The 1-2-3 of Successful Presentations

Could successful presentations be as easy as 1-2-3? We believe so – if you know just which 3 steps you need to take! Read on as we outline them, each with a couple of suggestions:

  1. CAPTIVATE ATTENTION

a) By telling a story

This is a time-tested tactic – and these excessively digital times are perfect for testing it! When faced with a screen full of white names on black screens (or still photos on mute) instead of a roomful of people – one can quickly feel demoralized. Don’t be! No matter how technical or how detailed your deck may be, why not have a soft start to your meeting by telling a story that relates to the subject under discussion? Experts vouch for this. Add the human touch to your net connection and you’re already ahead.

b) By showing a video

In the words of Walt Disney, “I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something than educate people and hope they were entertained.” Wise words from the wizard of captivation himself! Be clear though about what is appropriate – don’t choose something slapstick or off-key as that would be counter-effective. Research well and choose a vid that does its bit in grabbing attention right off.

2. AROUSE CURIOSITY

a) By sharing an amazing fact

No matter how much we think we know, there’s always some fact that knocks our socks off. Like the fact that the footprints made on the moon by the astronauts in 1969 will remain there for a 100 million years! (The reason being – lack of wind and water, which are both corrosive agents on planet earth.) How’s that related to your presentation on sustainable business practices, your audience may wonder. That’s when – voila! – you take them through your mindboggling wake-up-call-of-a-presentation which looks at facts and figures, impacts and outcomes of the indestructibility of plastic! Remember, truth is stranger – and stronger – than fiction!

b) By posing an intriguing question

Asking “Did you know…” is always a good idea! Simply because such a question compels the audience to respond. If they don’t know the answer, so much the better – because that’s your cue to dazzle them with your insider’s awareness and your well-researched findings! You could push it further by taking it into the realm of debate and discussion about the thought-provoking question you have shot into their midst. Or, you could leverage this idea to create a quick interactive pop quiz!

3. CREATE DRAMA

a) By bringing a prop

This is a mode from the offline world that hasn’t been utilized enough in the online mode. Think creatively – what kind of prop would aid your narration and emphasize key points? What kind of extra-curricular skills can you bring to the table? Can you juggle? Are you a whiz at Rubik’s cube? Do you have a finger puppet that can be your interlocutor or even your stand-in presenter on-screen – with your voice as soundtrack? With digital fatigue swamping our days and cramping our style, this suggestion can liven things up.

b) By using stunning images

What kind of image would lend impact to your facts and figures? Darlene Price, president of Well Said, Inc., and author of “Well Said! Presentations and Conversations That Get Results” shares a great example of the picture of an enormous iceberg – like the one that sank the Titanic – to demonstrate a point about hidden cost that are liable to sink a company. In other words, when choosing images – think lateral.

To make all these suggestions practicable, start by creating a bank of images, videos, facts, hobbies, interests and skills – the richer your own personal archive, the brighter and righter your presentations will be.