We often think we have to fill our presentations with data and lists in an effort to give our audiences all the information available. This forgets a very important change in the way we get our information. When we are interested in something, we go away and Google it – or in Korea, we Naver it.
With this in mind as presenters we do not need to cover as much detail as we used to do in a presentation. What we need to do now is to give enough information to spark enough interest to get our audience to want to learn more.
The way I see presentations today is that they are an opportunity to create a ‘buzz’. Whether that is to stimulate interest in your product or service or to explain a new plan for your company. What your goal should be is to induce a spark that gets your audience wanting more. Fill your presentation with a the facts and data and you not only bore your audience, you lose their interest in whatever you are talking about.
Company reports, SOPs and other detailed explanations are, and if they are not -should be, available for your audience members. So you do not necessarily concern yourself with every single little piece of information.
Of course presenters need to give some details, the overview if you like, but the boring nitty gritty can be left for the audience members to look up if they have enough interest following you presentation. And this presents a unique challenge to a modern day presenter – how to spark the interest.
To do this you need to be able to show that audience that by taking an interest in what you are saying, it will improve their lives in one way or another. For example, if you are presenting your company to a group of potential new clients, you need to show them that your company can improve the way they do business. Your potential clients do not want to listen to you spend five minutes talking about the history of your company since its foundation – that is information that can easily be found doing a simple search in a search engine. They want to know what you have achieved and how you can use that achievement to help you become a better company. You potential clients do not want to know how your management is structured. They want to know which manager will be looking after them and how he or she will help their company become a better company.
Think about it. When you are sat in a presentation, are you really interested in how a company structures its management? Even worse, why are you talking about your CEO / Chairman / woman when they haven’t even bothered to turn up to the meeting?
The way it works in the twenty-first century is you give three or four key pieces of information and allow your audience time to ask questions on the parts that they want more information. That way you are presenting to your audience needs and not your need to squeeze in as much boring, irrelevant information as possible – in an effort to keep your antiquated boss happy.
Keeping it simple, relevant and short is the way to present in the twenty-first century.