Friday, May 12, 2006

What is Effective in a Presentation?

Last week I had the opportunity to spend a day watching a number of top leadership speakers present to an audience of 80,000 people on a simulcast training event. These were top name speakers whose books have sold millions of copies, so they are experienced on the platform. Because it was being broadcast by satellite, there were very few slides shown (the one that was shown was very hard to see because they did not use colors that had enough contrast). But I observed two things from the crowd's reaction that I thought you should keep in mind for your next presentation. The first note was that the audience said they got the most from the presentations that had the clearest structure. When the presenter laid out the agenda as 5 key points they wanted to make, then proceeded to detail each of the points, people took notes and were able to take those ideas back to their job to implement. The few who rambled without a clear structure lost most of the audience. The second thing I observed was that people in the audience connected best with the personal stories that were shared. Stories touch emotions and people felt a real connection to the speaker and the point when a personal story was used. I have said for years that both structure and stories are very important for effective presentations, whether you use PowerPoint or not. And this was a great opportunity to see these two points emphasized once again.


Post a Comment

<< Home