Please don’t read this article if you want to be a marginal corporate citizen. If you’d like to turbo charge your career, impress the executive team… and have them wander why you are there, next to them, in the first line of chairs where you belong, this article is for you.
First secret for memorable presentations: Book time in your calendar. Bad presentations require little time. Good presentations require solid time.
So many times we are asked to put together a presentation. We say YES. And in the afternoon before the day of the presentation the rush starts – we start looking through other decks in our hard drive, in the corporate intranet, or in SlideShare, if we are social media astute. Two hours later we have a 30 slide of text. In the evening we start looking for images, because images are good! Clipart from the Microsoft library is the usual source. If feeling adventurous, a Google image search gets us something a bit better. And if you searched for your material in SlideShare, most likely you’ll search in Flickr for images.
What are the chances that the executive team will be impressed with your presentation? One more 45 minute deck gone in the PPT Hades.
What does it take to create a memorable 60 minute presentation? From my experience, anywhere between 30 and 60 hours. 60 hours – these are the types that make it to the SlideShare World Best Presentations Contest.
So you need to speak two weeks from now to the Yearly meeting, and give a 30 minute update? Book now a minimum number of hour blocks of time in your calendar – and start the journey by working on it.Second secret for memorable presentations: Build an audience-need map.
Bad presentations are just information sharing. Good presentations get people off their chairs.
1. Before the content creation starts, ask yourself “Who is your audience? What are their needs?”. Describe their needs, and fears, and build your persona accordingly – are you going to be their mentor? Their cheerleader? Their anchor for the news? I personally create a little slide, insert two or three pictures and write down who they are – is Tim, 45 year old conservative, average to high income, interested in travel …OK, you got it. Pin that to your presentation board. You are now speaking to Tim.
2. Once you answer this, go for the biggest question of it all: What do you want them to do? Picture them doing just that. Imagine them talking after the presentation “wow, we need to do just that, let’s get to it”.
3. The next question is: “what will be their objections?”. What will prevent Tim from doing just that? Write that down as well…and start building your content and delivery method from the desired action back, dealing with the action objections throughout the presentation, building towards the action trigger climax.
Third secret for awesome presentations: Rehearse. Rehearse. Rehearse.
Listen to your voice first. Do the 30 minute presentation in your bedroom, basement, or where you can listen to your voice. A mirror is helpful as well.
I find that running on the treadmill is a particularly good time for me to rehearse the main ideas, and think of better words to surround the delivery. I do that silently. Your health club might not renew you otherwise.
Now, if you really want to rehearse the right way, get a teleprompter app on your ipad – you can get one in the App store for 2.99, and play with reading and looking at your audience.
These are my three secrets for preparing for a memorable speech. What are yours – share via the blog comments.