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  • Writer's pictureDr. CK Bray

How to Be a Phenomenal Presenter

When I ask clients what they need to improve on at work I nearly always get the same three answers.

  1. Be a Better Presenter

  2. Learn How To Communicate More Effectively

  3. Be Better at Accepting Change

Let’s tackle number 1 and let me share the top 3 ways to become an engaging and fantastic presenter.

First, throw out and forget everything you learned about being a great presenter. Times have changed and so has the art of presenting. It is not about eliminating the Uhhmm’s and the filler words, it is definitely not about how you stand and the movement of your arms and it sure isn’t about your delivery. Technology, people, meeting spaces, and how information is transferred have changed all that. The best kept secret of becoming a great presenter is to be yourself and let your personality and your information emerge through your presentation. The successful presentation is no longer formal (yes, even in corporate America), but according to Simon Morton, the author of The Presentation Lab great presenting is about leaving the formal and going for “smart casual.” The more causal the presentation style, the more you connect with your audience, creating more of a one on one interaction.

Second, content is king and so are your visuals. People are engaged by stories and examples. I can give you 5 studies off the top of my head that suggest participant’s recall of your information will increase if stories and examples are told with corresponding visuals. Your slide deck or presentation material should not be death by words but should have pictures with key words allowing you to elaborate through stories and examples. Have only facts and figures to show? Then add in a story to hit home why those numbers are important. Our world is full of visual imagery and your participant’s brains are looking for those visuals and stories.

Third, make good use of technology. Technology can be your best friend when presenting, but also your worst enemy. Individuals who attend your presentation can easily be distracted by their phones, social media, and email leaving you looking at an audience who in turn is looking at their phones. You are always in direct competition with those detractors. It is up to you to engage your audience early in your presentation and provide them valuable reasons why they need to listen to your message. The use of technology can assist you in increasing participation through phone apps where they can vote and share their opinions, or through a story or example that peaks their attention.

The new age of presenting is an exciting one. With the use of technology, the ability to utilize new mediums of visuals and the opportunity to interact with your audience the road to a successful presentation depends completely on you. Remember that each presentation should be different based on the audience’s demographic, the use of technology, the meeting space the and content being presented. These aspects reign over where you stand and what you do with your hands while you talk. Focus on the audience and what they want and you are sure to have a successful presentation.


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