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5 Ways to Plan and Deliver a Killer Presentation

Updated on December 1, 2015

Know your why?

Lots of people in a whole variety of roles need sometimes to plan a presentation. In some professions it is part of the selection process, others people may do it to sell products, gather new people into their business or even pitch a business idea to sponsors. Others may be planning a webinar or periscope presentation.

Whatever the reason it is possible for everyone to plan a presentation that will deliver what is needed. With a little bit of forethought and by following these few simple steps you will be well on the way to planning and delivering a ‘killer’ presentation.

Know your Audience.

There is no shortcut to putting yourself in the shoes of your audience. The starting point is to think about what your audience wants. Do they want information, or do they need to get to know you. Are they wanting an opportunity to join a business, or even invest, perhaps you are selling them a product but before they buy form you they may need to know more about the product or course you are selling. Maybe they already have some information but want the answers to some key questions. The important point is to ask yourself what is it they want from you. This may take research, if the presentation is for a possible position you may need ot find out about the company, if people have elected to be there, possibly they have paid and bought a ticket to be there then you need to ask yourself why? What are they hoping to gain from hearing your presentation Have they responded to an advert in which case what questions do they want to have answered? I am sure we have all been along to events that did not deliver what we expected and I imagine we felt disappointment and frustration. So there really is no substitute for some research here so that when you start to plan your presentation you know that the audience will be expecting. That way you can make sure they will not leave disappointed.

Make Time to Plan

There really is no shortcut to planning, even experienced presenters need to plan. It is also a good idea to plan a good while ahead of the event. Then you will have time to practice your delivery or at the very least give yourself time to make a few changes once you have planned it. Make sure that when you plan you do actually cover what the audience will want to know. That’s why research is important so that you can get it right and give the audience what they want. Obviously when you are planning you need to take into consideration where you will be presenting, is it a large room and audience or an altogether more intimate affair. This step is essential before moving on to the following steps. You need to know your audience but you also need to know where you will be giving the presentation, the facilities that will be available and the time you have. Sadly we have probably also all been at presentations where the technology has caused difficulties so planning ahead of time means that you can make sure that presentations are emailed or that you know exactly what you want so you can communicate with the venue to ensure it is ready. If you are not used to giving presentations then it is quite normal to feel nervous but by planning in advance you will have time to practice and being really comfortable with what you are going to day can really reduce these nerves.

Give Value

If you know what your audience want, and you should, then make sure you give it to them Plan a presentation that is packed with valuable information and tailored specifically to their needs. Now is not the time to hold back, make sure you answer their questions and especially if they paid for the privilege make sure that you give value for money r value for time. NO body wants to either pay or give up their time which can be precious and if they don’t get the information they need, or have anticipated getting, they will leave feeling frustrated and disappointed. Even if you a pitching a business idea give them as much information as you can - trying to hold unattractive parts back is rarely effective. It is much better to give as much information as possible and let individuals decide if the opportunity is right for them. Sometimes you may have almost too much information to fit into the time allowed so make sure that you plan to leave them with handouts, or perhaps a website they can visit to get further information or have questions answered.

Capture your Audience Then Hold Their Interest.

At the start don’t forget to introduce yourself and tell them the purpose of the presentation. We have probably all been at presentations where we were either bored or disengaged or found that all the information we wanted was crammed into the last few minutes. If you have done your research then you know what people want so make sure you deliver. Capture their interest right at the start by telling them what you are going to give them, this will grab their attention because this will be why they are there. It’s also worth making sure that you set a few ground rules, like phones being on silent, but the particular rules you set will depend upon the actual presentation and where it is being delivered. In terms of keeping a presentation interesting make sure that you speak loudly enough and clearly. Think about your pace of delivery, too fast and you will lose people too slow and they will switch off. If you are using visual aids make sure that they do actually aid peoples concentration on the central messages you are delivering and don't distract them from this. If you give handouts make sure that your audience are not then reading these instead of listening to the nuggets you are giving. Re-cap important information and make sure throughout that your tone of voice is interesting and that you make eye contact with your audience. Remember too to use your body, gestures can be a great way of holding interest but they can also be distracting.

Give a Call to Action

Be sure to plan your 'close' carefully. If you are doing the presentation then chances are that there is something you want to gain from the presentation so make sure that you don't end up rushing at the end.

It often works best to be fairly explicit - that will depend a little on the reason why you are giving the presentation, but if you want people to buy a product, or your time or advice, or sign up to a course or become 'partner' of some kind in your business then make sure you actually ask them to do just that. It is unlikely that everyone will but if you don't even ask then you are definitely missing an golden opportunity. Some ways of asking are more effective than others and often it works best to assume that the opportunity is too good to miss so anticipate a rush, and that links us right back to researching your audience first.

It also worth thinking about giving an incentive, perhaps a reduced price for anyone who signs up at or immediately after the event, or perhaps a free gift for the first few who sign up.

The presentation isn't over from your point of view until you have had the chance if not to actually get what you want but at least to have the chance to call your audience to take some action.

Deliver Don't Worry

So whatever your reason for having to give a presentation you can get on now and devote your time and energies to planning, preparing and then delivering a presentation that really rocks. No need for worry just do it. If you do it well it should reap rewards for you and your business - good luck!


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