Somehow, the return to classes cranks a lot of other activities into motion. I think that’s why I’m getting more requests for help with presentations these days. Ironically, the explosion in communication channels only makes the formal, face-to-face communication event even more critical than it was.
There’s more pressure to get the message across and connect during that half-hour presentation or interview. So here’s some savvy communication expertise to help you make that incredible impression!
How to uplevel your presentation now:
1. Decide in advance the purpose of your talk.
You’re not there because anyone’s bored (unless you’re a teacher) — and probably you have several objectives in mind. See if you can get them clear and prioritized. You’re probably wanting to…
- Build a stronger personal relationship with your audience (the whole or part of it.)
- Show how your product or service (or you personally) is their best option.
- Demonstrate what a dynamic leader you really are.
- Reveal a new way of thinking about an issue or situation.
- Teach a new skill.
- Challenge the status quo.
2. Write out your best-case scenario.
No kidding. Write out a paragraph that describes how your presentation just went. Writing out (in advance) how you felt and how the audience reacted is a good way to get this desired reaction in motion. Remember these key things about your audience:
- They’re not listening in rapt attention.
- They want you to succeed.
- They’re looking to your leadership, at least while you’re in charge of the floor, so to speak.
3. Put some thought into what you’re going to wear.
You probably already have figured out that dressing down is on the way out and dressing up is in. If you’re making a presentation or having an interview, keep this one guideline in mind.
Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.
4. Organize your thoughts better. (Think in 3’s.)
You know to have an introduction, body and conclusion, but what are those key points you want your audience to remember?
What are those 3 competitive advantages of your product?
What are 3 reasons to hire you or your company?
The answer to those questions should drive the organization of your entire talk, (even in an interview situation.)
Your organization helps the audience to remember what you’ve said.
5. Put details, especially quantitative facts, onto a handout.
Yes, it’s true they probably won’t read your handout, but they’ll have that important information as a point of reference.
Most of the time, putting too many numbers on a slide is a sure way to send your audience into the snooze zone.
For an interview, your cover letter is your handout. If you’re called for an interview, that means you got it right!
For more detailed expertise on upgrading your presentation download the 28-page illustrated PDF No More Boring Presentations.
To put some polish and shine on your personal brand, check out the free #brandyou challenge starting October 16.