To create an effective presentation requires some dedication and time investment. But when the right techniques are applied, great results can be achieved without huge effort.
An effective presentation is one that helps a presenter to capture and retain audience attention and at the same time helps to “sell” the idea / product / project being presented. And there is no better way to “sell” an idea than by telling a good story.
Because effective presentations are so important to all of us, we decided to share some techniques we at SOAP use to create effective presentations. We divided the 10 techniques into 3 major areas: Planning, Developing and Rehearsing.
But first take a look at the steps that follow. Your main objective is to book into your agenda the time needed to complete all the steps. Good planning will surely help you achieve faster a more effective presentation.
1.1 – Know Your Audience – Learn what are their characteristics: what do they know about the subject and what do they want to know more about it? What problem can you help solve, what do they want to learn from you….
1.2 – Set a Clear Goal – Your presentation should have a goal that is clear to you and that is attainable. The aim here is to know what you want your audience to do, think and/or feel at the end of the presentation.
1.3 – Create a Guide – Start by writing down the main points of the subjects that must necessarily be addressed during the presentation. Use this list as a guide for creating your script / your story. The main points here must be linked to the audience’s interests, the same ones you discovered at 1.1.
2.1 – Create an Outline – It’s time to create an outline that meets the interests and aspirations of your audience. Before creating your story, start by answering this question: How can I help to solve their problems, or fulfill their needs? And, remember, the two basic ingredients of any story must be: logical arguments that appeal to reason, and emotion that appeals to the audience’s feelings.
2.2 – Create an Impactful Story – An impactful story is divided into three acts.
Act I – In this first act your goal is to generate interest among your audience and to present your main idea. You should try to surprise the audience, so that you retain their attention from the first minute. Learn here about ways to surprise your audience and capture their attention.
Act II – This is the body of the story, where the main idea is developed and where the logical arguments are presented. In this second act is where there should be the climax or the emotional peak of the story.
Act III – In this last phase you should close the story with an eye to the desired goal. Here you repeat the main idea of the presentation, and suddenly this main idea makes perfect sense to the audience.
2.3 – Create the Visual Identity of Your Presentation – The visual identity is the look and feel of your presentation. At this stage you should study your brand and the idea or product so you can choose 3 or 4 colors for your presentation, 2 or 3 fonts and the types of images and graphics best to use for the particular presentation. Remember that all presentation elements must make sense together and should help you get your message across.
2.4 – Design of the Slides – Now you can move on to slide design. At this stage you will have to choose the words or phrases that will appear on each of the slides. Avoid too many bullet points and very long sentences. Opt instead for large and impactful images and one or two keywords per slide.
3.1 – Rehearse a LOT – Now it’s time to rehearse and rehearse. The nervousness in presentations is often due to lack of preparation, so dedicate a good portion of time to rehearsing before the big day, in front of a mirror, with one or two other people you trust….
3.2 – Non-Verbal Language – Pay attention to your nonverbal language now, as this plays a major role in the effectiveness or non-effectiveness of presentations. A quick tip: try to smile and to look your audience in the eye, this way they will fell more comfortable. We give you here more tips on how a presenter should use non-verbal language.
3.3 – Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking – Finally, even after having done everything right, there are still people who can’t overcome their fear of public speaking. But there are ways to overcome this fear: like breathing right and viewing the presentation as an opportunity. Click here to learn more about effective ways to overcome your fear of public speaking.
Effective presentations are not easy to achieve, but by using the right techniques, from even before the start, you’ll be able to achieve your goals. So for your next presentation, begin by creating a good plan.