When preparing a presentation, image that instead of being the presenter…
you are the Attendee in the seat!
What would YOU need from the speaker in order to feel, think, see, experience, i.e., for having attended that session to have been meaningful for you?
Craft your presentation – in a dialogue format – as if you’re having a conversation – not dumping a lecture on them.
Coaching a client yesterday I asked him a few questions regarding his upcoming presentation:
WHO will be in your audience? (Titles, organizations, potential clients, colleagues, peers…)
What TIME of day is your presentation? (Before lunch increases learning, and has more energy; After lunch needs more entertainment and activities)
When does your presentation fall in the overall day, or multi-day conference? (Beginning, Middle, Closing…)
Where is the event being held? (Are there local tie-in’s? This one is in Las Vegas)
How LONG is your presentation? (every minute counts)
WHY are you giving THIS presentation? (Get more business, gain exposure, goodwill/PR…)
What is the PURPOSE of your presentation? (educate, inspire, inform, drive action, entertain…)
These details addressed, I then asked HOW are you opening your presentation? What are the first words you are going to say?
Since we need to “grab” the attention of the audience members immediately – within the first 20 seconds – I suggest asking THREE questions to create relation-ship with them. These are questions that will capture your desired reaction – typically those which provide a “Yes!” response.
There are numerous ways to open a presentation, from sharing a story, shock factor, facts, statistics, case studies, etc., my personal favorite uses the Rule of Three (which can be used throughout a presentation), specifically ASKING three questions of the audience.
Your audience needs to know you are “one of them.” How can you best demonstrate that relation-ship? Consider sharing a brief story sharing your “pain” or issues that you’ve encountered, that endears the listeners to you. Select examples through which THEY can relate to you. Challenges in the workplace, being a nonprofit organization, doing more with less…
Find examples to share within the first two minutes – that enable your audience to re-late to you, creating greater rapport and relation-ship.