Does Your Presentation Pass the Test? Make Your Presentation Stand Out

Posted by Steve Flynn on 3/24/15 11:30 AM

This is a guest blog post from our partner, Joanne Flynn, Founder of Phoenix Strategic Performance.

I have just spent two months watching presentations that are sorely lacking impact.  As an audience observer of the presentation process, I decided to dissect the presentations from a professional presentation discipline – a professional skill set that I have taught and coached for many years. Here are two key observations.

1. The Power of PowerPoint

It appears that we have equated presentations with a PowerPoint deck. 

  1. The PowerPoint presentation is NOT the presentation – it is merely a visual tool used as part of the presentation. 

  2. The PowerPoint presentation MUST follow presentation standards. As an audience member – that’s not negotiable.

    • One PowerPoint deck is NOT fit for all purposes.  A PowerPoint deck, so often used for company distribution or in an internal meeting, is likely not in a presentation format that creates the high impact required when used as a presentation tool.

    • There ARE best practices associated with great PowerPoint presentations.  They are focused on how and why the audience perceives and retains information.  (The most egregious mistake is the poor bullet that has now become a multi-line sentence – or worse, a blob-like paragraph, which is impossible to read and highly improbable that it will create the intended impact.)

    • Where did the format and presentation roadmap go?  The format and roadmap allows the audience to proactively accompany the presenter on the presentation journey?  For the audience’s sake, let’s give them a reason and a rationale to listen.  A member of your audience should never be thinking, “Where is this going, or why am I here listening to this?”

2. Yes, presenter, there really are multi-layered skills required to make a great presentation.

Just because you are a presenter, doesn’t mean you know how to present. There are many skills involved in the process.   If you are not actively thinking about each of these skills, you are very likely not doing them.  These skills range from:

  • Presentation prep
  • Creating great presentation visuals
  • Using your physical skills
  • Integrating your physical, verbal and graphics to reinforce one message
  • Delivering to your audience
  • Managing your space and logistics
  • Handling Q & A
  • Practice, practice and practice some more! 

In our upcoming blog series on presentation skills, we will focus on the elements of great presentations and provide a framework to follow to allow you to control your message so it creates the intended impact at the highest possible level.   Just click here to subscribe to our blog to get our next presentation tip directly in your inbox!

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Tags: Presentation Skills