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How To Create Impactful Presentation


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Published in: Technology, Business

How To Create Impactful Presentation

  1. 1. How to create impactful presentations? Is your presentation really necessary? This may seem a strange question to ask in a blog about perfecting your presentation style, content and delivery but it is the first thing you should think about when you begin to prepare for a presentation. There are two reasons: 1. Every presentation you give should serve a real purpose – even if that is simply to entertain. 2. By only delivering presentations that are meaningful, you will enhance your reputation as a good presenter. Business presentations can be dull at best and crushingly boring at worst…usually because they serve little or no purpose. The presenter does not connect with the audience because the information in the presentation is of little interest or value to audience members. One of the most common mistakes people make is to think that presentations are always necessary. Sometimes they are the best way to give information to a group of people, but there are plenty of other options; group e-mails, bulletin boards (virtual and real), conference calls, newsletters (e-mail or hard copy) or even an old-fashioned letter. You should consider carefully whether any of these would be more appropriate for your message—and for your audience— before you decide to create a presentation. Think about whether: • Everyone needs to have the information at the same time. • Your audience needs to be able to ask you questions. • Members of your audience need to be able to discuss with each other the material in your presentation. Copyright © 2009 KITES Behavioral Training India |
  2. 2. How to create impactful presentations? If the answer to these questions is no, or not necessarily, think carefully before you embark on a presentation. It probably isn’t the best approach in the circumstances. Once you have decided that a presentation is the most appropriate way to communicate with your audience, think about its purpose before you launch into creating slides. Why are you thinking of giving a presentation? What do you want to achieve? What is the point? Ask yourself these three questions: • Who is the presentation for? • What do I want the audience to do, know or understand differently as a result? • What is my audience interested in knowing/hearing? These three questions are deceptively simple. They are vitally important but so often overlooked, and not just by people who are inexperienced. You would be surprised by the number of very experienced presenters who forget to think about their presentations from their audience’s point of view. This is the single biggest reason why so many presentations are condemned as boring. They simply don’t provide listeners with what they need or are interested in. The challenge of presenting is to give your audience what it wants in such a way that people take the action you want to to achieve from your presentation. No mean feat Copyright © 2009 KITES Behavioral Training India |
  3. 3. How to create impactful presentations? Impactful presentations Most roles in business require good presentation skills. Not only is proficient communication essential to convey information, an exciting or entertaining delivery is an integral ingredient for keeping an audience's attention and ultimately getting the response you want. A successful presentation will have energy from beginning to end, engage the audience, use dynamic body language and include innovative and creative ways of bringing facts to life and making them memorable. All the while, 'death by PowerPoint' should be avoided at all costs. Competent presentation skills can be used in many aspects of working life, from winning pitches, to getting a pay raise. Getting your messages across with impact will give you the best possible results. Preparation is synonymous with success. A poorly planned presentation, lecture or pitch will leave you nervous, easily distracted and vulnerable to a feisty audience if you haven't got your facts straight. You will need to identify your target audience, pin-point the purpose of the delivery, and be clear about what your key messages are. After that you need plenty of practice to ensure you stay within the allotted time, get over any potential tongue twisters and fine tune the content. There are so many tangents that an inadequately planned presentation can go down; the more you rehearse, the more of these winding paths you will discover, along with dead-end statements that you can choose to avoid. More importantly you can ensure you can bring your content to life and make if highly impactful. If you can practice in front of someone who will give you feedback, or video yourself, so that you can see how you come across, that will be highly beneficial. Ideally, for a big and important presentation you might like to have some individual presentation skills training or coaching for some expert and tailored advice. Copyright © 2009 KITES Behavioral Training India |
  4. 4. How to create impactful presentations? First of all it's necessary to understand your audience. Knowing who the audiences are their roles, objectives and interests should inform the way you plan and deliver a presentation. Right from the start, all your key messages should you be tailored to meet your objectives and theirs. Make sure that all references, anecdotes and metaphors relate to the topical issues and interests of your audience, ensuring sure that you keep it relevant to the ideas under discussion. It's very important to open your presentation with a bang. It's far easier to present to an audience who's attention you've grabbed and which is engaged. There are several ways to do this: you might like to start with a striking or surprising fact, ask them a question, introduce an analogy or crack a joke. These are just a few ideas - there are many more ways to open with impact. Using PowerPoint or another form of media display can bring a presentation to life, clarify points and help them stick in people's minds. However, it can also have the opposite effect, so it's crucial to get it right. Any slides used in a presentation should be kept to a minimum and include only the key points. As a guide, you should include no more than 6 words per line and 6 lines per slide. This keeps the slides clear and easy to read and avoids overload. It can also be helpful to reveal each point separately as you talk about it, to avoid the audience jumping ahead and not concentrating on what you're saying. If you do this though, ensure your reveals are consistent and that they're not whizzing in from all sides with crazy sound effects for each - this will just distract your audience and make you look amateur. Instead, it should be the words you use, the anecdotes and stories you tell and the relevant imagery you use that engage, amuse and inspire the audience. Copyright © 2009 KITES Behavioral Training India |
  5. 5. How to create impactful presentations? Pictures, diagrams and graphs can help bring facts and figures to life and help them stick in people's minds. A carefully chosen image or chart can drive a point home far more successfully than a whole slide of words. Sometimes it can also be useful to use video clips to change the pace and add interest. They should be kept short though, to avoid the audience's attention drifting. Finally, be prepared for questions. A well planned and informative speech will inspire listeners to respond with ideas you may not have considered, or inadvertently overlooked in research. It's a good idea to flag up from the beginning when you will be responding to questions, to avoid disruptive questions throughout. Once again, knowing the topic inside out will prepare you for questions from any angle. Give yourself time to respond, repeat the question back for the audience, try not to waffle when you reply and don't get emotional! If you don't know the answer, it's ok to admit that, but tell them you'll find out and get back to them. Or give them an answer to the best of your ability, but explain that you're not 100% sure. There are many more tips to creating the perfect presentation, but these should get you started and help you to make your presentation clear, impressive and engaging. Presentation skills training will take you through many areas of tips and advice, give you the opportunity to practice and offer personalized feedback and advice. Copyright © 2009 KITES Behavioral Training India |
  6. 6. How to create impactful presentations? Presentations for business, sales, and training - oral and multimedia Presentations skills and public speaking skills are very useful in many aspects of work and life. Effective presentations and public speaking skills are important in business, sales and selling, training, teaching, lecturing and generally entertaining an audience. Developing the confidence and capability to give good presentations, and to stand up in front of an audience and speak well, are also extremely helpful competencies for self-development too. Presentations and public speaking skills are not limited to certain special people - anyone can give a good presentation, or perform public speaking to a professional and impressive standard. Like most things, it simply takes a little preparation and practice. The formats and purposes of presentations can be very different, for example: oral (spoken), multimedia (using various media - visuals, audio, etc), PowerPoint presentations, short impromptu presentations, long planned presentations, educational or training sessions, lectures, and simply giving a talk on a subject to a group on a voluntary basis for pleasure. Even speeches at weddings and eulogies at funerals are types of presentations. They are certainly a type of public speaking, and are no less stressful to some people for being out of a work situation. Yet every successful presentation uses broadly the essential techniques and structures explained here. Aside from presentations techniques, confidence, experience - and preparation - are big factors. You are not alone if the thought of speaking in public scares you. Giving a presentation is worrying for many people. Presenting or speaking to an audience regularly tops the list in surveys of people's top fears - more than heights, flying or dying. Copyright © 2009 KITES Behavioral Training India |
  7. 7. How to create impactful presentations? Put another way, to quote the popularly used saying (which features in many presentations about giving presentations and public speaking), "Most people would prefer to be lying in the casket rather than giving the eulogy." (I first heard a speaker called Michelle Ray use this in the early 1990s. It is often credited to Jerry Seinfeld. If you know who originated the expression please contact me.) A common physical reaction to having to speak in public is a release of adrenaline and cortisol into our system, which I have heard likened to drinking several cups of coffee. Even experienced speakers feel their heart thumping very excitedly indeed. This sensational reaction to speaking in public is certainly not only felt by novices, and even some of the great professional actors and entertainers suffer with real physical sickness before taking the stage or podium. You are not alone. Speaking in public is genuinely scary for most people, including many whom outwardly seem very calm. Our primitive brain shuts down normal functions as the 'fight or flight' impulse takes over. (See FEAR under the acronyms section - warning - there is some adult content among the acronyms for training and presentations.) But don't worry - your audience wants you to succeed. They're on your side. They're glad it's you up there and not them. All you need to do is follow the guidelines contained on this page, and everything will be fine. As the saying goes, don't try to get rid of the butterflies - just get them flying in formation. Copyright © 2009 KITES Behavioral Training India |
  8. 8. How to create impactful presentations? (Incidentally if you know the origins the wonderful butterfly metaphor - typically given as "There is nothing wrong with stomach butterflies! You just have to get them to fly in formation!" - Please tell me. First see the attribution information for the butterfly’s metaphor on the inspirational quotes page.) So, how do you settle the butterflies and get them flying in formation? Good preparation is the key to confidence, which is the key to you being relaxed, and this settles the butterflies. Good preparation and rehearsal will reduce your nerves by 75%, increase the likelihood of avoiding errors to 95%. (Source: Fred Pryor Organization, a significant provider of seminars and open presentation events.) And so this is the most important rule for effective presentations and public speaking: Prepare, which means plan it, and practice it. Then you'll be in control, and confident. Your audience will see this and respond accordingly, which in turn will help build your confidence, and dare we imagine, you might even start to enjoy yourself too. To learn more, please write to us at Copyright © 2009 KITES Behavioral Training India |