They also tell us that audiences know … with utmost certainty … that 90% of what they’re going to be subjected to is downright boring … served on a thick foundation of PowerPoint crap—in other words, designed to suck any remaining energy out of an otherwise pleasant, uplifting day.
Here’s a fact: The number one thing audiences hate is for presenters to stand in front of them and read their text-packed, full sentence slides.
So don’t do it. Roar like a lion!
If it’s a report, email it to your audience and save you and them a whole lot of pain.
I’ll never forget a morning a few years back in which I presented to an engineering firm who had recently done a team presentation for a multinational pipeline company. It was to bring them up-to-date on where they were at.
Lo and behold, it resulted in a complete review of the entire project. That’s a problem worth potentially hundreds of thousand of dollars!
The engineering firm was somewhat dumbfounded by the result, but during my session couldn’t tell me why. They showed me screens and screens of text and data on white backgrounds that formed the foundation of their presentation. I could see that they’d bored their audience almost to death. But there was a much bigger problem.
They hadn’t had a senior executive lead off with a persuasive overview, covering off the key concerns of their audience. Were they on budget, on target, on strategy?
And nobody summarized the key message at the end.
The audience came away from the presentation feeling mired in data with nobody really in charge. There was no central message. Rather than provide the comfort they needed, the presenters had tried to fill their heads with far too much information.
If you think your audience needs more information crammed into their tired brains, you must be from another planet! What they need is someone to tell them what’s important (just one thing, please) and what to do about it.
Well now, how do you figure out what that is – what that important message is?
The answer to that question begins in the last place most presenters look … their audience. What is it they want or need to know? What is it that will change the way they currently think about your subject area? What are their concerns and what’s the one thing you can tell them that will alleviate their concerns.
There’s a simple system to planning your presentation. This is where I segue to my online video-based workshop. Knowing your audience’s pain and being able to direct your powerful message to alleviate it is the secret to being persuasive and memorable on the platform. For more information on my workshop, click here.
The secret to your success as a presenter is in the last place most presenters look—the audience.
Master Your Message
You’re the expert! That’s why you’re at the front of the room. Figure out, from your perspective, what the burning point is that you absolutely have to make, and deliver it with all the passion it deserves.
It’s a jungle of data out there. You need to roar like a lion. Make some noise. Be creative and memorable. Let me leave the room energized with a clear understanding of what must change or what we have to do to move forward.
Enough of boring. Enough of text. Grab my imagination. Show me what you mean. Make the time we spend together well worth it and memorable.
You have the floor and my attention for the first thirty seconds. Now earn it by challenging me with one key message I absolutely need to hear.
Horror stories about dull and boring presentations? Text presentations that have put you into a coma? Tell me about them. Drop me a line below.