Believe or not, in every good presentation lies a whole load of C.R.A.P.
Let me explain:
Most business presentations are rubbish.
A load of “Let me read these bullet points to you”, “I’m sorry, I didn’t have time to prepare”, “Oh… I forgot my lines” and “Can you see that part of the chart that I’m furiously outlining with this shiny light, or is your eyesight still recovering from the time I blasted you with the laser?”
Awful, right? Especially when you’re one of the people in the audience.
To deliver a good business presentation there is one simple thing you need to do:
Think about all the bad presentations you’ve ever seen and do the exact opposite of what those presenters did.
And there’s an easy way to do the opposite of the every day presenter.
You just need to put some C.R.A.P. into your presentations:
Most business presentations are bad because the presenter talks “at” the audience.
The presenter lectures to the audience about what they need to change or what they should be doing.
The result is that the audience switch off or act defensively, the presenter senses the resistant atmosphere from the audience and becomes more self-conscious. The presenter’s performance drops as a result.
In real life, no one wants to be lectured at.
In real life if you want people to listen to you, you need to talk in a natural, almost conversational, manner.
Focusing on having a natural, conversational tone makes your presentation infinitely more listenable.
Easier said than done, right?
When faced with the prospect of speaking in front of 5 people or 50, “relaxation” is the last word that comes to mind for most of us.
But think about this:
The more relaxed you are the better you’ll perform in your presentation; The more comfortable and confident you’ll look; The more receptive your audience will be.
Don’t worry about making mistakes, don’t panic if you make them.
Accept that no matter how much you prepare, mistakes will happen.
When you accept that you can’t be perfect…
When you accept that not being perfect is okay…
You will be more relaxed.
An interaction is never one-sided. It involves questions. It’s engaging.
A university lecture is one-sided. It involves no questions, no interaction. It’s disengaging.
When we add questions into our presentations (even if they’re just rhetorical) they become more engaging. Questions make our presentations better.
The toughest part of your presentation is the first thing you’ll say.
It needs to be something that sounds confident and sets you up to deliver the rest of your presentation.
Trouble is, the start of your presentation is when you feel least confident and your mind is racing.
So here’s what to do:
“Push” to the audience.
Take the pressure off yourself by making a statement, or asking a question, which will give you some breathing time when you first step on stage.
Imagine you’re presenting about the office cleanup that needs to be done.
Start with something related:
“Who’s sick of tripping over rubbish and clutter in the office?”
“The time has come for everyone to be more comfortable while they work.”
Push to the audience by asking a related question or making a related statement.