There are three essential components of all successful presentations. By successful, I mean presentations which accomplish their intended effect which is to move people to action. I felt the textbook Communicating at Work offered some great tips in chapter 11 on delivering the presentation; however I believe there are really three essential components to making a presentation successful. This paper will discuss three essential components to making presentations successful which includes making the ideas understandable, memorable, and emotional.
Successful presentations are free of nonsense, complexity, and confusion. Although there are many ways to make a presentation clear and understandable, my favorite technique is using a slide show. A slide show can significantly enhance the oral portion of your presentation, enabling you to make what you are saying more influential, more understandable, and more memorable. How can you present data so your audience gets it? This may require gathering some background information about your audience. Presenting to production operators versus managers or directors may require a different approach and determines the speed and style of your presentation.
If an audience cannot remember what is said in the presentation or recall the idea, it does not matter how great it is. There are many techniques to communicate ideas in memorable ways. The effective techniques I use most include focusing on my introduction and conclusion which seems to be when the audience is most engaged, using good visuals, and using analogies. Audiences remember the opening and closing of a talk more clearly (Adler, R., Elmhorst, J., Lucas, K., 2013, p 332). Combining visual and audible learning will make a presentation more memorable. Adding visuals to a presentation such as personal gestures or slides will trigger more in the minds of the audience. Using analogies because they create association will help the audience relate to the content therefore can be very powerful in making the presentation memorable.
Research shows the emotional component of a message trumps the analytical (When emotionality trumps reason, 28(6), 850-877). Yes, you need to show data and evidence to reinforce your position, but the emotional part of a presentation often moves people to action. Storytelling is the easiest and most effective way to make your presentation emotional. We often remember things which have emotional connections, for instance what scene do you remember most from the Walt Disney movie Bambi? I bet it…