It’s a good day for me when I have the opportunity to present to current or prospective clients, and I do that often. In a recent blog, I shared the importance of having a corporate presentation and why I believe this is one of our best sales tools. Effective communication only starts with the slides. It’s the delivery of the story that makes the presentation interesting and engaging.
We’ve all watched boring presentations and can easily recognize what not to do. I don’t want to get bored at my own presentation so I work hard to make sure my audience doesn’t either. Here are some techniques that get results for me:
- Keep it casual.
Professionalism is important, but it can become too rigid. I am intentional about not being over-professional in my delivery or in how I dress – no matter the audience. I hardly ever wear a suit or a tie. It’s an intentional move to create a more comfortable atmosphere.
- Be on the move.
I always stand when I present, but you’ll rarely – if ever – see me behind a podium. I prefer to walk around the room or stage because effective movement helps keep people’s attention. It allows me to become more engaged with the audience and, hopefully, they too feel more of a connection.
- Don’t be afraid to be personal.
I start every presentation with some personal facts about the “Stuff I Like.” I have one slide of photos that includes things from being a grandpa and enjoying cabin life to my love of classic cars and martinis. It resonates well with the audience and there always seems to be a connection.
- Identify your thought starters.
No one likes presenters who pack too much content into their slides or read off of them. On each of my slides, I put a few key words that will prompt me to share a short story or initiate a specific talk track I know well. These thought starters help me keep my presentation engaging while ensuring I stay on track and deliver a consistent message.
- Make intentional eye contact.
Eye contact matters when we are communicating with people – whether it be
one-on-one or in a large group. I intentionally make eye contact with individuals in the audience and even talk directly to them. It helps me read my audience and look for the non-verbal indicators such as a head nod or smile.
- Keep the pace.
Pace is an important factor in an effective presentation. I keep a fairly fast pace naturally because of my enthusiasm for the subject matter. Delivering a polished presentation with energy sends a strong message in support of your content.
So what does this look like in action? Watch this video of me delivering our corporate presentation.
I consider giving presentations to be one of the best parts of my job. This an important way for me to share our competitive advantage to prospective clients and employees. If I do my job right, people will want to do business with us or come work for us.