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Successful Multimedia Presentations

How to Create Multimedia Presentations that Connect with Your Audience

By Bridget Quigg, PayScale.com

As an HR professional working in compensation, you not only have to know your labor market, understand your company goals, beware of pay inequity, retain top talent and develop pay for performance, you must be able to communicate all of your ideas to your executive team and the rest of the company. Does that last task sound daunting? Here is some help from an expert on engaging multimedia presentations.

Be Authentic and Strut Your Stuff

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In her new book “Speaking That Connects” executive speech coach Eileen N. Sinett recommends, when presenting, to take the risk of simply being yourself. She focuses on a topic that most HR pros can relate to: authenticity. HR pros' experience navigating tricky personnel sitauations, using authentic communication, primes them to be engaging presenters.

“Speaker satisfaction goes beyond well planned and packaged ideas. It is achieved when presenters risk sharing who they truly are and integrate thought and delivery with their own brand of personal presence,” says author, Eileen N. Sinett. “Memorable speakers connect with their material, with their listeners, and with their inner selves.”

Connecting with your inner self? It sounds like a heavy task for a work presentation, but Sinett wants speakers to show deep confidence. See her top six suggestions for success with multimedia presentations for your colleagues.

6 Tips for Successful Multimedia Presentations

1. Transform negativity and fear into possibility and pro-activity. At the root of every audience concern or attempt to poke holes in your plan sits an opportunity for you to showcase your knowledge and engage the group. You are the expert on the topic. Field those questions fearlessly, even if your answer is, “Good question. Let me do some research and get back to you.” You can also redirect concerns to audience members who are experts in particular areas.

2. Utilize formatting tools to plan and organize presentations efficiently. Power Point makes you look good. Use it to easily organize and prioritize your information, with titles, subtitles and bullet points. Be sure to keep your template simple and, ideally, add your company logo in the same place on each slide’s header or footer.

3. Create memorable and creative openings that engage listening. You can start with a personal story about a recent benefits or compensation issue at your company, or even an industry news story. You can even ask your audience to do some writing (either individually or in groups) and thinking about a particular company goal and how they would reward employees to support it. Grab their attention and engage their minds.

4. Capitalize on silence and body language to sustain audience attention. When the audience is silent and staring blankly in your direction, that’s an opportunity. You have their attention. Use those “roomy” moments to emphasize your key points. Don’t panic and fill that space with unimportant commentary. Force your audience to think.

5. Access and project a unique, personal presence. Maybe your CEO has a knack for telling cheesy jokes during a presentation and making it work for her. Don’t force yourself to do the same if your jokes usually fall flat. You’re perhaps better at explaining highly-detailed, interesting facts. Or, maybe you like to tell personal stories that you find moving. Whatever it is that connects with you most when communicating, do that.

6. Eliminate visual aid faux pas that diminish credibility. Here is where the bouncing words or flashing clip art in your slide deck get the axe. Ensure that any visuals you include support the intelligence of your presentation. Simple charts, graphs and key facts make your presentation more professional and convincing. Pictures of baby monkeys or brightly colored words do not. 

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