Successful presentations are about more than just PowerPoint slides. They are also are an essential skill for anyone whether you are an employee, manager or running your own business. Below, we look at ways to help you deliver an impressive and impactful presentation.
1. Establish Your Credibility
The reality is people will pay more attention to what you have to say if they admire you and buy into your credibility. Establishing credibility needs to be done up front. The first thing you should do before beginning your presentation is use a short story to inform the audience about your background, certifications and discuss the sources behind the information you are about to present.
Also, you should include a goal in the early portion of your presentation. Laying out a presentation goal helps keep the audience focused and establishes further authority.
2. Supporting Material
Do not make the mistake of thinking that establishing your credibility is enough. Your presentation should include information that supports your positions and references your research and resources. Work references in where they make sense, but do not feel you have to integrate every single resource into the presentation. You can always include the rest of your supporting materials in your speaker notes or handouts.
3. Headline with Quotations or Images
One of the best ways to create more impact is to introduce each topic with a quote or an image. Quotations and images evoke interest and emotion. They capture the audience’s attention and draw them in as they listen to the presentation.
4. Make Provocative Statements
Due to the nature of the topic, some presentations can be only so interesting. One of the best ways to garner the audience’s attention is to make a provocative statement.
Make sure the statement is relevant to the presentation topic and you can support it with facts and references. This can be a great way to engage an audience after a highly technical section.
5. Prepare for Questions
A great presentation always leaves time at the end for questions and answers. Sometimes the audience is ready with interesting questions, but you need to be prepared for two potentially uncomfortable scenarios – extremely tough questions or silence.
Difficult questions can come up at any time; especially ones that could derail your presentation. Consider your audience and the questions that they could raise about your points and information. By including the most likely questions in your presentation, you may be able to prevent them from arising at inopportune moments. Other than this, the best thing to do is simply know your material inside and out so you do not get caught off guard.
Silence is easier to handle. The best way to handle the situation where no one asks a question is to be prepared with your own questions that you can bring up and answer. Often, the audience simply needs a little prodding to get them engaged and asking.
Even if you get questions, you can still use yours at the end of the Q&A to reinforce key points.
These strategies and tips can help you create powerful presentations that impact your audience. Remember, everyone needs to be a good presenter in today’s business world.