What’s the presentation take-away?

Improve your presentation skills

How often have you come away from a presentation and wondered what it was really about or what are you now expected to do? If so, the chances are that the presenter-no matter how engaging he/she might have been-failed to address these fundamental questions.

So how can you avoid giving a pointless presentation?

Be clear about the aim of your presentation. Is it to get approval fro a project? Do you want to change your audience’s perception about something? Is there something you need people to do after the presentation? With that in mind you can then make decision about how you are going to deliver key messages so that they are not forgotten as soon as the presentation is over.

4 Simple techniques to get your messages heard

Clarity

Sharing your goal with your audience is essential.  Whether you do it at the beginning or end of the presentation is a matter of personal choice, but if you want the audience to do something afterwards you will certainly want to remind them  of it.

Signposting

Timing is everything.  When you get to a key message pause for a moment, take your time and deliver that message, then pause again. The first pause will demand attention, ensuring the audience knows that something important is coming.  And the second pause allows them the opportunity to reflect on what you’ve said. Creating that space around your key message means it’s much more likely to stay with your audience.  This can be further flagged by using phrases such as  “what’s important here”…or “what I’d like you to remember is….”

Repetition

Repeating your key points a number of times is a great way of ensuring people remember what you say.  Find different ways of saying the same thing so that it’s not too obvious. The more subtle the better.

Make eye contact

You may well have to work from a script or your slides, but when it comes to your key message make sure you are looking at your audience and making eye content.

Never assume the audience will take with them what you want them to, because they’ll probably be more interested in going for lunch or thinking about their next meeting. But if you spend some time beforehand planning what you want them to remember, you have a much better chance of giving a successful presentation.

In my next tip I will explore more ways of making your presentation more memorable.

In the meantime if you want some inspiration take a look at Al Pacino in this clip from ‘Any Given Sunday’, where Al delivers a great speech that relies on repetition to drive home his point about what the team needs to do to win.

Good luck with your next presentation!

Image courtesy of Flickr, Matthew Williamson

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