In business, you need to know how to give a presentation. Whether you are selling, raising money, motivating, or bringing a team up to speed, your ability to present well will make you stand apart from the crowd.
It is no surprise that the victors of political races are often the best speech givers. People want to be entertained and inspired by a speech. And the ability to give one endears people to you.
There are three elements that make up great presentations:
You want to deliver an experience, not just a speech. Steve Jobs said that marketing is theatre, well so is speech. Your energy, passion, and enthusiasm will give life to your words. Remember that it is how the words are said that makes the difference. Matthew McConaughey’s oscar speech is a great example. He speaks from the heart and has a good time doing it, which makes it entertaining.
People love good stories. Introducing an antagonist is a proven route to engage audiences. Present the enemy first then follow up with the hero of the story. This method easily gets people emotionally onboard with your presentation and makes them want the hero to save the day, the hero being whatever you want to introduce. Watch Al Pacino in Any Given Sunday use his life as the story and regret as the antagonist to inspire his team.
3) Short and simple
Keep it short and simple. We all know the acronym KISS – keep it simple stupid. Busy powerpoint slides and complicated words do nothing but disengage an audience. When we watch a speech we don’t want to be confused or mentally strained. We want to easily get the point. Again, Apple serves as a great example. All of their presentations are simple, have very few written words, if any, and are pleasing to look at. Just look at Steve Jobs introduce the iPhone.
Remember, if there is only one rule to follow it is this: practice, practice, and practice some more. You won’t get to 10,000 hours as Malcolm Gladwell advises, but every hour of practice spent keeping the above in mind makes you more comfortable, confident, and capable of improvising on the spot.