Your clients are not eager for formal presentations. Many of the thousands of business people we have worked with complain that presentations they attend are often prescriptive, dry and downright boring.
When surveyed, one of our multinational clients said, "The last thing I need in my day is another person presenting by reading their PowerPoint slides at me, which I could better read to myself. What happened to the good old fashioned conversation?"
Your clients want interaction. A sure-fire way to achieve this is to present with a good story.
Storytelling is not something new. Mankind has utilised this ability since Biblical times as a way to educate, inspire or influence change.
Former American President Ronald Reagan was a great storyteller. In fact, his aides said that if you wanted to get the President's attention about an issue, you needed to come into the Oval Office with a good story.
EffectiveCommunication.com.au strongly recommends storytelling as a way for you to connect with your clients on a deeper level.
Before telling any story, you must know the business point or commercial outcome you want to emphasise. Plus, what you want your listeners to do as a result of your story.
Is your emphasis to be prepared for an emerging market, respond more quickly to clients or embrace a new opportunity? Your listeners should clearly recognise and internally interpret the key point you are making + the commercial benefits and outcomes for them because of your story.
Any unrelated details must be eliminated. Your clients do not have the time or tolerance for a long, disjointed story. Tell your story as short, sharp and succinct as possible.
Stories that are efficient and effective have a good plot and interesting characters. As you tell your story, include enough details to arouse your listeners' interest. Be sure to tell them anecdotes that will tug on their heart strings or transport them to a different time or place. There should always be an emotional component beyond the information and data you must communicate.
As you introduce your characters, make certain they are believable. Allow them to come to life by giving them unique character traits.
How you tell your story is critical. Your voice needs to sound passionate and excited. You must take lots of pauses so listeners can savor what you have said. If your delivery is ineffective, your story will fall flat. Demonstrate appropriate and necessary conviction.
The right story delivered at the right time during your presentation will always succeed and win beyond prescriptive, dry and boring communication. Stories help to build credibility and trust.
By applying this age old, yet necessary communication ‘key’, your listeners will more likely want to listen to what you have to say.
All the best!
1. Tailor every presentation to suit your audience.
Is it a technical audience ? A marketing crowd ?
The type of audience should affect the language you use and the information communicated.
Every comunication should be tailored from the audience’s perspective. What’s in it for them? What does the audience want to hear…and not…What do you want to tell them?
Find out who is the decision-maker in the room and be aware the decision-maker could change throughout the communication. Deliver relevant points to that person/persons.
2. Ask direct or rhetorical questions throughout your presentation to draw in the audience and get their “buy in”.
3. Apply the “so what?” principle to everything you say.
What is your purpose?
What is your call to action? What do you want the audience to do with the information you’re giving them?
4. First impressions can last a lifetime!
Your communication starts as soon as you enter the room and greet the first person.
You are in control of the first impression you give!
5. Less is more!
Don’t pack in too much information. Include less and spend more time reinforcing the core essence of your message instead of diluting its impact.
Work out the:
Should Say elements of your presentation.
6. Be enthusiastic and passionate.
Use colourful language to inspire and motivate your audience, tell stories, give examples and blow them away with amazing statistics!
7. An audience will remember the first and last thing you say.
8. You must decide to be confident before you will be confident!
The audience will only see about 10-15% of your nervousness!
9. Make sure your opening and closing statements make an impact.
Make sure your visual aids support your communication.
Are they appropriate?
Is there too much information on each slide?
Can a picture tell a better story?
You are your best visual aid!!!
10. Keep smiling!