As you can make out from the title of this post, this is just one possible formula to creating a successful presentation. There are literally tons of other formulas, and to be honest not all formulas work for one presenter. Situations change, the audiences may be different, or perhaps the concept of your presentation may require another approach. Having said that, let me share one of my successful presentation formulas with you:
- Start with a simple idea — Your idea should be so simple that the audience should either wonder if this idea will ever work, or be amazed that this is such an amazing, yet simple concept — and why they never thought about it before! Either way, you haven’t promised them the sky, the moon, and the stars and have managed to hold their attenton. That is good!
- Be sincere and relate to the audience — don’t approach the audience as if they were a herd of goats. Establish eye contact with each person, and certainly ask each of them to introduce themselves if you are addressing a small group, and do have that sort of time. Tell something about yourself, and don’t boast too much — be humble and show willingness to understand the audience’s problems. Also tell them that you will do your best to help them — don’t promise anything at this point of time!
- Explore problems with solutions — as I explained earlier, make no big promises and then explore some huge or small problems that this audience has — as long as you have solutions for them. Don’t give them solution at this point of time — that happens after a while. Some suspense is always good.
- Give a little more about yourself — this is important so that the audience can associate you with credibility. Again, associate your credibility with the desire to help people rather than placing yourself on an ivory tower!
- Involve the audience further — now that they trust you more, it’s time for them to speak about their problems. Be a good listener!
- Surprise them with a quick and easy solution — this is a very important part of this presentation formula — and if you don’t have a solution, it’s best not to use this formula at all!
- Talk about success stories — especially ones that use the solution you just explained. You need to be convincing, yet not appear to be desperate. The audience’s benefit is paramount at this point of time.
- Provide a call to action — this needs to be spelled out well, even if you think the audience already knows it! There may be some questions from the audience — that’s good, and go for it!
- End with some contact info — how the audience can get in touch with you. If you charge for more involvement, make that clear at this point of time. Alternatively recommend some books and web resources, including any of your own. This assure that your session is a new beginning, not an end!