The Arts & Science of Presenting
A lot of times speakers are not able to win the audience in spite of the fact that they might be subject matter expertise or may even have good language skills. Audience after an initial curiosity of 5-10 min of hearing the presentation might dose off pretty fast with eyes wide open. The art of Corporate Business Presentation is important to make a presentation empowering, absorbing & lasting, the talk needs to have an in-built system of putting the Arts & Science together. Science gives structure, relevancy, need orientation, application, benefits & the infrastructure used, whereas the arts are in the delivery, non-verbal expression, tonality, humor. The key is to strike a balance between the two based on the audience type because any imbalance will impact the presentation irrespective of the content.
If the presentation has too much science loaded, people will be mentally put off very fast or on the other hand, if it’s too arts loaded the presentation will be valued deficient and the impressions will not last long. Yes, exceptions exist based on the context & content.
Based on my experience I have listed 10 Actions to Avoid while Presentation
1. Need Analysis is Compromised or Miscommunicated
However good a speaker you are, you will always falter if the content does not help the audience solve a problem, add value to their existing lives or help them enrich their lives. If you are speaking for someone(a third party involvement) then whom so ever is communicating the audience need is also a key nodal point as it could be easily misunderstood, misrepresented, or miscommunicated. Seeking clarity at various touchpoints and sample test helps to correct it.
2. Lack of Rapport with the Participants
There is an old saying that if your customer resists you the first thing you need to check is rapport. It’s very detrimental that before you get into the content of the presentation, spending time connecting, built rapport with the audience. The audience first buys you then your content. There are a dozen golden time tested strategies to do that based on the audience type.
3. Relevancy and Application is missing
A lot of times it is seen that the presenter gets digressed from the subject and is off tracked for a long time from the subject. Hence diligence needs to be given when it comes to the flow of the presentation. Being subject relevant to examples makes a lot of sense. It is always a good idea to take relevancy and connect it with an application in real-time scenarios.
4. Speaker is all Boastful or is Over Selling
It’s being said the presentation is all about the audience and not about the speaker. But some understand this less and are all over in terms of their own personality and achievements. They keep on bragging about themselves and we all know today’s audience is an intelligent one and can see through many things.
5. Too much Data without Humour or Storytelling
Relevant data depiction, for sure yes!! But if it’s too much, when really it’s too much for the audience. It could be an overwhelming experience that might put off the mind. Add humor, storytelling, and metaphors to every Corporate Business Presentation so that our different parts of brain functions are engaged to make the presentation a holistic experience.
6. A Presenter should Confidently Accept Flaws
It’s very important to remember that we all are fallible beings. As a presenter, it doesn’t help to carry an attitude of know it all. It is a good idea some time to share mistakes done and lessons learned.
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7. Respect is Compromised
Always showing respect to the audience to be the over-arching mental frame while presenting. Even if someone has an opposite view to your viewpoint demonstrating respect in language expressions & thoughts is a golden virtue. Whenever a humor is cracked don’t put down people as it hurts.
8. When Usage of Visuals or Engagement is Lacking
Neuro sciences suggest that more than 50 % of humans use visual inputting sensory channels, hence films make a lasting impact. So as a presenter using various visual aids helps-ppts, flow charts, marker pen-board & relevant videos will definitely enhance the experience of listening & attention.
9. Technical or Environmental support is hampered
Before the presentation, a pre-check on the audio and video quality, room size, sitting arrangements, lighting arrangements, conducive temperature parameters if not managed well can cause unnecessary niggles which might hamper the attention span of the audience.
10. There is no Defined Structure to the Content
Giving the presentation a definite structure always helps to mentally map the presentation well so that recall value is accelerated big time. Presenting with a 5 to 6 Pointer hacks can be an easier technique to sequence. Just like this above write up is done in a 10 point note.
Framework Never Fades
One of the frameworks of Corporate Business Presentation that I personally use routinely is-
- Tell them what you are going to tell them.
- Tell them
- Tell them what you told them
It’s a structure defining strategy and also a repeating strategy to build recall value. Finally, I want to summarize that if you don’t want the next presentation that you are making to your client, your internal or external stakeholder, to go down the drain sandwich your presentation with both the science & arts. Post the presentation the audience will be testing it by 4 M’s
- Was is motivating?
- Was it meaningful?
- Was it measurable?
- Was it memorable?