I was recently ask to give a presentation to a team of senior, C-level executives at a conference in Istanbul.
I had a great story to tell of change and transformation in business and marketing approach, however I was nervous as I needed to get the level right for this audience who are renowned for losing interest very quickly!
I followed a formula which was very helpful and included the following steps:
-Be clear on the target audience – the personas which are represented and how they will benefit from listening to your talk or presentation. The key point here is outcome – what do you want them to do, feel or say afterwards?
-Map out the storyboard using a mind mapping tool like Mindmeister, or a piece of paper so you’re clear on the content and how it will flow
-Create some visual prompts, such as slides to support your points. Make sure that the slides are readable to the audience, there’s nothing more frustrating than a presenter or puts up a tiny table and announces that he ‘knows the audience cant read it’.
-Map out the story again visually as a tree map to help you be clear on the key points to make at each section of the presentation – this helped me greatly remain focused and confident that i wouldn’t forget any key points. I was originally going to script the talk out, but this approach worked much better and kept my presentation more natural
-Practice, practice and practice again telling the story. The important point here is practice telling the story to people who represent the target market. There feedback will be in valuable. In total I got the input from three key people which made an enormous difference to my performance.
-Check all of the technical issues are taken care of – ie your AV works, you have paper and marker pens if you need them; the room is organised appropriately, you have water – all detail, but important as I’ve had many stressful start to a presentation simply because i couldn’t get the AV to work!
-Breathe deeply, make sure you’re centred; clear your mind and begin, remembering that it’s a real honour to be able to speak to any audience and you have a great story to tell.
Finally as a bonus, here’s a great link to an article from the Harvard Business Review which outlines the formula that TED uses to help their speakers tell their stories really well: How to Give a Killer Presentation – Harvard Business Review