Secrets to Great Presentations

Leaders who present well, extend their influence, broaden their impact, and advance their careers.

Great talkers have an advantage.

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Two questions:

Ask the most important question presenters forget to ask. How do you want your audience to feel about themselves? If they feel good about themselves, they will feel good about you. You’re so consumed with style and content that you forget about the most important people in the room, the audience.

Ask the second most important question presenters forget to ask. What do you want them talking about when they leave the room? Talk about what you want them talking about.

Get busy quickly:

Begin like you know where you’re going. A slow, wandering beginning drives an audience to boredom. Uncertainty in a speaker makes an audience uncertain.

Eliminate traditional opening remarks. Ask yourself, does the audience really care? Include only the essentials when you begin. Make them feel like you’re on a mission.

Create momentum by telling your audience where you’re going and quickly getting there. Don’t allow your audience to wonder how long you will talk, for example.

It’s in the eyes:

Use the three count rule for eye contact. Look at someone on the left and count to three. Look to the middle and count to three, and so on. Don’t scan the audience. Scanners disconnect. Tip: Don’t keep looking at the power people in the audience.

Be visual. There are 72 slides in my 40 minute presentations, only seven or eight have words.

Use the remote control or the “B” button on your keyboard to turn the screen black. Every eye turns to you when the screen goes dark. Drive home your most important points while they’re focused on you.

What irritates you about presenters and presentations?

How can leaders be great presenters?