Delivering a presentation to a group or business organization is a great way to build your brand and enhance your reputation as a thought leader.
To make the most of these opportunities here are five things to consider so you can avoid “Death by Powerpoint”.
1. Establish a goal.
Determine what type of result you would like to generate from the presentation. Is your goal to simply build brand awareness? Is it to connect with new potential customers? Perhaps you are just passionate about the subject matter and wish to inform as many people as possible about your point of view. You can adjust your talk accordingly depending upon the outcome you desire.
2. Research the audience.
Is your audience going to be CEOs or Presidents of organizations or down-the-line staff? Will the audience skew older or younger or somewhere in between? A more experienced and educated audience will demand something new and different in the information you present, something they have not heard before. A younger audience may be more interested in the “grass roots” of your information and how it impacts their job and their career.
3. Determine which tools you will need to tell your story.
Depending on the length of your talk you should adjust your tools in line with the audience. Perhaps you can deliver a solid presentation with a few Powerpoint slides, but don’t overdo it. A marker and easel can be used separately for emphasis depending upon the size of the group. Video and audio can also be used especially when connecting with a younger audience.
4. Engage the audience.
Entertain the group by involving them in the conversation. Ask questions, encourage feedback, role play with a volunteer or simply walk through the audience as you speak. Your presentation should be entertaining as well as informative.
5. Practice, practice, practice.
Unless you are an extremely skilled speaker you will need to practice your presentation. This should be done well in advance of your talk and again the night before you are scheduled to speak. Work on speech patterns and voice inflection. Perform a dry run through with a colleague or family member. Show-up early for your talk and make sure all equipment is working properly.
As someone once said, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression.