Jordan was ready.
Research and practice squared away, he was as prepared as he was ever going to be.
This was Jordan’s first presentation but he was confident. With so much preparation, who wouldn’t be?
Sales figures and marketing campaigns weren’t the most exciting topics, so Jordan planned to get them in and out quickly. Fast presentation. No extraneous detail. On point.
The organizer was finishing up his intro, introducing him. Jordan took a deep breath and stepped on stage.
Days later, Jordan would wonder what went wrong. Why did his audience range from forceful pushing back to watch-checking ambivalence?
Here’s the thing:
By most standards, Jordan delivered a great presentation. Practiced, logical, audience-focused.
So what went wrong?
Why was Jordan’s audience so angry or apathetic?
Jordan’s presentation was great. He followed all the rules.
Despite dotting all his i’s and crossing all his t’s, Jordan failed to connect with his audience.
Here are 3 methods you can use to connect with an audience, even if you’re doing a business presentation.
1. Share a story
Stories are the number one way you can engage and connect with your audience in a presentation.
When most people think of stories they think of the kind of stories they hear in a TEDx presentation. The “I survived a heart attack and this is what I learned” kind of story.
But it doesn’t have to be like that.
Stories that will engage your audience just need to be simple anecdotes. What has happened to you that’s related to the point you want to get across.
Want to introduce a new computer system? Start with a story about a problem you had with the existing system.
Want to inform the office about a new dress code. Talk to the funny complaint you received about the current dress code.
2. Be less than perfect
One of the biggest killers of your presentation is the desire to be perfect.
Practicing like crazy, until you can remember your script word for word. The perfect delivery.
…or so you think.
Trouble with being perfect is it’s not natural. Nobody’s perfect. As such, reciting a script perfectly is going to make you sound unnatural, even robotic, as a presenter.
Connecting with the audience means being human. Being human means not being perfect. Sounding like you are confident talking about your subject matter. Sometimes making mistakes.
Making mistakes is okay.
That’s awesome news!
Knowing you can deliver a presentation naturally while occasionally making mistakes is freeing. It’s enlightening.
Next time you deliver a presentation know your topic but be yourself. If you make a mistake remember nobody cares and most people didn’t notice.
3. Speak conversationally
Finally! If you want to connect with your audience you must speak in a conversational way.
Nobody wants to listen someone drone on and on about a topic.
What do you think? Let’s chat in the comments below.