While you may be excited to share your next big project or your renewed vision for the company, your employees may not be. Yes, they’re in the boardroom with you, but their minds are likely wandering away to what they’ll eat for lunch or how they can speed up the marketing report you’ve asked them to do.
The thing is, when you do your presentations, the least of your worries should be your shaky, sweaty hands or your PowerPoint slides. Your main concern must be how you can make your team be on board to what you’re saying. In other words, make your meetings productive by making your presentation meaningful. Here are the best practices for that:
The first few things you’ll say in your presentation can make or break the attention your team is going to give you. Do note that people’s attention span has gotten shorter than ever, even shorter than a goldfish. If your words aren’t more interesting than the pasta they’re planning to have for lunch, then you can guarantee that you’ll lose them just before you get to the meat of your presentation.
So how do you captivate your audience at the very start? Well, one approach is to open with a story. People can relate to stories because it always has a human aspect. They can connect with, say, the character, the life lesson, or the experience. Of course, when using stories, just make sure that it has a relevance to what you’re going to talk about. Another approach is to tease your employees. Don’t tell them directly what they’re going to learn. Give them a hint as to what they can take away from your session.
Pause for a moment when you shift from one PowerPoint slide to another. The simple truth is, people struggle with multi-tasking. When they make out the words, they’re going to shut you off. When they listen to you, they won’t understand what’s on your slide. That said, you don’t want to take too long of a time to pause in your presentation, that’s why it’s important to only use a few bullet points in your slides.
Keep it simple and short. If possible, use images, charts, or other visual aids. Don’t be text-heavy. In the same manner that you don’t want your slides to steal the show, the props, as well as the environment you’re in, shouldn’t too.
If you are demonstrating a tech device or a process, again, give your employees time to appreciate and interact with it. If you are meeting outside your office, consider selecting meeting rooms Seattle hotels provide as these are stripped off distractions.
Wrap it up with a memorable takeaway.
How you end your presentation is equally important as how you start it. That’s why it’s important to wrap up your session with an insight that people will remember. How do you do that? For one, you can go back to the story you’ve told at the beginning. This will reiterate the point you’re trying to make early on.
Plus, with this approach, you’re tying both ends of the presentation together, rendering an impression of one cohesive whole. Another way you can end is by asking people a question. If you’ve shared a new project with them, ask them if they’re on board with you. If you’ve discussed your next direction as a company, ask them what their personal vision is for the organization. With these strategies, you can impress further the message of your presentation.
Are your employees actively engaged in your huddle sessions? Or are they absent-minded, lost in your PowerPoint slides? Make your meetings and presentations meaningful with these strategies.