Wow The Boss With Your Presentation
We have all been in the situation where the boss says: “I need you to present something at to the Board on Tuesday. Make sure you are ready.” It happens to be Friday at quitting time and you just cannot stay late. Not only must you do the presentation quickly, but you must also make sure it wows them. Follow these essential presentation skills training tips and you will succeed.
Grab Their Attention
This is essential. If you start and no one pays attention, you are dead. You will likely be presenting to a bored or sleeping room before it is half over if you do not hold their view. There is no specific method for this. You could do several things, including: multicolored graphics, bold slogans, catchy background music, or anything else your creative genius can dream up. The more memorable it is, the better chance the Board will like it.
Make it Ergonomic
If your presentation is difficult to read or includes poorly designed visuals, it will also fall flat. Pink letters on a magenta background, although multicolored, will be illegible at a distance of more than three feet. Similarly, ten point text will be equally invisible. Make sure none of the Board has to strain to read your words, comprehend your graphs and tables, or grasp the underlying concept. Contrast colors, choose easy to read fonts, and make tables and graphs large enough to understand.
Make it Relevant
Follow your boss’s directions and ensure that your material matches the subject at hand. If your company produces widgets, do not talk about producing whatsits. It does not matter if your presentation is eye catching, interesting, and well-crafted if it is off topic. Not only will you lose the audience in a haze of confusion, you will also look incredibly stupid in front of your boss.
Make Appropriate Use of Technology
Paper graphs, charts, and wooden pointers have their place. If, however, you produce your entire presentation with these methods, you risk coming across as a Luddite. It is not that you should not include lower technology items in your presentation, however. Playing fun “draw a picture to guess what it means” style games is great as an icebreaker or to make a particularly important point during the presentation. Balance this with judicious use of multimedia files, videos, projections, and photographs to make best use of all available styles. Combined styles are interesting to an audience.
Leave them Wanting More From You
Do not try to tell them everything. You want them to remember the core ideas you are trying to present. If you data dump on them, they might forget what is important while trying to remember it all. You also want them to think you know your stuff and ask you back for future presentations. The more visible you are doing a good job in front of your boss and the Board, the better your career advancement.
This article is written on behalf of Dale Carnegie, leading provider of coaching services such as sales, leadership, presentation skills training and more.