Each and every one of us in the profession of selling, end up presenting (either about the products or solutions that we are selling, or about the company we represent or to showcase ourselves).
And most of us still struggle even after years of delivering presentations for a living.
Hence, the term, death-by-powerpoints.
This is a key skill and something that we need to continuously work upon. In Stephen Covey’s words -“Sharpen the saw”!
After having gone through a lot of reading, listening and presenting, I have realized the following:
- I deliver great presentations if I don’t use the standard slides created by our organizations. I use these slides at most as my back-up and only use them when I have to dive deep into a topic which one of the slide covers.
- My best presentations are when I am able to weave a story. Even better when members of the audience are the protagonists of the story.
- When I can’t avoid using pre-built slides, I do best when I am able to use these as anchors and engage the audience by getting them involved.
- The best presentations are when I have practiced a lot, but still deliver free style.
There are two parts of delivering great presentations:
- Creating great presentations.
- Delivering these presentations.
The resources that I always turn for creating great presentations is – http://www.presentationzen.com. Garr Reynolds has also written a book by the same name. Its a great book to refer to when in doubt and creating a presentation.
I also refer to the research done by Nancy Duarte and her dissertation of what makes great presentations to decide on the flow of my presentation.
Brothers – Dan and Chip Heath have written a great book about Making Ideas Stick. They talk about a simple metaphor to remember if we want to make an impactful presentation (SUCCESS – Simple, Unexpected, Credible, Concrete, Emotional and tell a story. You can find a lot of information on this at their website (http://www.heathbrothers.com/).
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!
What resources do you turn to when you want to improve your presentation skills? Do let us know by commenting below or tweeting to me at @rmukeshgupta.
PS: Some information that you should check out when possible are:
Nancy Duarte’s TEDx dissertation of what makes a great presentation, both in terms of flow and content:
You can hear Dan Heath talk about making sticky presentations here.
You can also listen to Garr Reynolds TEDx Talk – Story, Imagery, & the Art of 21st Century Presentation:
Some of the before/after slides that Garr has created is as below to serve as an example for all of us: