Nope. Sorry, the facts don’t speak for themselves.
But good news! You can make presentation facts come alive and show support for your points. After training/coaching over two thousand highly competent technical professionals; I have discovered that many technical presentation mistakes can be avoided with the following 20+ tips and reminders:
- First, be clear on the audience outcome desired from the presentation.
- Provide listeners a roadmap so they know where you are going with the data.
- Research and know the material – but avoid too much information – keep it focused.
- Practice and rehearse talking with, not at your listeners.
- Grab the listener’s attention by asking a question.
- Streamline the information into bite-size, easy to digest pieces.
- Limit details and use real examples or stories.
- Explain technical facts in a non-technical way.
- Communicate the benefits. (What’s in it for them?)
- Define technical terminology.
- Add a “touch of humor” for relief from the stream of data.
- Enlist listener participation and interaction.
- Encourage input, make it conversational.
- Use colorful graphics.
- Use examples to convey difficult concepts.
- Use visuals and real samples/props to help retention.
- Use amazing or shocking statistics.
- Use profound or bold statements if they are true and you can back them.
- Use comparisons and analogies to everyday life.
- Use a story or personal experience to reinforce retention of the material.
- Use repetition to drive home the most important point.
You do not need to remember all 20+ of these presentation tips and suggestions.
Give yourself credit for those you are already doing pretty well and select just a couple
of them to practice and you will see and feel the positive difference.
And… you audience just may thank you in more ways than one!
Joe Tabers, CSP is a Certified Speaking Professional based in Ann Arbor Michigan.
He speaks, writes and coaches on leadership, teamwork and effective workplace communication.