In the past years I have had the privilege to train and work with a lot of different professionals on their (business) presentation skills.
It is interesting to see that most of them make this one crucial mistake when it comes to presenting. And it is preventing them from being truly memorable and influential in their presentations.
Wondering what it is? It has to do with focus. Their focus is on content instead of their goal. In other words, they pay a lot of attention to the what and almost no attention to the why.
So what is the goal of a business presentation then? Spoiler alert, it is never to share information. If you prepare a presentation and all you wish to do is share information, you might as well write an email and send it around. That takes a lot less effort.
The goal of a presentation is always to inspire. To inspire a way of thinking, a way of behaving or both.
Only when you know your goal, you can create the road to get there. And only when you know where you are going, people will dare to follow you. Once you know what you wish to achieve, it’s time to find the right tools. The story, the facts that support your story, and your visuals.
And now you might be thinking: but how do I inspire action? Great question! There is also only one important rule to remember here: Emotion inspires action.
So, a quick recap, when you want to be an amazing presenter make sure that instead of focusing on what you do, you focus on why you do it. And it changes … everything
Not convinced yet? Let’s compare:
This is what happens when you focus on information:
1. You spend hours memorizing all the facts, figures and data (that nobody is going to remember afterwards anyway).
2. You will probably put all this information in your slides because it is impossible to remember all of it by heart. Your audience will read your slides instead of listen to you.
3. You will show your audience that you are able to memorize facts and reproduce them and that you are able to read what’s on the slides.
4. You”ll probably get nervous before the presentation because: ‘What if I forget anything? ‘
5. You will not inspire any action because people are not driven by facts (even though some people think they are)
6. Your audience will have forgotten about you and your presentation within a few days. ☹
When you focus on your goal instead, this is what happens (can we have some uplifting violin music please):
1. You spend little time preparing because you know just what you have to say in order to reach your goal. You only have to memorise your first and your last sentence.
2. Because you only use slides that support your story, your audience is focused on you and will only look at the slides when they have to.
3. You will show your audience that you are knowledgeable about your topic because you are not speaking from what you memorised but from what you know. You are the expert!
4. You will feel calm and focused before your presentation because you will speak from what you know and believe.
5. You will inspire people to act because they understand why you want them to.
6. Your audience will remember you and your presentation long after because you’ve made them feel something. You will stand out! 😊
I hope you enjoyed reading this blog and that it will help you in your future presentations. Do you wish to comment or find out more about what we do? Feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We read everything and always reply!