Of the countless presentations you’ve seen a few stood out. Right? What did those presenters know about distinguishing themselves from the rest? At Financial Roadshow, we’ve specialized in strategic presentation development for two decades. Over that time, we’ve worked with many top presenters at industry-leading companies. Here we outline practices of successful presenters that will help you take your presentation from good to great, to enable you to stand out.
Define your communication objective
A great presentation is one that delivers for both you and your audience. To deliver, you must know where you’re going and why. What is your communication objective and how will you measure success? Ask what you want from this specific presentation and this specific audience.
Know your audience
Your ability to deliver for, and connect with, an audience requires an understanding of the audience. You should know their objective (investment style), level of subject knowledge (sector and company) and their preconceptions. What do they know about you and your company / subject, if anything? What content will be most valuable to them? How do they prefer to uptake information (by listening or asking questions)?
While some corroboration of your audience’s existing knowledge can increase your credibility, as soon as you tread into information they already know, or is irrelevant to them, you risk losing them and, worse, their having better or different information (e.g. market insight) than you.
Once you have defined your and your audience’s objectives, your presentation content selection and tone can be tailored to deliver.
One of the most important rules for effective presentations is to lead with your most compelling content. From the very first slide, the title which appears before you utter your first word, your audience will have begun determining where you fall on their scale of someone worth their attention or just another in the herd. And, by the 2nd content slide in, their impression will largely be set based on what you’ve said, how you’ve said it, and the layout of your slides. Either you will have them or you won’t.
Both substance and form play a role in making a professional impression. Substance requires you have information meriting attention and command of your content. That command is reflected in your ability to get to the point.
Form entails confident delivery combined with a layout that speaks to precision and a commitment to quality. Many presenters overlook form. Yet, just as you subconsciously form impressions about people from how they appear, your audience will form an impression based on the format of your slides, the quality of the graphics and photography, and the precision and consistency of the layout; an impression about you — and your company’s — commitment to professionalism and quality.
To gain credibility and stand out with sophisticated audiences, you must define what you and your audience want from the presentation, put your best foot forward, and demonstrate professionalism in both substance and form.
If you want to up your presentation game, get in touch.