by George Torok
Before you deliver your next presentation you must ask yourself one critical question. If you ask yourself this question before every presentation you will create a more effective presentation every time – and you will write it faster.
You will be better able to adapt the length of your presentation to last minute changes. You will look and feel more confident and convincing. You will be better prepared to handle questions and interruptions from your audience. You will be better equipped to avoid wasteful tangents. You will stay focused. You will close more deals.
The question that you should ask yourself before every presentation is this:
What do you want your audience to do, think or feel when you are finished speaking? If you don’t ask this question you are probably wasting time – your’s and their’s and ending up feeling frustrated after your presentation.
Ask yourself this question and you will know why you are speaking. When you don’t know why you are speaking, you are wasting time and embarrassing yourself.
When you are clear on the desired outcome of your presentation you will have a simple test for every slide, phrase and prop that you plan to use. If it doesn’t contribute to your purpose, leave it out.
There are three parts to this question. To deliver an effective presentation you only need to address any one part. Let’s examine each part.
What to you want your audience to do after your presentation?
Do you want your listeners to buy your product, proposal or idea? If you want them to give you money then make sure that your presentation convinces them of the reason to do that. Ensure that they know what you want them to do. Don’t hope that they will figure it out on their own. Make the case and tell them what to do. Sign here. Vote for me. Work for the cause.
What do you want your audience to think after your presentation?
Do you want them to think about solving a problem? Then give them the relevant facts and context. Are you attempting to get them to agree with you? Then you need to build a bridge from where they are to where you want them to be. You need to answer their unasked objections and concerns.
What do you want them to feel after your presentation?
Feelings are based on emotions. Decide how you want your audience to feel and how you will touch their emotions to capture their emotional triggers. Feelings are not based on facts. One family member dying from a particular disease is far more emotional than hundreds or even thousands dying on the other side of the world. Feelings are more likely to lead to action than thinking.
Successful presentations start by asking, “What do you want your audience to do, think or feel after your presentation?”