Effective presentation skills can help you to achieve a lot. Whether you’re looking for a promotion, to win new work or obtain financing for a business, being able to deliver a persuasive presentation can get you a long way towards where you’re looking to go. These are our top tips for ensuring that you can deliver consistently and effectively when you really need to.
- Start strong. It’s important to get the audience’s attention from the start – one of the simplest ways to do this is often to begin with a compelling story.
- Make sure you know who you’re speaking to. Spending some time researching your audience can ensure that your presentation is pitched just right. Do you know what the values of those in your audience are, what they care about and where their objectives sit? This kind of insight will enable you to tailor a presentation in a way that makes your audience feel like you’re speaking directly to them.
- Keep it simple. Identify one or two objectives for your presentation and build it around that. Any more and your message might get lost and your audience simply end up feeling confused.
- Practice and ask for feedback. Every time you practice a presentation you’ll notice something else that could be tightened up or improved. Ask others to listen to you practice and their feedback could help you to make what you say even more effective.
- Where are the mental blocks likely to be? If you’ve researched your audience then you’ll have an idea of where there is most likely to be resistance to the content of your presentation. This is an opportunity to deal with those potential obstacles in your presentation – do this proactively and knowledgeably as opposed to being aggressive or making fun.
- Don’t read your presentation. You’ll find it difficult to engage with your audience if you’re reading, whether that’s off cards or a screen. It’s much more effective to make sure that you can keep eye contact, whether that means memorising what you want to say or just working with short, simple prompts.
- Avoid rushing. Especially if you’re nervous you might find yourself dashing through your presentation just keen to get to the end of it. You will ruin the impact of what you have to say in doing this – it’s much more effective to be slow and measured, to make time for pauses and to allow yourself to repeat the most important points so everyone is clear on your objectives.
- Be ready for feedback. You might get questions after your presentation so be prepared to answer these and to be gracious if there is criticism or challenge to deal with.
- Finish well. It’s important to go out with a bang and not a whimper so make sure you’ve prepared a strong closing statement.
A persuasive presentation is a powerful tool that can be used for any number of different goals. Whether you’re keen to get ahead in an office or looking to kick off your own enterprise, developing these skills is essential.
Find out more by booking onto our Masterclass in Preparing and Delivering Persuasive Presentations training course…