Are Your Presentations Improving Communication?

Are your presentations truly working? Great presentations inspire people, improve communication and help people create great things together. Learn 7 must-have tips to give awesome presentations.

In today’s market, busy professionals are looking for tips and tricks to answer common challenges in business communication. With not enough hours in the day, it’s still important to expand on your skills or improve your existing communication skills.

Keep these 7 tips in mind to improve, strengthen and deliver powerful presentations.

1. Focus on What’s Relevant
Strive to focus on highly relevant content, topics and discussions. By keeping this a top priority, also keep an open mind. You may need to adjust, adapt or realign your message-at the last minute.

If you are focused on relevance, you’ll spot news, trends, statistics and information in the days and hours prior to your presentation. This kind of attention will help you instantly refine your message to match the moment.

2. Immerse In Key Issues
While striving for relevance, be certain to immerse yourself in your client’s world and key issues. Far too many business professionals believe they are doing this…but their audiences don’t agree.

If you’re presenting to a target group, do informational interviews prior to building your presentation. This will save hours of work and loads of headaches.

3. Face Your Audience
There’s nothing worse than a presenter who is reading his or her notes, facing the equipment instead of the audience.

Whether you’re working with an in-room audience or a virtual one, make eye contact. If you’re selling at a whiteboard, write, draw, and then turn. Talk directly to your audience…not to the board.

This takes some practice-and working with an executive coach and video taping rehearsals is the fastest way to improve.

4. Improve Interaction
Highlight opportunities to discuss, interact and invite participation. Practice your skills of thinking on your feet, responding to questions, and feeling confident for impromptu discussion.

If interaction is a challenge, get specific pointers in a presentation skills training. Within a matter of minutes, you’ll learn exactly how to respond with ease and poise.

5. Show evidence
While stories, quotes and statistics are terrific credibility builders; nothing is as strong as physical evidence. Make sure to weave tangible evidence such as props, physical objects, and prototypes into your delivery.

While this may seem obsolete or old-fashioned, don’t knock it until you try it. Nine times out of ten, participants will want to get a closer look, hold the object, and ask questions about the evidence.

This is one of the fastest ways to build connection and improve communication.

6. Be Authentic
Put simply, be yourself. Much like dating, if you start out being yourself, you won’t have to be artificial or false in the future. Use your natural strengths and talents to be a unique and easy-to-understand communicator.

7. Add Human Touch
In presentation skills training, there are many tips, techniques and steps to improve. Yet you must look deeper. What is the heart of communication? Human touch.

Keep this in mind as you’re growing skills to be the world’s best communicator. Add human touch. Speak from your heart. Show that you care. Take an extra step. Reveal a little more to show that you’re human.

As the world grows increasingly complex, it is up to communicators to go the extra distance. Challenge yourself to not settle for ‘alright’ or ‘so-so’ in presenting. Up your expectations and go for awesome.

Then, when everyone wants to know your secret, let them in on this. By keeping human touch at your heart, you’re making a difference…one awesome presentation at a time.

The Power Is Always In The Present Moment: That’s Where The Spirit Lives

Only ego flows back and forth to an imaginary future and regretful past.

Whenever you encounter some sort of challenge in life, the best way to handle it is to do anything you can to bring yourself back to this present moment. The present moment is all we have, and when we get worried or fearful we become lost-and it’s all happening in the movement of thought.

Whenever you encounter some sort of challenge in life, the best way to handle it is to do anything you can to bring yourself back to this present moment.

The present moment is all we have, and when we get worried or fearful we become lost-and it’s all happening in the movement of thought. Hours and sometimes even days and weeks go by, and the fear gets bigger and bigger; we become totally consumed by our own thoughts.

The instant we can bring our awareness to this very moment, we find peace.

Think of every occasion when you have wasted your time and energy thinking resentful thoughts toward someone. We have all done that. We make up scenarios in our mind of what we are going to tell someone and how he or she is going to respond, and then think of different ways to reply. This goes on and on and on, and it’s all happening in our mind and nowhere else! We are expending energy on that which doesn’t even exist. The person you are feeling resentful toward probably has no idea of the “problem” that you are creating!

Think of all the times you have gone back in memory, remembering something that you consider negative.

What you are actually doing is keeping the events and situations alive and creating more of the same all in your mind, and your mind is reacting to every thought that you keep thinking, not knowing if it actually happened in the past. For the mind it is always happening in the Now.

Every time we worry about the future, we are wasting our energy and time; we are wasting this precious moment by creating the very future we worry about. We can change this in an instant by looking at out troubles from another perspective.

Change the feelings and thoughts first-put your attention on how events feel in the present moment. You don’t have to look at what is, only be aware of your response to it. Whatever reaction we have, we can learn to talk ourselves into a different kind of response.

Stay in the present moment, on a moment to moment basis; that’s where your true self lives.

Power Point – Sticky Closings Help the Audience Remember Your Power Point Presentation

Avoid summary slides at the end of your deck. When people hear or read the word ‘summary’ they think “I’ve heard this already” and mentally they move on to the next thing in their day.

Your closing should be a call-to-action that excites the audience, so they leave thinking “Yes, I’ll do that!” Here are 5 techniques to close your presentation with a message that sticks.

1) Take the audience to the future. Whether the future is a few months ahead or 3-5 years from now, you will create stickiness with a closing that transports the audience to that future time. To be effective, the closing must show them participating in the future and that good things await them.

2) Fold your key points into a story. You can hide your recap of key points by crafting an appealing story that incorporates them. Let’s say your key points are 1) current problems; 2) obstacles that must be overcome to address the problems and 3) solutions. Craft a future story that ends with the solutions. You can create 1 or 2 characters by name, make the problems ones they are facing, describe how they overcome the obstacles and then how they enjoy the benefits of the solution.

By crafting a story with great language, you make the message very sticky, unlike a summary list of the key points.

3) Craft a meaningful refrain or tag line. Some examples my clients have used include:

  • That’s partnership
  • Your vision is our vision
  • Real goals, real success

Then you couple the refrain with some statements that you might otherwise have used in a summary.

Example:

  • 24/7 Help Desk-That’s partnership.
  • Clear lines of communication-That’s partnership
  • Perfectly aligned goals-That’s partnership

4) Ask a question that incorporates the most important key point.

Example:

“How about you? How will you make a difference to long-time customers who want the best service and are willing to pay our price?”

5) Read a powerful a quotation with passion and conviction. A quote from a famous person who is relevant to your audience and the topic is a great way to elevate the end of the presentation.

  • If you have been talking about leadership, use a quote from someone who is regarded by the vast majority as a great leader.
  • If your topic is service, quote someone who is known for great service.
  • If your topic is technology, quote an inventor or a successful IT figure.

Be sure to write the quote on a sheet of paper and read it while holding the sheet in your hands. Do NOT type it into a slide. This is a great time to use a blank blue slide. The audience will then really hear you and leave feeling that they were glad they came.