Do you give presentations? If you are in business, leadership or sales, you most definitely are answering a big, emphatic, "Yes!"
What are the top challenges that you must overcome if you want to guarantee success? Read this short article to discover the challenges...so you can win at presenting.
Challenge 1: Information Overwhelm
Let's face the facts. Your audience is overloaded, overwhelmed and overworked. If you load a ton of information on your already maxed out audience, what do you think will happen?
Not a whole lot!
It's up to you to pierce the glazed looks and already full brains of your audience. Hint: keep your message simple and easy to understand.
Challenge 2: Unfocused Attention
What's your audience thinking about? Everything but your presentation. They are preoccupied with unfinished work, urgent problems, and perhaps, their own presentation.
If you want to grab attention, you have to act fast. Share compelling stories, alarming statistics and fascinating news. This is the fastest way to flip the 'trip switch' and win attention for what you have to share.
Challenge 3: More Unfocused Attention
Just because you overcame Challenge 2, doesn't mean you can rest on your laurels. You have to win it -- and sustain it. Otherwise, your audience will resume to texting, checking email, having side conversations and reading the handouts.
'Fess up. You've done it when you've been in the audience. If the presenter is boring, the audience will look elsewhere.
This is why it's incredibly helpful to plan your presentation with a storyboard. On a single page you can organize your story for maximum impact, specific connection, and focused flow.
Challenge 4: In Love with Instant
Fast. Faster. Fastest.
Your audience is looking for instant solutions. And most likely, they want them yesterday. This is a huge challenge if you are proposing long-term solutions, sharing detailed research findings, or recommending slow strategies.
Whether you are speaking at an industry conference, in a video, or at client presentations, you must embrace the desire for immediate relief.
Share your information and highlight specific ideas, strategies and actions your audience can use immediately. Even in the context of a long-term solution, this will help prospects and clients accept the short and long-term benefits.
Challenge 5: Lost in a Crowd
In many business settings, audiences sit through entire days of presenting. How will you stand out?
The big challenge of not getting lost occurs in conferences, investor pitches, and brand presentations. And here's the truth: often it's not the best content but the best presentation that wins.
If you want to win at presenting, you have to turn up your passion. Present with passion and deliver your message with confidence. Be the shining presentation that stands out in a crowd.
Challenge 6: Lost in Tactics
No doubt you've read a book, taken a course, and maybe even worked with a presentation coach. Then, you understand this challenge. It's easy to get lost in presentation tactics.
Make eye contact. Stand and deliver. Project your voice. Refine your body language. It all starts to blur after a while.
Instead of getting lost in the woods of presentation delivery tactics, find your own 'home zone.' Get comfortable with speaking with confidence and credibility. Practice in a safe and secure environment. Then, apply this confidence to ever-increasing challenges.
In a short time, you'll find that you are using all the delivery tactics without having to focus on each one specifically. This is because you're being yourself and telling your authentic story.
Challenge 7: Mushy Next Steps
This is a huge challenge to success. Vague and mushy next steps spell disaster for any presentation. Even if your audience is listening and interested, they won't know what to do next.
The best way to avoid this challenge is to identify one next step. Don't fall in the trap of offering two or three or four next steps. You'll just confuse your audience. Pick one next step. Make sure it is clear and specific. Use this and you'll steer clear of this challenge.
Challenge 8: Connecting Across Distance
In today's cost-conscious marketplace, more and more presentations are held virtually. This is great for keeping costs down, reducing time out of the office, and increasing the number of presentations you can make in a day.
However, it's not so great if you don't overcome the distance challenge. Presenting virtually, it's even more important to build rapport and grow trust. Don't leave this up to chance or luck.
If you want to guarantee success, learn how to be effective in facilitating conversations at a distance.