Let’s cut to the chase.
Most business presentations are crap.
But there’s hope!
Here are the top 5 techniques for a stellar presentation (followed by the 1 problem you can use if you prefer doing crap presentations).
Stellar Technique 1. Plan your outcome
Before you do anything else, get clear about your outcome.
Work out where you need the audience to be at the end of the presentation. What would you like your audience to do immediately after your talk?
Decide on your outcome and the rest of your preparation will go smoothly.
Stellar Technique 2. Plan what you are going to say
The best presentations come from solid planning.
Steve Jobs didn’t just whip his presentations together a couple of days before he was due on stage. Those things were planned.
Take your outcome and plan what you need to talk about to get your audience there.
Try to minimize the number of points you’ll talk about to three main, easy-to-remember themes.
Stellar Technique 3. Rehearse without notes
Now you’ve done your planning it’s time to practice.
Don’t write out a script and practice reading it. You’ll sound terrible, and you’ll struggle to remember everything anyway.
Using the key themes that you planned, practice delivering your presentation and drive towards your outcome.
For this practice, a mirror or video camera will be your friend. It’s amazing how much you will improve by reviewing your delivery and then practicing again.
Stellar Technique 4. Create your slides
How is creating slides a “stellar technique”, you might ask.
Well… It’s not the act of creating the slides, it’s the timing of their creation. After we have already practiced and can deliver our talk.
Because you can now confidently deliver your talk the slides you design will naturally be better.
You’ll be able to design slides which support what you have to say, rather than designing slides to drive your presentation.
Stellar Technique 5. Rehearse some more
Now that you have your slides it’s time to do a little bit more practice.
This practice is not to make sure you remember your lines, but to make sure the introduction of the slides doesn’t become a distraction for you.
As you practice, try to face forward and avoid looking at the slides.
The slides will have more impact, and be more of a support, if they do not become the focal point and do not detract from what you are saying.
Killer Problem 1: Build your slide deck first
Think about those crappy, bullet-point-laden presentations you have to sit through at work.
Those horrible presentations that don’t seem to go anywhere.
How do you think the preparation for those presentations was done?
If you guessed with software you’d be right.
Those terrible, unfortunately typical, presentations are created like this:
- Put bullet-points into PowerPoint slides
- Practice delivering presentation, using slides as a prompt
- Deliver live and bore your audience to sleep
Less steps to prepare, but much less effective.
What do you think? Let’s chat in the comments below.