Some presentations fail to impress because key components are missing. Much more neglect because they contain too much information. Information overload is ever present in our modern society. The presentation which impresses with a powerful message is the one that is sharp and focused on its aim. So, how to make sure your presentation does not fall into the trap of providing your audience more info just because you can. What is it precisely that you want your audience to understand not just know at the end of your presentation? Can you describe this aim in 1 sentence? If you are able to write it down. If you can not then work at it until you can. If it won’t fit into one paragraph that is sensible, then you have more than one aim and need more than one presentation. Keep this aim in mind. Build out in the aim, use mind-mapping or other planning aids if you are comfortable with them. Immediately around the aim are clustered facts and figures that are essential. Further out there is supporting information that’s important. Make a search on the following website, if you’re looking for more information on presentation training.
As you get farther away from the value and the significance drops off sharply. Be ruthless and remove everything that doesn’t build an image of your aim in the mind of your audience. Note down all of the information, illustrations and arguments; whatever you require. If you are not sure in the early stages whether you will need a specific item, leave it in. But have the courage to throw it out later if it is not needed. 1 check question is, ‘would my audience feel cheated if they found out about this’ If so, leave it in. You are not hiding things from the audience; just doing them the courtesy of their having to listen to only what’s necessary. Don’t fall into the trap of filling a thirty-minute slot just because you have been given that time. If you want less, say so. You will probably be thanked, especially if there is a busy programme.
Needless to say, if you need more, ask. Never, ever, over-run your own time. Few of us are good enough speakers for our audiences to want more than they asked for. Do you know the difference between an example and an anecdote; humor and jokes; friendliness and obsequiousness? For our purposes, the difference is what you leave in and what you discard. Do use examples if needed; do not ramble off into irrelevant tales. Do be somewhat humorous if appropriate; don’t tell jokes, especially smutty ones. Do be as open and friendly as the occasion allows; do not attempt to suck up to your audience. If you adhere to these principles, your presentation will be sharp and lean. The lines you draw from your arguments to your conclusions will be evident. Your audience will understand exactly what you wanted them to understand with no distracting thoughts. Your chances of achieving your aim will be much higher. And if occasionally you do fail, at least you will know it was because you failed to convince them not because you lost them on the way.