Presentation coaching – How to stop boring your audience by presenting with purpose and passion.
Unless you can start your presentation with power, purpose and passion why are you presenting in the first place?
How you start your presentation is more important than anything else. If you mess up the beginning of the presentation up, the audience will not hear the rest of the presentation. They will just switch off. Some audiences – like potential clients – may even put up their hands like Simon Cowell and stop your presentation before it bores them any further! And who would blame them?
To be fair to those who would do that to you, if you start with a boring opening, the chances are (very) high that the rest of the presentation will be boring too. And life is too short – if your opening statement is boring, why should the audience waste time listening to the rest of your presentation?
So quit the jokes, quit the “it’s wonderful to be here” platitudes and PRESENT!
Presentation tips checklist. Things to do before you open your mouth.
- Have you identified the purpose of your presentation. Do you want to persuade or inform? What is the action or state that you want to trigger or create?
- Can you summarise your presentation in a word, a headline, or a sentence? Your goal must be that your audience can summarise and sell on your presentation in a sentence or two – are you helping them to do that?
- Have you researched your audience and used that knowledge? You should be speaking about them – not you!
- Do you have any passion for what you are presenting? If not, get off the stage and go to the beach.
- Remember you need to get the audience’s attention first. You get that attention by pausing rather than by speaking. Wait until you have eye contact and the attention of the audience before you start to speak.
- If your opening statement is your headline, does it make your audience want to hear more? Does it arouse their curiosity? If not, why not?
- Introduce yourself AFTER your presentation headline – not before. Your presentation is supposed to be talking about the audience, not about you.
- Your presentation’s headline or opening statement should summarise your purpose. But it should also be memorable? Alliteration helps make things memorable. Do you remember the 7 P’s – “Proper prior preparation prevents p*** poor performance”? Or even “Proper prior preparation plus pauses and passion prevent powerless purposeless presentations.” (OK – sorry about that – but you get my point?)
- Have you started with a question? Have you used a surprising factoid or statistic? Have you used an analogy or a case study?