What are the 3 ways to make a good presentation great?

One of the questions we are asked a lot is how do you make a good presentation great?  If I was being terse I’d  say there is actually only one way to make a good presentation great …

… Engage your audience!

The importance of engaging your audience is the same whether you are presenting virtually or in person.

How do you engage your audience when giving a presentation virtually?   Well, it’s harder, that’s for sure. When you are presenting virtually you will be faced with a number of very different challenges:

Some may turn their video off

Some may be distracted by emails

It’s harder for you to read your audience’s body language

Children, animals and partners might be a distraction

Some may be suffering from a bit of ‘zoom fatigue’

Some may have poor audio or a poor broadband connection

And of course, your ability to establish an emotional connection will be diminished because you’re not there physically.

So, what will you need to do to make a good presentation great?

Here are the 3 things that will help:

Know your audience

Know your content

Know what you want to happen after your presentation

Knowing your audience’s needs, existing knowledge and preferred style of communication will make it easier to engage them.

For example, if you are pitching to accountants, use numbers to tell your story.  If you’re presenting to lawyers use previous cases to illustrate your points.   A pitch to architects should be highly visual but a presentation to engineers could utilise models and props to show them how things work.

The likelihood of our audience buying into your ideas or taking action after your presentation or webinar will hinge on how confident they are in you.  Perhaps even more than how much they buy into your idea. This means that you have to appear confident.  

Preparing thoroughly so you know your content inside out is the only way you will come over as genuinely confident.

Too many presentations just stop.  However, if you want something to happen after your presentation you need to tell your audience exactly what you want them to do something immediately after you stop.

Here are 3 things you could encourage people to do after your talk to keep the conversation moving:

1. Say “I have a [fact sheet/ additional material/template/report] I can send you that supplements what we’ve covered today. If you’d like this, please email me later.’”

2. Say “I am going to be staying on at the conference and will be in [wherever you plan to be!] for the rest of the event.  Please come and see me if you have any questions.”

3. Say “On [date and time here] I will be running a free video surgery. If you would like to book a slot, please email me and we can find a convenient time to meet.”

Presentation skills training is one of Tenandahalf’s specialisms.  If you would like to find out more, please email Bernard.

Published by sizetenandahalfboots

Douglas is a director of Size 10½ Boots, a specialist business development agency that works solely with the professional services, helping firms grow by winning more new clients and more work from the clients they already have. Although every project is different our work generally falls into one of three camps - strategic marketing support, BD training and 1on1 coaching and independent client research.

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