Originally published on the MindTouch Blog.
Who doesn’t like to win? Unfortunately, when it comes to more persuasive presentations, chances are you haven’t earned a spot in the winner’s circle. A survey shared at PulseLocal San Diego revealed that only 14% of presentations actually drive action.
No one wants to give (or attend) a presentation that inspires zero action. Thanks to Arthur Schwartz, we can do better! Delivering more persuasive presentations was the topic of his talk at the latest PulseLocal San Diego event.
Last things first
The key to preparation is starting from the end. Begin your prep by asking:
What is the ideal outcome of my presentation?
It’s a rookie mistake to get caught up in research, structure, or even worse— your slide design—before you hone in on what the actionable outcome should be. When people leave the room, what should they be thinking and what should their next steps be?
For a more persuasive presentation, start there and work backwards.
A strong foundation
After you have a clear vision of the outcome, you can design relevant and compelling content.
Arthur’s formula works for any type of presentation:
- Create a powerful story – Frame your content around a story that builds emotional engagement.
- Show up feeling like a winner – Use purposeful body language to reinforce positive thoughts.
- Engage and energize! – Connect to your audience through their pain points or personal motivation, then educate and empower them with your content.
More pro tips for A+ presos
After Arthur’s presentation, an engaging Q&A revealed other tips to help make presentations more persuasive. Here are the key takeaways.
- Eye contact – Take moments to focus your attention on individuals for ~3 seconds. Don’t be too systematic about, though, and organically pivot your gaze around the room.
- Authenticity – When possible, engage with folks on a personal level with individual conversations before your presentation begins. Be the same person when you get in front of the room. If you take on a different persona in “presenter mode” you’ll quickly lose that connection.
- Comfortable silence – Allow pauses to become part of the presentation. Your audience needs those moments to mentally process your content and you’ll be less likely to use those dreaded crutch words.