3 TOP Tips to make your presentations SHINE


Business StorytellingJust last week I received an email that made me laugh out loud and go YES!  And no it wasn’t a joke from a friend.  It was from Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) announcing that they are banning the traditional use of PowerPoint-style presentations including such proven yawn inducers like bullet points, clip art, reading from the screen (that old chestnut) at their major conference to be held in Sydney.  Hats off to MEA!

So whether you are presenting with or without PowerPoint here are 3 top tips to make your next presentation shine. This can be summarized in just one-word connections.  People need to connect to you the person (not the presenter, not yet anyway); they need to feel you connect with them and they need to connect to your messages.

Getting your audience to connect with you first as a person, is the presentation equivalent of shaking hands when you meet someone. Just as you would never launch into business stuff before shaking hands, you would never launch into your presentation without getting the audience to connect with you first.  So can you begin with something personal, humble, even funny, that segues into your presentation? Keep it short, and never launch into your CV – that is boring.

How can you connect with your audience? One CEO coming into the company’s strategy session handled this one by saying ‘Even this morning when I was driving here I thought what not another strategy session, feels like we just had one a few weeks ago!’. He was echoing what a lot of people in the room where thinking and feeling – so even before you have started your formal presentation people connect to you, as a person and they feel you understand them …that you connect with them.

The next tip for all presenters is to get people to connect with your messages.

Just yesterday in my daughter’s school I was listening to a parenting expert who said you should have 3 non negotiables as a parent, because your kids can only remember 3 and any more will be hell for you as a parent!  The same rule applies to your presentation have only 3 key messages. 3 is all your audience can remember and anymore and it’s hell maybe not for you but definitely for them!  Some tough love here, no one is going to walk away from any presentation remembering what your 8 key messages were.

For each key message think of an anecdote, a story that would make it memorable.  People remember the story and through that they remember the point you were making.

So there you have it – to be a successful presenter with or without PowerPoint you need to get people to connect to you as a person first, you need to connect to the audience and you need the audience to connect to your messages, by having a maximum of 3 and using stories, anecdotes and humor to make your messages memorable.

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12 Comments
  • Reply

    Thanks Yamini, death by Powerpoint is not a nice way to go! You’d probably like this presentation I came across recently about the evils (or otherwise) of Powerpoint: http://www.slideshare.net/Clearpresentation/dont-blame-powerpoint-its-just-a-vehicle

  • Reply

    3 points nicely made. I love the idea of banning slides – it’ll make presenters think more about their messages. But slides still have a role to play, and if chosen carefully they can help make that connection with the audience. Slides also sometimes take on a life of their own beyond the event – I’d be interested what you think of this post: http://credos.com.au/the-world-is-your-audience/
    Cheers, Carolyn

    • Yamini Naidu
      Reply

      Carolyn thanks for your comment and the link to your post which I enjoyed reading. You are right on the money when you say slides should add oomph to the presentation and keep your audience engaged. Thinking about your slides as a story is great for face to face as well as online presentations. MEA did not ban powerpoint per se just bad use of powerpoint…and we too are not against powerpoint but just want to eliminate death by (bad) powerpoint.
      Regards
      Yamini

  • Kristin
    Reply

    Love this. Love all your work.
    Have sent it to all the people I know who do presentations!

    Kristin Owen
    Graduate of OneThousand and One’s
    Success Through Stories
    (Class of 2011)

  • amanda derham
    Reply

    Yes, I too love your work. You are logical and full of humanity. Particularly enjoyed 21 Mar workshop- Amanda

    • Yamini Naidu
      Reply

      Many many thanks Amanda. As chance would have it your comment was the first email I read this morning on my phone, on my way to work. What a wonderful way to start the day! Thank you so much , you have made our day and week..
      Best wishes
      Yamini

  • Alan Doyle
    Reply

    Clear. Concise. Simple.

    3 comments …and no more ;O)…. for the 3 tips …. Fabulous and (because there are only 3 points) easy to remember for my next presentation !!

    • Yamini Naidu
      Reply

      Thanks Alan – love your humour with the 3 comments for 3 points! It is hard to do.
      Best wishes
      Yamini

  • Liana de Mamiel
    Reply

    Love your work! A message of 3 which refelcts the content of the message of 3. Sweet!

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