Kelly Vandever - Communications for Everyone

The 5 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Business Presentation the Most

In Presentation Tips on August 31, 2011 at 11:50 am

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Too Much Book Learning?

I’ve read a lot of books on presentations skills and public speak.  A lot.

And I love them.  I learn new things.  I receive validation for what I already believe.  I get another perspective on why certain things work and others don’t.

One thing I’ve noticed in these books on presentation skills and public speaking is that they include EVERY possible thing you could possibly do to improve your presentation.  One author in fact lists her tips numerically… there are 497.  That’s a lot of information to digest.

But when it comes to business presentations, I don’t think most people have the time to read and digest every possible option they can do to improve their presentation.  I think they want a shorter list so that they can spend their time on just the most important elements that will make a difference.

So I’ve come up with 5 – 5 things you can do it improve your business presentation the most.  I don’t know if they’re the right 5 but in my experience, these seem like the 5 that can make the biggest impact.  See if you agree.

#1.  Give a darn about your audience

Quit thinking about you and the agenda you’re trying to promote.  If you don’t know why your audience should want to listen to you … if you can’t quickly reveal to them why they should care, then save everyone the heartache and don’t talk to them!

#2.  Add stories to your presentations

Stories make life more interesting.  Stories make abstract ideas more concretes.  Treat your audience to stories.

#3.  Don’t use the default bullet point in your slides

Don’t list everything you plan to say in bullet points on your slides.  Instead, cover only one point per slide and put a picture to convey your idea along with two or three words.  Have the picture fill the entire frame, rather than the tiny portion of the slide given to you by the default template.  Live a little.

#4.  Rehearse your delivery

Don’t practice on your audience.  Rehearse what you plan to say out loud, clicking through slides, standing up.  Record yourself.  Watch the recording.  Yeah, it’s painful.  But better one person (you) suffer than having many people suffer (your audience).

#5.  Interact with your audience

Involve your audience in your presentation.  Have them answer meaningful questions.  Create fun games that may be silly but make a point to reinforce your message.  Show your audience that you value their wisdom and experience.

So what do you think?

If you could improve your business presentation, are those five things that make sense to you?  The next time you watch a business presentation, ask yourself “If this person followed Kelly’s 5 recommendations, would that make the presentation better?”

If you think I’ve missed the boat, then add your comments below!  I want to interact with YOU and know what YOU think!!

 

 

In an attention-deficient, entertain-me-now, wait-while-I-post-that-on-my-Facebook-page kind of world, the typical business presentation is lame.  Do you want to change that for yourself and your staff? Professional speaker, trainer, tweeter and blogger Kelly Vandever is here to help!  An award winning speaker herself, Kelly helps organizations crank up their content and create killer interaction using old school and hi-tech techniques, all while annihilating bullet points and making this a better world for business audiences.  Find out more at Communications for Everyone.

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