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BLOGImpactful Presentations

by Randall CraigFiled in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, PresentationsTagged as: ,

Even though you may be on stage when you are making a presentation, it is your audience that deserves the focus. They don’t care about you – at best they only care about how you can “solve their problem”. And at worst, they want to be entertained. Changing focus to the audience doesn’t happen by accident – it requires preparation, both before and after the presentation itself. Here are a number of ideas from delivering 100’s of keynote speeches over the last decade or so.

Before the presentation. Ensure that you really understand the audience and their needs. Answering a few simple questions can make a huge difference: Why are they there? Do they have to be? What are they hoping to learn or accomplish as a result of listening to you? Of course, if your presentation is worth giving, it is worth rehearsing: your style and fluency should help deliver your message, not hinder it.  (A bit more on how I do this as a professional speaker, here.)

At the end of the presentation. The purpose of your audience is not to be a “receptacle” for your ideas, nor are they there to feed your ego. The mark of a successful presentation is one that causes something to happen: mindsets are changed, action is created, or decisions are made. So why not end the meeting with a focus on action? Here are a few ideas:

  • Challenge each attendee to commit to doing one thing based on what they each learned.
  • Ask each pair of people to share with each other their most important take-away from the presentation.
  • Ask each person to write down an idea that you will compile and circulate.
  • Gain agreement, as a group, as to the next steps and responsibilities.

While all of these ideas apply to group presentations, they are equally applicable in small group meetings, networking meetings, and even one-on-one meetings.

THIS WEEK’S ACTION PLAN

Run through these ideas prior to your next group meeting or presentation. It’s all about your audience: what you do before and after can change a good presentation into an impactful one.

Does this topic resonate? Reach out to Randall: he can present it to your group.  (More presentation topics)
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@RandallCraig (Follow me for daily insights)
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