Persuasive Presentations - The top 3 mistakes to avoid

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Suffering from death by powerpoint? Ninety percent of professional presentations go in one ear and out the other, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are our top 3 mistakes to avoid, from our …

Suffering from death by powerpoint? Ninety percent of professional presentations go in one ear and out the other, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are our top 3 mistakes to avoid, from our Persuasive Presentations boardroom briefing. http://goo.gl/TvpYgf

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  • 1. Suffering from death by powerpoint? 90 percent of professional presentations go in one ear and out the other, but it doesn’t have to be that way Here are our top 3 mistakes to avoid, from our Persuasive Presentations boardroom briefing www.zumbara.com.au In 2013, information overload is at epidemic proportions. How do you ensure your presentation hits the mark when presenting to a corporate or professional audience? Even if you know your subject like the back of your hand, how do you translate all that information into a short, sharp presentation that grabs people's attention? Over more than a decade working at a senior level in some of Australia’s largest companies, Zumbara’s Jenny Vandyke has delivered hundreds of corporate workshops and keynotes, and in this guide she shares her top three mistakes to avoid when presenting to a corporate or professional audience. The top three mistakes to avoid Presenting to a corporate or professional audience has its challenges. Spruiking your latest change program is even tougher. Here are my top three mistakes to avoid when presenting to a senior professional or corporate audience: 1. Solution versus outcome We often talk about the solution: ‘we need a briefing’, or ‘we need to call a meeting’. When planning a presentation, it’s important to be clear on the outcome you’re aiming for, and whether that outcome is realistic. Your solution might still be a presentation, but focussing on the outcomes changes how you prepare. Staff briefings If your outcome includes 10 actions you want staff to take after the briefing, you might need to cut it back to the top 3 actions, and manage additional actions through follow up briefings or communications Leadership team approvals If your outcome is to obtain sign off on the budget for your next project, often the important discussions need to take place before the official committee meeting, and the sign off meeting becomes an opportunity to recap the key issues, discuss as a group and provide final endorsement.
  • 2. Persuasive Presentations: Top 3 Mistakes to Avoid P a g e | 2 www.zumbara.com.au 2. Death by powerpoint Death by powerpoint often occurs when a presenter tries to cram too much information into their presentation, and too much detail on to each slide, putting the audience to sleep. Powerpoint is ultimately not the problem. The underlying problem is that many presenters spend all their preparation time writing content, limited time translating that content into effective visuals, and even less time preparing themselves to present:  How will you stand?  What will you say?  How will you speak?  How big is the room? Can your audience see you and your slides clearly? Can your audience hear you? I’ve been to too many presentations where most of the audience cannot see what’s on the slides, so all those hours of preparation are wasted. Effective presenters spend just as much time rehearsing and preparing to present as they do preparing their slides and content. 3. In their shoes If you want to grab your audiences’ attention, it’s critical to put yourself in their shoes. Sometimes we’re so focused on what we need to achieve as a presenter that we don’t adequately think through the audience’s perspective on the topic. Ask yourself:  What does the audience already know about the topic?  If your presentation involves a change, how does that change impact your audience?  How does your change help the audience achieve their KPI’s?  Will the change be a distraction?  How is your audience likely to react? What questions are they likely to ask? Equipped with the answers to these questions, you can tailor your presentation to suit the audience and come prepared with answers to likely questions. This guide is drawn from Zumbara’s Persuasive Presentations boardroom briefing. Copyright Zumbara Pty Ltd 2013