The bottom line is you should drive your presentation and not the other way around. Here are five strategies to help you make that presentation feel like a conversation.
- Start with the ending; do not open with the the traditional way
- Tell and show, use roll-ins
- Avoid word slides
- Use simple words
- Close strong
1. Start with the ending; do not open with the traditional way
Drive your point across short and clear. Follow the 8-second rule.
In his book--The New Articulate Executive--Granville Toogood wrote: The 8-second rule recognizes a law of human nature that suggests that most people decide within eight seconds whether a particular speaker is worth listening to in the first place.
So, skip the traditional agenda slide when you can. The goal is to have a conversation. Your audience will appreciate you make the time to value and respect their time.
2. Tell and show, use roll-ins
What if I show you a slide before I talk about it? I bet you will start reading and tune me out until you are done.
That is exactly what this strategy is about. Right before you show the next slide, tell what it is about--provide the roll-in.
Mr. Toogood writes: "Your roll-in will tell us in advance what the business message is on the next slide--even before we see that slide".
3. Avoid word slides
Unless it is the culture of your company, do not make your slides dense with information. I found this a common mistake for beginners.
Try to visualize it from your audiences' views.
Recently, I helped a coworker revised a company presentation he was drafting, we trimmed down the deck from 10 slides down to 5 just by cutting down the flabs.
4. Use simple words
Use words you use in daily conversation. At times, the way we write tends to be different than the way we talk. Try it by observing an email from your friend or a colleague at work.
5. Close strong
Remember what I said when we started? Begin with the ending. Now, this is the time you close the loop.
You have one theme. You have provided the concrete examples to support that one message. Now is the time to finish strong.
Grab them by the collar--metaphorically--and drive your message.
The bottomline, put these strategies into practice for a week--or a month--and I guarantee you, people will take notice. Thank you.
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