Take a PowerPoint presentation from good to great with these tips from Presentation S.O.S. by Mark Wiskup:
1. Don’t thank the audience or say, “I’m really glad to be here.” They want to be inspired, uplifted, educated and energized, not thanked.
2. Set the table with a “story person.” People pay attention to stories about a person, whether real or imagined. And it allows you to introduce the key message at the end of the opening.
Example: “I’d like to talk about a woman you don’t know. Her name is Diane. She’s talented, but unfulfilled. Why? Because she wants more opportunity. I’m telling you about Diane today because you’re going to have to hire her and a lot of industry stars like her within the next 12 months.”
3. Go straight to the “power sound bite.” If time is an issue, this shorter opening style answers the audience’s questions right away.
Example: “I’m here to tell you that you’re going to have a challenging assignment in the next fiscal year, because you’re going to double your number of employees.”
With either method, the less used on a slide the better, says Wiskup. “The best use of PowerPoint is to nudge the audience toward listening to the speaker.”
4. Keep it simple with the “repetition” close, for a reliable and effective ending. Example: “I told you when I started that ... I asked you to change ... I’ve asked you to learn ...”
5. Wrap up with a “story” power close. You want the audience to imagine the core message in action.
Example: “Let me tell you a story about a phone call I look forward to receiving next year at this time” or “I’d like to paint a picture for you.”
6. Ask the audience for something at the end. It should be short and begin with a “please.” Follow it with a dramatic pause and then an emphatic “Thank you!”
Example: “Please work hard at accomplishing these specific actions in the next year. I believe in our team. Please, believe in your own ability to reach your goals. (pause) Thank you!”
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