• How To Give a Presentation in Nine Words

    All communications professionals are called on to give presentations from time to time, and for many, the prospect can be daunting. But it doesn’t have to be hard. The secret to a great presentation can be summed up in nine simple words.

    “Have a conversation”
    Start by thinking of your presentation as a conversation. It’s not a lecture, and it’s certainly not a stump speech. To get into this frame of mind, imagine the topic of your presentation is something important that you want to explain to a friend.

    One successful technique is to sit down with a friend and explain the topic to them. If that’s not practical, pretend you’re talking to a friend and record yourself. Ask the question, “If I was going to talk to someone about (fill-in-the-blank) topic, what do I think you would want to know?”

    The point of this exercise is to identify the main ideas: the big “take-away” of your presentation. Keep in mind that, however compelling your delivery, the amount of information your audience can absorb is limited. If you can get them to remember one main point, you’ve done a great job. Write out your big idea on a single sheet, and use that as your focal point as you begin to develop your outline.

    To write your outline, step away from the computer, silence your phone, and grab pen and paper. We find that ideas flow better without constant interruptions from emails and text messages – or the temptation to update Facebook!

    Once you have the big idea and your outline, add in detail and supporting points. At this stage, it’s about the ideas: avoid the temptation to start thinking about graphics and layout just yet. A presentation isn’t about great-looking slides – it’s about great-sounding IDEAS that win people over. Refine your point, work out what’s important, and make it matter to the other person.

    Rory Carlton is Principal, Creative Director at Arketi Group.  To view all company blogs go to Arketi Group blog site.

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