“All poems should begin in delight but end in wisdom”
If you have an important presentation coming up, or a pitch for business, the above quotation is critical to your success.
Your talk must begin with delight – the audience must be engaged and entertained on commencement of your talk, but more importantly, they must see the wisdom of what you are proposing and how your suggestion will benefit them.
Analogy (one of the most powerful tools in a presenters armoury)
I often use the analogy of ‘planning a car journey with children to planning a talk to a business audience’.
In both cases you need to take your audience on an enjoyable and exciting journey that offers the prospect of an outcome which will be to their benefit.
Let me explain …
|Car Journey||Presentation Journey|
|1||Decide who’s going to travel in the car with you, e.g. your children and perhaps some of their friends||The speaker must also decide who them would like to come along on this journey with him them, e.g. key decision-makers, etc.|
|2||There is some preparation required. Fill the tank, check the tyres, stock up on goodies for the journey||Room layout, backup presentation on memory stick & computer. Clicker, spare batteries, timer, hard copy of presentation etc.|
|3||You are all set and pulling out of the driveway and telling the children about the great fun that will have at journey’s end.||This is also what great speakers do, paint work pictures of how the audience will benefit from the journey they are about to embark on with you.|
|4||Shortly you will hear the immortal words ‘are we there yet’.This is where you have to start the first story or game – I spy something beginning with …||It’s always best early in the talk to outline the problem you solve for members of your audience. This is often best done by ‘telling a story’ that fleshes out the issues that most concern your audience.|
|5||You have staved off the first round of ‘are we there yet’; you need to keep chocolates, toys, story books and a stop at McDonalds in reserve if you plan to make it to your destination intact.||The opening was a success; you have your audience’s attention. What are you going to do next to hold their attention? I suggest using Analogies, Demonstrations, Examples, Facts, Statistics or Testimonials.Warning: Data overload is the greatest failing of speakers, so use the above sparingly.|
|6||You are now only 20 minutes from final destination and all supplies and entertainment skills have been exhausted and war in the car is fast approaching. This is where your planned masterstroke is unleashed. You reveal not only that you have ticket to the Amusement park but your tickets allow entry to the most popular ride without queuing!!!!||Your talk must end by telling / showing the key influencers in the audience how you will make their lives BETTER as a result of taking your very specific advice. (Not a bullet point list)|
|7||Action: Kids to stay quiet for next few minutes allowing you to focus on driving and getting them their even quicker.||Action: The # 1 failing of speakers is not agreeing an action with the audience.So decide on the outcome you would like to achieve before ever setting out on the journey.|
If you would like to know how to create great presentations that include analogies and other great presentation techniques please register here for my next Presentations Programme starting in Dublin on the 27th September.