Most professionals understands the need for good presentation skills. But most of us leave one or two of the most important ingredients on the table when we prepare. This idea is about working with three vital ingredients to secure your stage performances are 100% all the time. The required presentation skills vary based on the format. Presentation can be 60-120 second elevator pitches. A 5-15 minute co-contributions on a conference panel. Or 15-40 minute speeches or customer presentations. This idea is about what is takes to improve the long format.
A delivery of a great presentation has three vital elements
- Great visual material, to support the presentation
- A knowledgeable speaker, delivering the message
- Readiness to answer questions generated by the presentation.
Visuals are often getting the largest share of the attention. The presentation material often get most of the attention.. Preparation focus on collecting a large number of details. The result often requires a presentation pace with less than two minutes per visual. If you want to engage with you audience consider a few changes to the set-up. Plan for 4-5 minutes per visual, i.e.
Create “Conversation notes”. A strong a main message, one or two personal anecdotes and the questions you can expect from the audience. Skip writing the notes. Record them with the voice of you as the author, as if you would have gotten the call the night before to explain the visuals. Visuals without notes are often useless, either you don’t understand them or all text is on the slide. Notes are easier to understand but you miss out the voice of the author.
As a speaker you have the required presentation skills to deliver the messages. The only recommendation I would give here is to always rehearse you presentations. Less than 10 slides we can always rehearse. Expect the visuals to deliver one third of the message, another third most be coming from you.
The final third of the value delivered is coming from your ability to take questions on stage. If you can take the first three questions raised by each visual you get credibility . Prepare three questions to each visual and craft your answers in advance. Tune the questions in your conversation notes to reflect real results from when you have presented the story.
Often you will work for a presenter, or working with someone preparing material for you. This is a great team work where you get better and better over time. Learn the presentation style of the presenter. Tune the presentations to get the best out of every moment.
Good questions to ask you:
- How many visuals do you need to tell the main stories? – Many use far too many visuals and stories get lot in the details.
Do each visual stand on its own merits? – A good test is to a) remove all graphs/text and see if headline make sense, and b) remove headline and see if message still get across.
- How do you distribute your preparation time. Between creating visuals, rehearsing story and preparing questions and answers? – All three are crucial to create a strong impression
- Can the visual support work through digital channels? – Social and mobile marketing channels are a great complement to get traction at public events.
For further reading on this topic exploit the following:
- Lead with a story: A guide to crafting business narratives that captivate, convince and inspire [BOOK] – by Paul Smith (@LeadWithAStory)
- Say it with charts: the Executives guide to visual communication [BOOK] – by Gene Zelazny (@Gene_Zelazny)
- How to deliver a TED talk [BOOK] – by Jeremey Donovan (@SpeakingSherpa)
- Why you need a better Elevator Pitch [BLOG] – By Jeffrey Hayzlett (@JeffreyHayzlett)
- 5 presentation lessons from Apple’s new rock star [ARTICLE] – by Entrepreneur (@EntMagazine)
Get ready to become a star on stage by exploiting all 3 key aspects of a great speech.