I was very open with our creative team who is responsible for designing and building our new leadership simulations when they told me a client asked us to design, develop, and deliver a new simulation called, “Delivering Effective Presentations.”
I shared with them my perspective that the presentation skills space was a very crowded field and that anybody who has ever given a presentation can claim to be an expert trainer. I challenged them to name a major innovation that has disrupted the industry since PowerPoint replaced the overhead projector and I pressed them about what is new and innovative in giving effective presentations. Based on their answers and the incredibly strong simulation they created, I am publicly acknowledging how little I actually knew about the art and science of giving effective presentations.
An Effective Presentation has several core characteristics including:
- Are well structured and engaging
- Utilize powerful, clean, and engaging templates
- Captures the listener’s interest by communicating clearly and persuading the audience to take action
One of the most important things our design team discovered in their research into effective presentations in 2023 and beyond is how many people who are required to give presentations dislike giving them and fight with personal anxieties in the preparation and delivery phases.
Based on our research and experiences Advantexe has had in helping participants give better presentations by practicing them in our business acumen “Board of Director Presentations,” here are five key learning points everyone should know about effective presentations:
People love good stories. They remember them, and they remember how the story made them feel. Incorporate personal experiences, anecdotes, or case studies related to your topic.
Immerse and involve your audience with interactive discussions and other tools like polls, surveys, or even digital icons.
Appeal to your audience's emotions. Use stories, examples, or visuals that trigger emotional responses related to your topic.
The “Wow Factor”
Get your audience to think, “Wow!" Include surprising facts, counterintuitive insights, or intriguing questions to keep your audience curious and engaged.
Analogies and Metaphors
Compare unfamiliar concepts to familiar ones using analogies and metaphors. This makes abstract ideas more relatable.
The early feedback for this new simulation has been exceptional and clients are raving. I personally had the chance to go through it and found that the level of sophistication is very high for a topic that could be considered by many transactional.
Recently, a client shared some additional feedback and benefits from the simulation which included:
- Overcoming a Fear of Judgement: People are often afraid of being judged by their audience. The fear of making mistakes, being perceived as unprepared, or not meeting the audience's expectations can create anxiety.
- Finding the right balance of Control: Presenters might worry about unexpected events, technical glitches, or questions they can't answer. The fear of losing control over the situation can intensify nervousness.
- Overcoming Self-Consciousness: Being the center of attention can make people overly conscious of their appearance, voice, gestures, and behavior. This self-awareness can heighten nervousness.
In summary, while presentation skills aren’t the most glamorous, working on them and developing enhanced presentation skills can make a huge difference in leading, selling, and career development.