Continuing from my earlier posts about Leadership Management, in this article, I would like to pen my thoughts about the effective presentation techniques. This is something I learnt in the Mentoring & Coaching workshop that I attended. The learning really enlightened me on how to deliver effective presentation to the audience. So, naturally, I would like to share with you all so you also get the 2 cents out of my knowledge 🙂
Ok, let me set the context of this article first.
Here, I am going to write about few tips that you should by heart about delivering a keynote, delivering a speech or delivering a presentation to a wise, knowledgeable audience.
Consider your self in a situation where you have to deliver a speech on a ‘process change / innovation’ in your workplace and you would want your audience not only to understand the gist of your presentation, but also leave them motivated and enough encouraged to support you in your work that you want to do.
Sounds familiar situation ? Then read on !
Before any of your presentation, do you set out the expectations from your audience? In case you wonder what it is and what kind of expectations one should have from audience then following list should help you construct these,
Do you expect your audience to list down action points and work on them later on ?
Do you expect your audience to feel motivated and spread the word about your presentation / speech after its complete ?
Do you expect your audience to indulge in some thought processing (problem solving) and come back to you on a solution or suggestions offline after your presentation ?
Do you expect your audience to just listen to what you are saying ?
Do you expect your audience to provide you recommendations and suggestions during the discussion, a kind of real time feedback ?
Do you expect your audience to negotiate a deal based on your presentation ?
I am sure by answering few of the questions above, you would exactly know what you are looking from your speech or presentation. There could be more questions, but hopefully the above more or less should cover most of the situations.
Ok, considering you would exactly know your goal and audience expectations set, lets move on to a simple formula to decide how to navigate through your presentation in the most effective way.
While presenting, you should keep all your senses alive. Its not that you should use all your sense organs (lol!), while presentation, but you should be fully aware of the surroundings in which you are giving a speech and presentation. Its important that you feel comfortable in the position you are standing, the eye movements, body posturing etc., should be really comfortable and should support what you are actually trying to say.
This talks about both self-motivation as well as how much your talks are motivating the audience. Self motivation comes from how much conviction you shown in your idea / speech or presentation yourself. And to motivate the audience, you need to try and capture the pulse of the audience based on their own responses, engaging into thinking, discussions etc.
No one is interested in only a concept or a theory. It is important to give an idea to the participants how things will work on a shop floor or in reality. Whatever points you are making, it is important that you give a vision (if not a demonstration) to the audience of how your idea will work in real life. Understanding of where this will work, how this will look like, is very important from the audience perspective.
Ensure that you do enough repeating of the very important points throughout your speech or presentation. Of course, you would not want your audience to miss out on these. One of the simplest way of doing it is to keep a separate note of your important points and remind your audience of previous points as you go along in your presentation.
Think of real life examples, try and relate it to the what audience has experienced in their own careers, their own life and help them relate themselves to their own thinking. This helps the audience understand the point you are trying to make it, in much better way. One of the easiest way of doing it is to discuss the common pain points, or common gains and benefits that interests you as well as the audience. This helps the connection 🙂
Who wants the audience to go to sleep while your presentation is going on? Participation ensures the brain cells of the participants are active. Few simple tips of ensuring a good participation is to logically divide your audience into groups (in your mind of course, or sometimes actually) and make them think, make them answer simple questions, ask them to raise doubts, or simply nudge them for attention at frequent intervals. Other ways of ensuring participation are encouraging the participants (few of them) to encourage and share their experiences on the topic of discussion. The change in the speaker (in turn the person under focus) can help re-concentrate on the discussion.
Would you rather want to hear someone standing in a corner with a folded hands and speaking in a monotonous language ? Or someone who is using the presentation space very well and ensuring he / she is able to make a personal connect with everyone. Its important that you make a full utilization of the accessories that you would have with you for the presentation, be it the presentation board, note papers etc., its important that your body language shows positive signs of trying your best to convince the audience.
As I mentioned earlier in my post, its important that you convey the expectations right at the start of your presentation. This helps in setting up the context and prepares the audience of the way they need to think and concentrate on the speech / presentations. Believe me, no one is interested in any speech or presentation if you only like your audience to listen and do not act !
Keeping audience interested in the presentation is one of the biggest challenges a presenter faces during his presentation. Especially if this is a long presentation that can go beyond a good hour. You need to keep in mind that every human being has a upper limit of time up to which he or she can concentrate with the best the abilities. You go beyond that and soon you would find audience going to sleep :-). Few good ways of ensuring the audience stays interested is to take pauses in the presentation at appropriate times, and changing the topic to ease up audience concentration and give their thinking a break ! Speak up about football, cricket and they would jump in the discussion quickly !
Last, but probably the most important. You need to be logical in what you speak. Remember a secret and important fact about presentation “Audience is more cleaver than what you can estimate !”. It really takes few minutes for the audience to judge whether they are interested in continuing in the presentation at their best, or just drop back or sometimes, even leave it it. So its important to be logically correct while making arguments, examples etc.
Now, in case you are wondering why I actually made one letter out of above points big and others kept smaller, think for a second ! I guess you already have got the answer.
If you put all these letters together, you get a key phrase to remember these tips, “SMART PUPIL”.
Is it now easy to remember this ?
Try above tips when you actually deliver your next presentation, and see if you could actually get your point across the audience in a more convincing way.
And as usual, please do let me know your feedback on this. It really helps !