From Suck … to Sizzle

Back in January, I began a year-long series discussing the broad question, ‘Does your presentation suck’. Rather than make a statement like ‘Your presentations suck’, I opted to ask lots of diagnostic question instead so you could decide for yourself if your presentations suck and, if so, how much. 

Reader reaction has been quite positive and appreciative. We heard from people who routinely deliver informative or persuasive presentations at work, support in-house training as a content expert/presenter, speak at professional group meetings or help pitch business to prospects and customers. Looked like that was easier than quitting smoking, losing weight or exercising more. 

Let’s quickly review the key take-aways from this year’s content:

  • Focus on Audience Centricity throughout. It’s always about what they need and want to hear, not what you want to say.
  • Deliver a clear Main Point with several supporting Sub Points. Keep the content simple and clear to they understand it and retain it.
  • Start strong with an emphasis on process and outcomes. Your introduction is often the most important part of your presentation because people are influenced most by what they hear first.
  • Develop clear content with supporting facts. Always answer the ‘says who’ question about facts before they ask it.
  • End strong with a concise summary and call to action. Drive home your message and value proposition because people remember most what they hear last.
  • Maximize value from audience Q&A and consider alternatives to ending your presentation with questions.

This year, we’ll discuss more ways to make your presentations sizzle, by:

  • Harnessing the power of strong vocal delivery – volume, pacing, inflection and pausing.
  • Similarly showcasing strong physical delivery – eye contact, facial expressions, stance, posture and movement.
  • Using visual aids to reinforce and clarify content.
  • Projecting an image of confidence, credibility and competence throughout.

Sound like another interesting year to you? Does to me. And when you have questions or need input on specific presentation issues, continue to call or email and I’ll respond accordingly.

When  we’re all finished, you should have enough new or better tools in your Workplace Presenter Tool Kit to take away most of the pain you experience with routine presentations and pitches. Don’t thank me … it’s my job and my pleasure. Happy Holidays!