Still don’t see the connection? Let me connect the dots for you.
It’s pay day. You’re out having a drink with friends after work.
You’re chatting away, having a laugh, when it happens. You know you shouldn’t look. You certainly shouldn’t stare. But you just can’t help it.
A girl with an impressive set of fake boobs, or a guy with an impressive set of fake pecs, takes a seat at the bar.
And it’s not just you. Heads turn.
Laugh if you like, but you know it’s true.
So, what do presentation skills have in common with fake boobs?
- They stop you in your tracks
- They make you want to know more
- They don’t always deliver the goods
Let’s examine each of these…
1. They stop you in your tracks
A good presenter will get you to sit up and take notice as soon as they start talking.
They’ll open with a statement or a story that hooks you in.
Here’s how you can stop your audience in their tracks:
Open with a story
And it doesn’t have to be an elaborate story that you have slaved over for weeks.
Tell a story about what brought you here, to the stage. What’s the reason you’re presenting about this subject.
A story doesn’t have to be complex to intrigue your audience, it just needs to be genuine and relatable.
Start by talking about what’s in it for your audience
Open your presentation by talking about what the audience will gain by listening to you.
Talk about the benefits.
Instead of the “Thank you for being here’s” and the “I have three topics I want to talk about today’s”, emphasize the win. Talk about the prize:
“Today I’m going to show you how to shave 30 minutes off your weekly meetings.”
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2. They make you want to know more
Like a good movie, good presentations open with a bang.
You instantly want to know more.
What’s going to happen?
Who did that?
How will this all end?
Your own curiosity hooks you in. You must find out more.
So, in your next presentation take a leaf out of the blockbuster movie’s book:
Start in the middle of the action.
When you start with “Good morning, thank you for being here…” it doesn’t make me any more interested than I was before you started talking. However, if you start with something like this I will probably want to know more:
“The project was doomed even before we had our kick-off meeting. Let me explain what happened…”
3. They don’t always deliver the goods
Sometimes first impressions are deceiving.
We see what we think looks amazing, so we pay attention, only to be bitterly disappointed.
You see that girl with the fake boobs or the guy with the fake pecs. They catch your eye. You decide you want to talk.
You head over and strike up a conversation only to discover that all that make up, and hair product, and tight clothing, and plastic is covering something up… a lack of content.
This happens often in presentations.
You focus on designing an awesome slide deck, but in the end it’s just cover for not really knowing your subject matter well.
You focus on that mesmerizing opening line, but that’s just cover for not having much content to follow.
Focus your time on your subject matter; being familiar with, and able to, talk about your content.
Get the personality of your presentation right first and do the paint job on the outside second.
What do you think?
Let’s chat in the comments below.