feedback, not feeling that they just wasted their time and money.
It’s very helpful to think, what is it that you want your audience to walk away with? Do you want them to be entertained or do you want them to understand a once complicated topic? Figuring out this goal and getting clear with your mission will help you give a successful presentation.
Start in Analog
Make sticky notes and a big white board your friend before you jump the gun and start creating slides. Outline the entire map of your presentation- move things around and rearrange the order of things before you commit to putting it in presentation software.
What’s the Journey?
People need to believe they can use the information you give them, otherwise it won’t matter how good the presentation is. A great presentation takes the audience to a whole new world; it opens the floodgates of new knowledge and new perspectives. Most people come to hear someone speak because they are seeking a solution to a problem or want to be shown a new way of doing something. So you need to win them over and lead them along the way. This is why great presentations end with a logical call to action.
Tell your story
Who doesn’t like a good movie? Great presentations have a lot in common with great cinema in the storytelling aspect. You want to keep your audience engaged and a great way to do that is by storytelling. Telling stories moves people and makes them want to adopt your point of view. The audience will have more of a personal connection to you if you present your information in a narrative format. It’s ultimately more interesting than just hearing statistics and it’s easier to digest.
Less is more
Use your slides to help your audience remember key points. You want your slides to be one word or show images that reinforce the point you are trying to make, not teach it from scratch in that moment. Use you slides as a partner tool, not a crutch. Also, remember to practice with your slides so that your presentation is a well-oiled machine by the time you get up to the podium.
I firmly believe that you should read these two books if you are going to be a presenter. Resonate and Slideolgy, both by Nancy Duarte, are fantastic at giving the necessary steps one needs to be an effective presenter. She gives tools that will help you craft and present your ideas that will help make your message matter.
Giving a presentation these days can mean that you are doing so virtually. You don’t have to be in a big board room or auditorium, you can be looking right into your computer’s camera and giving an effective webinar that has very big benefits.
MeetingBurner, GotToWebinar, or AnyMeeting are services you can use that can have as many as 1,000 people participating as audience members. Although being in person has its pluses, many people find that giving presentations virtually has a high degree of success as well. Sometimes, people like being in the comforts of their own office or home, without having to leave to attend a presentation in person.
Being a presenter is more than just standing in front of a room spouting out facts and figures. You need to really draw the audience in and give them something to take away that they can implement right now. Use these tips for your next presentation and see the difference it makes.
John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape Marketing, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network. His latest book, Duct Tape Selling – Think Like a Marketer, Sell Like a Superstar is available online and in bookstores May 15.