When I first started presenting I would take ages to write a presentation. I wanted it to be perfect. I’d brainstorm, do research and then painstakingly put it all together.
Sometimes the presentation was a success, sometimes it was ho-hum. And I didn’t really know why the good ones worked.
As I got more experienced I streamlined my system for planning a presentation and started to find out why some presentations worked and others didn’t.
Ten years ago my partner and I started teaching presentation skills to other people. Using the feedback from the hundreds of people we’ve taught, we’ve continuously tweaked the system to make it as effective as possible. There are three key ingredients:
1. Plan your presentation around one focal key message
People can only remember a limited amount from a presentation. It’s up to you as the presenter to take charge of what the audience will remember. You can do this by deciding what is the key thing you want your audience to remember – that’s the key message. Then build your presentation around this key message.
2. Rigorously edit the presentation
Not only can people remember a limited amount from a presentation, most presenters talk far too much. All those words and waffle make it harder for the audience to discern what’s important. So rigorously edit your presentation. Cut anything that doesn’t support the key message. Then your key message and important supporting points will stand out.
3. Never make a point without backing it up with evidence or an example
Too many presentations are lists of facts or opinions. Not only are these presentations boring – they also lack credibility. Add evidence for your opinions and facts and your presentation will become both engaging and convincing.
We’ve written a short pdf guide that walks you through designing a presentation using our system. It’s free for you to download. Using the Guide to plan your next presentation will help you:
- Save time
- Ensure you meet the needs of your audience
- Keep your audience engaged
- Achieve the results you want
Download the Guide from this page. You’ll also receive follow-up tips by e-mail to help you get the most out of the Guide.
For more information visit: Effective Speaking