Breaking the Habit: Rethinking How You Present

[Estimated Read Time: 2 minutes, 22 seconds]

As marketers, we sit through lots of presentations. And we create a lot of presentations. It becomes habitual to open PowerPoint and start placing the information we want to share with the audience.

How many times can you recall when a presentation really…stuck with you? Instead, I can recall all the presentations that looked the same, shared similar info and left me wanting more.

I cringe at this thought. Don’t you?

Let’s rethink how we present. Let’s rethink how we connect with our audiences. In this information-overload world we live in, great content can easily get lost in the delivery.

Revamp the PowerPoint.

This isn’t meant to deter you from using PowerPoint completely. It serves a purpose, but it’s up to you to decide how to shape that purpose. Your on-screen presentation should not be a distraction from you – it should play the ‘supporting actor’ role.

  • Keep the content and design on the slides simple. And just when you think it is simple enough, do another pass through and edit it again.
  • Leverage key points and emphasize them through the slides. Meaning, if you’re focusing on one key number, make that your slide. Emphasize through brand colors and engaging design that fills the slide. If you’re sharing an awesome quote that’s going to make the audience’s brains explode, follow the same thought process.
  • Focus on visuals that will resonate and enhance your words, not take attention away from them.
  • Find another tool that isn’t PowerPoint. Again, not meant to deter you from using it if it’s what is most comfortable for you! However, tools such as Adobe Creative Suite offer user friendly and presentation worthy options that may be worth exploring.

Invest in training for your team. And yourself. 

Remember when we talked about you being the star of the presentation? Don’t wait until you are asked to speak to think about what you’ll be saying and how you’re going to deliver it. There are experts who will come to your place of work, assess your presentation skills and share improvements that will ultimately make you both a better presenter in speaking engagements and in everyday scenarios.

Understand what you want the audience to gain from the presentation.

Your goal should be to leave the audience with one or two takeaways that can be applied to their needs and reason for attending the event. The presentation should not be a deep dive of the company’s work or word-for-word from an annual report, as an example. If the audience truly wants to learn more, they will ask. And if that’s the goal, your presentation should support that versus giving all the information up front. Additionally, this will help keep the audience engaged and focused.

Breaking the habit may be hard but the next time you are creating a presentation, keep these thoughts in mind. The audience will thank you!

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