After the ball dropped in Times Square, did you craft a list of New Year’s resolutions, or did you skip the practice given how rarely they stick?
Whether you welcomed 2018 with, or sans, resolutions, we all have something in common. As soon as the winter holidays pass, our calendars fill up with meetings and conferences. While you may have several talks to prepare for – audiences feel like they have a lot of presentations to sit through. It is easy for you and your ideas to get lost.
Resolve to stand out as a presenter by helping your audience. Make it easy for them to engage with you, and your content.
- Have a single core message, and communicate it up front so your audience knows where you are headed, and can easily follow along. Leonardo da Vinci owned this when he shared, “Learning never exhausts the mind”.
- Create an engaging opening – Use a statistic, story, or ask a compelling question to get your audience excited about your topic. Jane McGonigal hooked her TED audience with this opening: “You will live 7.5 minutes longer than you would have otherwise, just because you watched this talk.”
- Think through, and practice, transition statements – Use transitions between slides, main points, and between presenters so your presentation is easy to follow.
- Ask versus tell – Think about open-ended questions you can ask the audience throughout your presentation. “How will you use this in your next meeting?” , “How do you see your customers benefitting from this?”
- Make your content vivid and concrete – “The miners were trapped 240 feet underground,” or “The miners were trappend underneath 24 floors of dirt.” Which will you remember?
While you many not abandon sugar, run a marathon, or pay off the mortgage in 2018, you can make it easy for audiences to engage with you. Resolve to start with these simple tips. Your audience will notice you – and thank you!