As you effortlessly click from one screen to the next in your presentation, it is smooth as silk to you and makes all the sense in the world. In actuality, you may have made this presentation multiple times to various audiences in the past, so your script is in the back of you mind at the ready. Whether it is your first or fifteenth time delivering the presentation, keep in mind, each audience is hearing it for the first time, and in either instance - the first iteration or the fifteenth - it becomes easy to throw in everything plus a couple of kitchen sinks.
Take note that if you design and deliver a presentation and attempt to show and share everything you know, it becomes too much for the audience. Too much information can result in audience members getting confused or frustrated, asking questions you may not be able to answer or questions that require very involved responses that are further confusing, or audience members completely tuning out and/or engaging in other activities. In both the face-to-face and virtual presentation environments, you must provide manageable chunks of information and be careful of information overload, and here's how you do it.
Commit to solve only three problems.
Ask yourself "What are three big problems the audience might have for which it is seeking solutions?" Then identify from your material that which will solve those problems and present only that information. It’s like reaching into your bag of tricks … everything you know … and pulling out the best, the brightest, the most helpful pieces and sharing only those.
In your opening statement to your audience, use those three problems, needs, interests to share with the audience what it will know or be able to do by the conclusion of the session. I encourage you to use this actual phrase: "By the time we're done, you will know … or be able to do …." When you provide this statement, it accomplishes a number of things.
Clarifying the session's takeaways helps you remain focused and makes you feel empowered because you know the exact job you are there to perform, and it gives the audience a clear roadmap for what it can expect to receive in the session. In short, it gives the audience a feeling of satisfaction right away. And who doesn’t want a happy audience at the start of a session?!
Be seen. Be heard. Be great!
Did you ever wish you could get personal and helpful guidance on improving your presentation skills? Get on the phone with Bridgett for a complimentary 30-minute call to learn how to start making your presentations amazing once and for all! Schedule your call here. It will be the best 30 minutes you have ever spent working on your presentation skills. I guarantee it!
Photograph credit: Fede