From Prep to Presenting in Just 60 Mins.

I’d like you to remember back to the last time you saw a good presentation.  The chances are you felt engaged, motivate and inspired people to take action.  By contrast, poor presentations bore us, frustrate us, and make us want to switch off.  But if you’re a busy front-line manager with just 60 mins to prep, how can you get it right?

If you got just one hour to prepare a presentation for your team or department, you’ll have very little time to think.  But of course, there’s always time to panic, which causes us to go into self-preservation mode and focus solely on our agenda.  We completely forget about our audience, whom we need to communicate to, persuade and influence.

Tip 1: Focus on your audience

How much do they know?  What do they care about?  How will they use the info?   Also, what about the structure?  Presentations typically begin with an overview, some background information and the presenter’s role.  Then we have details about the topic followed by a summary revealing the key message.

This is a perfectly valid structure, but this assumes our audience will listen through until we give them the key message.

Tip 2: Present the right way up.

Let’s turn this upside down and start with our most relevant and engaging point.  Then the exciting facts and details, linking them back to the important message.  Then the background and overview, which we also link back to the important message.

Now it’s time to end; how do we do this?  Let’s keep it simple, our 60 mins prep time is running out!

Tip 3: Conclude with a CTA

The primacy and recency effect means that we remember the first thing and last thing in a presentation.  So we need to tell our audience what they have gained from the presentation and conclude with a call to action.  Such as ‘To close, I’d like to ask you to do one thing.’  ‘Or finally, before you leave, I’d like to ask you to take 2 mins to …’

If you have just 60 mins to prep for a presentation, I suggest you focus on your audience, present the structure the right way up and conclude with a simple call to action.

Thanks for reading this post about Essential Skill #2: Presenting. I hope you’ll join me for Skill #3, and in the meantime, enjoy the rest of your day!