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What makes a compelling presentation? A presentation that is built on strong research, tailored to your audience's interests, and designed to anticipate and answer questions about your message. In this course, author and Kelley Business School professor Tatiana Kolovou teaches you how to prepare strong business presentations. Learn how to find your story, appeal to logic and emotion, gain credibility, build a deck, and deliver a compelling presentation. Along the way, follow Katie, a young professional, as she prepares to give a presentation to the executives at her organization.
This course qualifies for 1.5 Category A professional development units (PDUs) through lynda.com, PMI Registered Education Provider #4101.
Instructor:"Show me the money," a term often used when people want to know the bottom line, or what's in it for them. An audience comes to you for information or they attend your session because their boss said they had to, or they really want to hear what your recommendation is. No matter what their motivation, you have to communicate the "so what?" right away. The "what's in it for them?" needs to come out of your mouth immediately. To translate your message of value to the audience, you need to know them on a deep level.
Do your homework when it comes to audience values. Research the last set of board meeting minutes or read through the company's 5-year strategic plan. What drives them? Is it success, recognition, profit? If you're speaking in the corporate sector, like Katie is, what's in it for the company? If you present to the CEO, why should she listen to what you have to say? Spend time talking to people who know your audience better than you do.
Spend time gathering information from them before your presentation. If you have the opportunity, talk to your audience before the presentation day and ask them, "What do they want to get out of your presentation?" Be bold. Actually ask them. If I do a good job on Friday, what's the one thing I will have clarified for you? Know what engages your audience. Audiences can be analytical, linear thinking, or worried about the bottom line. In this case, focus first on the financial benefits, and the return on investment of your information.
On the other hand, your audience may worry about how your idea will impact the company's human capital or the community the company serves. In this case, focus on the non-monetary value first. Start with the story of the employee who needs this information, or the impact that this idea will have on people. Now, most likely, you will have a mixed-focus audience, so you need to design your presentation with a reach on both value and the bottom line.
Just as value differs in an audience, the preconceived notions on your topic will to. Let me tell you a story. Many years back at the end of a 2-day communication seminar, I was shaking hands and sending attendees off at the door, and I overheard someone say, "Wasn't that so much better than what you expected?" I didn't miss the opportunity to ask what their preconception was of the 2-day seminar on the first day. They thought it would be 2 boring days of learning about PowerPoint.
Yikes! I should have certainly managed that perception from the get-go and asked about past experiences they had with communication training. Now, Katie knows a few things about her audience. She knows that the CFO always looks at the bottom line, and will quickly see that since sun and wind are plentiful in Brazil, it's a prime market for Connetico's growth. On the other hand, both the COO and the CEO will be concerned about how the Southern California Connetico managers will be able to succeed in a different culture.
Brazil is quite different than Mexico and Canada. Although travel won't be as much of an issue, language and cultural differences may be a challenge for the people of Connetico. Knowing this, Katie will quickly show the value of the new venture to the CFO in the room, and address any concerns about cultural adaptation for the rest of her executive team. As you think of your future audience, can you identify their different values? If you're unsure, who can help you? Ask that person about past presentation discussions and questions.
Tap into your own knowledge of the organization, and make note of what has worked with this group in the past. If you are well-prepared, the audience won't even have to ask or think about the "so what?" You'll be once step ahead of them.
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