Good presentation skills are fundamental to professional success, but they do not come easily. Let’s face it; just about anyone can share information or knowledge with others but the challenge is presenting it in a way that will influence, engage, persuade, and inspire your audience. Audiences do not expect a perfect presentation, but rather they want a presenter they can connect with and relate to. The next time you are asked to give a presentation, remember that audiences want three things from you: insight, energy, and engagement.
No one wants to sit through a presentation about things they already know. Audiences want to learn something new and it’s up to you to give them what they want. That makes up the “what” of your presentation. What content are you discussing and what do you want audiences to take away from your presentation? Great content is crucial to delivering a dynamic presentation so it is important to fill your presentation with interesting, relevant, and original content.
You might have the most amazing content in your presentation but if you don’t bring the energy to go along with it your presentation will suffer. It’s difficult to capture the attention of your audience and even more challenging to keep it, so it’s up to you to bring authentic energy to the presentation. Think about presentations that you have attended where the speaker talks from a podium, reads from slides, and talks at the audience. Chances are, you were quickly distracted by emails or texts or you might have even taken a snooze. Now, contrast that with a speaker who is passionate, dynamic, and full of energy. If you give your audience the energy they want, they will respond with their full attention. This means getting personal with your audience, connecting with them, and conveying information in a way that will peak their interest.
It can be difficult for audiences to sit and listen for an extended period of time. They want to feel like part of your presentation. They want to feel like you understand their needs and are speaking directly to them. There are a number of ways speakers can do this. They can do a Q&A session, demonstrations that include audience members, tell personal stories that the audience can relate to, or use images to draw on audience emotions. All of these create engagement and are the tools necessary to turn your presentation into a conversation.
Your audience is looking for more than just a presentation. They are looking for an experience. If you can infuse insight, energy, and engagement into your presentation your audience will find it to be impactful, meaningful, and memorable.