Some people are meant to have “all eyes on them”. Even just for a minute. It’s a lifting experience, and it feels as if the planets and stars were perfectly aligned to underpin the successful moment.
If you give business presentations, provide training classes, or speak to groups, you may have experienced a speaking moment when all of the pieces came together seamlessly. Maybe because most of the time they need to hear success stories. Audiences love to hear from experts who have done something or who know something or who can shed light on a new way of thinking. Yet it is easy to look at other speakers and instantly assume you don’t have what it takes; that since you haven’t sold a company for a billion dollars or haven’t climbed Mt. Everest, then you must not have a message worth sharing.
The good news? With a really great speech and the right approach, you may be more qualified than you think.
Frame Your Story
We’re convinced that giving a good talk is quite achievable. In a matter of days, even hours, a speaker’s subject and delivery can be transformed from a topsy-turvy piece to a mesmerizing one. And while your experience has focused on TED’s 18-minutes or shorter format, the fruits you can harvest are surely useful for your presentations – whether it’s a brand manager unveiling a new product, a CEO doing an IPO show, or a start-up pitching to VCs.
Yet there is no way you can give a good business presentation unless you have something worth talking about. Framing and conceptualizing what you want to voice is the most important part of preparation.
As we all know, humans live for the narrative. They are wired to stories, and metaphors meant for the narrative structures that work best to engage people. As we think about captivating presentations, we think about taking the spectators on a journey.
If you frame your speech as a journey, the greatest decisions are figuring out how to start and how to end. Here you may consider what the audience already knows about your topic- and how much they care about it. If you assume your audience has more interest or knowledge than they do, or if you are getting too technical and start using jargon, you will lose them. The most successful speakers do a great job of very promptly presenting the subject, explaining why they care so genuinely about and convincing the public that they should, too.
Write as you speak – but don’t make your speech sound like a college essay. Think about how you normally talk: with fluidity and less fancy words.
Try using simple, descriptive language and avoid as much as you can strange terms that make the audience look up their dictionaries every time they hear you. Your goal in a business presentation isn’t to sound smart. It’s to be clear and reach your goal.
Write everything – to get through your first draft, aim for simplicity. Write everything, but don’t ask yourself whether each sentence is simple enough. Forget about eloquence right now. Your first draft doesn’t have to sound professional. It just needs to be written. Turn off your inner editor until you’re done.
Cornerstones Skills to Follow after Finishing Your Draft:
1. Knowledge of the topic is imperative
If you don’t have the necessary know-how, the amount of time you spend in preparation and the amount of stress you experience will increase – possibly past your ability to an efficient business presentation. Make sure you accept and do business presentations that you know you can bear. Yet, you need to occasionally force the barriers of your comfort place, or you won’t maintain your own progress.
2. Make presentation interesting
A simplistic business presentation of dull, factual information can make your public’s eye roll. Additionally, to your research and knowledge in that presentation, you will need to spice up the material. Even HR training on subjects such as policies can be spiced up with the right presentation music so it won’t be dry and boring. For an efficient business presentation, you may want to include a few questions for your team members or the audience to discuss the person sitting next to them.
3. The most important preparation for your speech is often not obvious.
Preparation can be achieved through research and the time you spend weeks in advance of the presentation once you understand your audience’s pain points and needs.
When your draft is finally set and ready, you are clean on the idea you want to voice out the needs of the public, and the value you can add to the occasion.
4. Tell what’s necessary
No matter how much time you allot to your presentation draft, you don’t have time to tell your audience everything you know. That’s quite impossible. For experienced speakers, the temptation to overwhelm the public with all the ins and outs of the topic all once must be avoided. You will annoy, bore, and fail to earn your audience.
The good news is that in a 30-90-minute presentation you will have enough time to make 4-7 key points. The truth is you don’t have much time for more if you are demonstrating your points and providing examples.
5. Conquer and give a Killer presentation with a mental adjustment.
Try to leave your fears and nervousness at home. Although they are natural reactions before public speaking, you should better focus on the fact that the presentation is about the goal you want to reach, the message, and not you.
If a successful presentation is a journey, make sure you don’t start to annoy your travel comrades along the way. Ego and public speech don’t go together. So, avoid as much as possible to sound condescending or full yourself; otherwise, the audience will shut down.
Another thing to remember is that there is no good way to do a business presentation or speech. The most memorable presentations offer something fresh, something no one has ever seen or heard of. So don’t try to copy or even emulate everything we’ve offered here. Take the bulk of it and make that presentation/speech your own. Give something that is truly authentic to you.