The goal of a presentation is to motivate the listener to do something different. You want them to change a belief, buy your product, behave differently, or support a cause.
The challenge is how to move the listener from where they are now to where we want them to be? Instead of delivering information, a good presenter interprets the meaning of the topic to the listener.
The following six principles can help you achieve this goal.
Provoke your audience
The purpose of your talk is to educate your audience with the intent of changing behavior, not just to give them information. Don’t assume that if you tell them the features, they will see the benefit. Tell them the benefits and skim over the features.
Reveal new meaning
The speaker should help listener gain new meaning. You want to give them the “ah ha” moment. This step is needed to motivate the audience. You are building on what they already know and showing the “value added”.
Relate the information to your audience
The audience must be mentally engaged in the presentation to move from where they are to where you want them to be. Show how your topic relates to their life or work. This will tell them why they want listen to you.
Speaking is an art form
A good speaker utilizes techniques of making good presentations. but adorns this with his own style. Use your own personality, interests, and passions to let your talk reflect you.
Address your specific audience
Each presentation should be crafted to fit the particular needs and desires of your audience. There is a vast difference in how Gen X’ers communicate and how Baby Boomers take in information. The expectations of technology, length of talk, even the pacing, are quite different from audience to audience.
Present the whole
Your topic is a piece of the life of your audience. Demonstrate how it fits in with other aspects of their life. Help them to see the “big picture” while emphasizing this as a part of that. When possible, show how they will benefit today as well as in the future.
A good presenter is an interpreter – taking information and putting into a form that is of interest to the listener. A good presentation creates a bridge between the topic and the audience.
Incorporate these six principles into every presentation to help your audience understand why your words are of value to them.
With appreciation for the wisdom of Freeman Tilden in his book Interpreting Our Heritage. (available from Acorn Naturalist for $15.95)
© 2010 All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links from your blog or webpage are encouraged.