Oh dear! I have again sat through two tedious, colourless presentations by senior people who should know better. They may well have had an interesting message – there may well have been a compelling reason for me to take note and further action – I did neither. And I have to wonder how many other people in the room did or how many, like me, were just waiting to get to the coffee and shortbread.
My heart sinks when people begin by telling me “how I got involved with this project”, or “a bit about my experience in this field”, or even “the outcomes of the work we’ve done to date”.
I’m a typically self-centred business person, with little time to spare and thousands of data competing for my attention. Guess what I want to know, first, foremost and last when you sit me in front of a big screen and a presenter?
What’s in it for me?
That’s right folks. Whether you’re seeking to inform, inspire or just entertain, first put yourself in the seat of your audience and answer that question.
When you can answer that, it’s worth your while to speak, and it’s worth our while to listen to you. Make an impact with a great opener, and stick to the point. If the outcomes really matter, your background, or how you got involved are adding to the message, use them. Otherwise focus on your audience’s wants and needs and leave them out.
Have a strong beginning – start as you mean to go on. Some great openers for presentations are:
“Imagine cutting your monthly costs by 50%. Here’s how”
“Get access to some of the best business minds in the world – for nothing”
“I’m going to tell you how you can change the world you live in for the better”
Be bold. Make an impact. As a presenter, it’s what you’re there for.