Presenting with impact is a skill we can all learn and a
skill that pays off many times over because it enables us to
have influence through our presentations be they formal or
informal. Here are ten tips that when you embrace them
will enable you to Present with more IMPACT.
Have a Great Title. Headline what you are
going to say. Make the title thought provoking, intriguing,
and exciting; so before you start speaking your audience is
eagerly anticipating what you are going to say. Focus
your presentation around the title theme.
Manage your State. Before you present
makes sure you are in your ‘presentation zone’. Remember
the times when you presented brilliantly, the times you
controlled your audience, the times you influenced decisions,
the times the participants learned effortlessly etc. and
recall those feelings before you start to present.
Own the message. Always totally own the
message of the presentation, make it yours and make it in
your own words. You have to be totally comfortable with
the content you are presenting to present it with
impact. Make sure you practice, practice, practice.
Build Rapport. From the moment you
first meet your audience build up rapport with them by making
eye contact, mirroring body language and if possible
discussing their ideas for the presentation before you start
formally. Ensure your presentation answers the question
“what is in it for me” for each person in the audience.
Engage all the Senses. Some people
prefer presentations to be primarily visual, some primarily
auditory and others primarily through feeling so appeal to
all sections of your audience through your use of language,
and by structuring the presentation to include visual aids,
question and answer sessions and by involvement.
Engage all learning styles. Each of
your audience will have a preferred learning style so
structure your presentation to cater for each by answering
the questions; ‘Why would I want to know this?’ (for the
Reflector ), ‘What is this all about?’ (Activist ), ‘How will
it work for me?’ (Pragmatist) and ‘What if I do use it?’
Big Picture and Detail. Paint the big
picture for those in your audience who need the big picture –
tell them what you are going to tell them. (Leave an agenda
in view to refer to through the presentation so your audience
can see how the presentation is fitting together.) Go
through the detail for those that need detail – tell them,
and round off with a great conclusion for everyone – tell
them what you told them. (Thinking about the four dimensions
of personality used by the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
may help to balance your presentation.)
Use Influential Language patterns.
Studies have shown that great presenters use a variety
of influential patterns such as – putting tags at the end of
sentences eg “this works doesn’t it?”, mind reading eg “I’m
sure as you are listening to this you are as intrigued as I
am in influential language”, and there are many more patterns
that you can learn.
Story telling. We learn best through
stories so weave stories into your presentation.
Ask for the order. Always leave your
audience clear as to what they should do with the information
you have given them and the next steps following the
Colin Graves is a director of Iridium HRD Consulting
Limited. For more information on Presenting with Impact
contact Colin at http://www.iridiumconsulting.co.uk.