From Presentation Blogger, Dave Mac offers his recommendations for 10 ingredients of a knockout presentation. I always appreciate when someone identifies the key aspects for a successful presentation and I focus on common themes. When multiple people identify the same key component, it increases my confidence in its importance. And when someone identifies a factor that I hadn’t thought of, I am excited to learn something new. These are the factors that I was drawn to among Dave’s recommendations:
4. Decide where you are going
Your boss gives you a week off.
You rush home, pack your bags, drive a couple of hours to the airport, and then think: Where should I go?
That’s not the way it’s meant to happen, right?
You decide where you want to go and then everything else flows from there. Buying the tickets. Knowing what to pack. Arriving at the airport with enough time to check-in.
The same should happen in your presentation. Decide why you’re delivering your presentation before you do anything else.
What do you want the audience to do? What do you want the audience to take away from your talk? If you don’t know the answers, then hang around the drawing board until you do.
5. Visual communication is everything
It’s not the content.
Well it is… But it’s not.
Your content is important. How you say it is important too.
But if your visual communication displays a lack of confidence and doesn’t inspire the audience to listen to you, then your content is irrelevant.
Encourage the audience to listen to your great content by projecting credibility and confidence.
You project credibility and confidence through an open body position; strong posture; eye contact; gestures; and purposeful, but limited, movement.
The ability to empathize with others is important in every area of life, including your presentation.
If you don’t care about the audience they can tell.
Show them you empathize by demonstrating you understand the challenges they face relative to your topic.
If you’re asking them to take some action which will be bothersome, empathize with them and at least attempt to show them a better future as a result of the bother they have to go to.
9. Prepare your presentation in a specific order
This one’s tough.
Most people will not be able to do this. And that probably includes you.
And why is this point so difficult?
Because it takes time. Because it goes against everything you are conditioned to think.
Here goes. Prepare your presentation in the following order:
- Decide what the take-away is for the audience.
- Draft out what points you need to cover to get the audience there.
- Make a basic outline of your presentation (not a script).
- If there is part of your presentation you are not sure about, start learning, start getting familiar with it.
- Commence practice. Practice talking about each of the points in your presentation until you have a cohesive speech that you can deliver without prompts like notes and cue cards
- Video-tape yourself and watch it back with a critical eye. Address only the two biggest problem areas you found, no more.
- Time permitting, repeat step 6.
- Build your slides. At this point use your latest video recording and only create slides which emphasize key points in your speech.
- Practice your speech again with slides. At this stage your focus should be on not looking at the slides as you talk (this should be easy because you’ve already got your speech down).
Read the full story at 10 Ingredients of a Knockout Presentation
I liked these recommendations because I believe every good presentation has one theme (decide where you are going); that having the right images is critical (visual content is king) – it improves comprehension, credibility and retention; that the audience is king (empathy); and that there are three P’s in life: preparation, preparation and preparation. See 6 Persuasion Strategies To Help Others and Get What You Want; How Experts Can Help a General Audience Understand Their Ideas; 8 Public Speaking Tips From The Best TEDx Speakers; and The Importance of Visual Content