Regardless, if your goal is to make a sale or educate. You don't want to fall prey to the mistakes that many presenters make -- loading us down with piles and piles of information and communication hodgepodge. Excellent presentations are designed to anchor in the key points that are relevant for influencing the listeners to take some kind of action.
When you make a presentation to a committee, corporate board of directors or presenting an all day seminar, your aim is to accomplish two very important goals. First, it is crucial that your audience walk away with a "Top of the Mind" memorable experience. Second, you want to influence your audience to take an immediate or future action. Every, presentation should have an outcome and action steps for your audience to take.
For us to accomplish those two goals we need to help the audience focus-in on our presentation so that we touch and communicate with the head and heart of our audience. Effectively, we want to mesmerize, hold their attention and filter out any outside distractions that would compete with our presentation and desired outcome.
We are visual beings by nature. Our eyes, being the most powerful information conduit to the brain, are always in motion feeding us images and disrupting our thought processes. People have limited attention spans and information processing capabilities. Therefore, we as presenters need to simplify the communications to hold attention for influencing the thinking of our audience.
I use a very powerful communication technique that anyone can apply with their very next presentation to accomplish extraordinary results. Your presentation and visuals will communicate faster, clearer, better and be more congruent -- eliminating the communication hodgepodge that so many presenters use.
First, reduce all you visuals to pictures and either eliminate words and numbers altogether or reduce them to three or less per visual. Visuals should be used as anchors to support your key points that you want your audience to remember.
Second, your visuals must be associated in some ridiculous and/or illogical way for transferring key points and word phases for your audience to remember and retain your information.
A simple example is: You are giving a financial report showing an increase in earnings for your division. You could use a rising balloon lifting a building block, showing the percentage of increase stenciled in the block, giving your audience and image of growth and profits. Visuals that are your typical bar charts, graphs, and lines of words are boring and have a lesser impact connecting with your audience. Whereas, ridiculous and/or illogical visuals add retention, entertainment, and can illustrate with greater impact the benefits, not just facts and figures of your presentation.
Third, support your key points and visuals with a story.
Here's how it works:
In delivering a presentation, recently to a group of sales people, one of my key points was that we have to understand our customers buying strategies and buying incentives for us to influence them to make a purchase from us. The visual that I used (now visualize this in your mind) was a man peering over a chessboard with his chin snuggled on his tightly clutched hands with a very pensive look in his eyes. The picture was stretched and elongated to exaggerate the image to influence the inner thinking process that our customers go though in their decision-making.
I then illustrated the point with a story of how one of my clients went about uncovering his clients' strategies, buying incentives and how this same presentation process helped him get the sales and acquire a major key account for his company. Most importantly during the story I explained how my client was able to fine out what would create a win situation for his client. That gave way, for transitioning, to the next key point and slide in the presentation.
The visual was dynamic in that it supported the key points and anchored the story in the mind of the audience. The story used was linked back to the visual and was congruent with the key points.
This presentation process reinforces your points and makes them easy to understand. You can take any subject from a ten-minute annual report presentation to an all-day training session and use this approach of structuring your presentations. When you substitute lines of words, boring bar charts and graphs, with key points, supportive stories anchored with ridiculous visuals, you make it easy for your audience to assimilate, focus, remember and become engage and mesmerized with your material.
Don L. Price -- Business and Positive Change Strategist -- International Speaker and Author He speaks on Optimizing Your Power to Succeed, with Strategic Performance Marketing and Closing Power, Winning Presentation Techniques and Life EnrichmentThrought Self Hypnosis. Don can be reach at: 1800Succeed (800-782-2333); http://www.donlprice.com; firstname.lastname@example.org