Here at Eyeful, we’re more than a little obsessed with finding ways to empower presenters and help ensure they deliver value to their audiences (and themselves) at every opportunity. However, having a passion for presentations is one thing – making it easy for presenters to put their best foot forward is another. Too often, the best intentions get forgotten as presentation designers get sidetracked by the allure of presentations slide design and PowerPoint animations (we get it – that’s the fun stuff!).
So, to ensure every presentation starts on a solid foundation, we’ve created a super-simple four-step process for you to follow before you even begin thinking about PowerPoint/Prezi/Keynote (insert your weapon of choice here).
Step 1 – Gain a Better Understanding of Your Audience AKA The Audience Heatmap
The most crucial aspect of any presentation is your audience. This goes beyond simply asking a few intuitive questions and assessing your audience’s resolve. No! You need to go deeper than merely assuming your audience are like their job titles (you know the type of thing – all financial people are factual number hungry beasts, marketing teams are driven by emotional ideas, and CEOs are always visionaries).
Step away from the cliches and gain a more intimate understanding of your audience. Why are they giving you their time? What do they know already? What preconceptions do they have about you or your business? Each question helps you figure out where they sit on the Audience Heatmap scale, giving you the best chance to create a presentation that delivers the information they want in a tone of voice that will truly resonate.
Step 2 – What’s The Intended Outcome?
Much like when planning a journey, your presentation should have a destination. A pet peeve of ours (and audiences) is the ‘Any Questions?’ slide at the end of a presentation – you can do better than that! Drive action and make the presentation experience valuable for everyone by using the ‘Must, Intend, Like’ process:
- What Must you achieve from this presentation? (This should be your minimum targets and what you cannot fail at – for example, demonstrate understanding of your audiences’ challenges)
- What do you intend to achieve? (This needs to be realistic but ambitious enough that you can reach it – for example, demonstrate a range of viable solutions to address the audiences’ challenges and offer the next step)
- What would you like to achieve? (Think wildest dreams – for example, the audience is so convinced that they want to push ahead with a trial project immediately)
This process is a powerful tool that gives real focus to your presentation and keeps you on track in terms of outcomes. After all, what’s the point of presenting if you and your audience don’t get a result from it?
Step 3 – Keep Your Messages Super Simple
Your presentation message is that magic element within a presentation that connects your audience to your ideas. Make them too complicated, and you run the risk of alienating your audience and losing any chance of meeting your objectives.
When Steve Jobs launched the now-iconic iPhone in 2007, he kept it super simple “Apple is going to reinvent the phone”. That particular sales presentation production has gone stratospheric and is now widely considered one of the most influential in modern-day presentation culture. Why? Because it was simple, memorable and aligned with his Must-Intend-Like objectives. When it comes to crafting your message, be more like Steve.
Dig Deeper: https://eyefulpresentations.com/how-we-do-it/
Step 4 – Pick & Choose Content Carefully
Your powerful message is worthless if it isn’t supported with compelling and relevant content. So pick and choose your content very carefully – if it’s noise that gets in the way of your message, lose it. Too many great presentations go bad at the content stage because the presenter loses their nerve and starts throwing the kitchen sink at the audience ‘just in case’. The net result is that all-too-common malady, ‘Death by PowerPoint’, where your audience drowns in a sea of irrelevant and unfocused content.
OK – Now You Have A Foundation…
These four steps will help bring you closer to your audience and help them to engage with you, your message and your call to action. BUT this is just the start. Now you can bring your presentation to life through storytelling, powerful visual communication and a Connect-Communicate-Sustain strategy.
Take time to have learn more about these stages by digger deeper into the Eyeful website or get in touch – we’re here to help.