When’s the last time you heard someone say they loved giving presentations? And yet, most of us will have to, at some point or another in our lives. Our careers may depend on it.
(Photo Credit: Marc van der Chijs/Flickr)
At Intuit’s blog The Fast Track, Anita Bruzzese turns to consultant Dan Roam for advice on how to make presentations that click with their audience. Roam is the founder of Digital Roam Inc., which counts Google, eBay, Microsoft, and Walmart among its clients. He’s also the author of Show and Tell: How Everybody Can Make Extraordinary Presentations.
He advises would-be presentation aces to do the following:
1. Tell the truth.
Most people wouldn’t last two hands of poker with James Bond. Why? Because we’re mostly pretty terrible liars. Tell the truth, Roam says, and two-thirds of your worries will evaporate.
2. Tell a story.
“It’s in our genetic code to tell stories,” he says. “It’s just like anyone can run or introduce themselves. A clear storyline is our best defense against confusion.”
Storylines can take different forms, Roam says, including reports (which convey facts in a memorable way), pitches (which recommend new actions and solve problems), and dramas (which help the audience “feel someone’s struggle”). Which form you pick depends on the needs of the story you have to tell.
3. Say it with visuals.
“There is no such thing as a non-visual person, because visual processing takes up nearly one-half of our entire brain’s activity,” says Roam.
Add charts, graphs, even illustrations — anything to translate your facts into a story that your audience can comprehend.
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