Three steps to improve your presentation (communication without purpose is just noise)
How do you become an excellent communicator?
Nearly everyone is familiar with feelings of nerves or even dread when it comes to making a presentation (Indeed fear of public speaking is the most common social fear). And how many of us have sat through a dreary or incomprehensible presentation that is dull or difficult to follow? Therefore, it’s a normal and perhaps well-founded fear that our own presentation or talk might not be as engaging as it ought. So what steps can you take to make an ordinary presentation into a clear, compelling and thought-provoking one? The key is to start by being clear about your purpose…
How to make your presentation great
Great presentations flow because they have a structured argument designed to take you from your current perspective to a new one. The entire talk is tailored to carry your thoughts, opinions and judgements to a different place or point of reflection. Every phrase has a purpose.
This change in perspective is only possible with a clearly defined outcome or intention where each point or section leads logically to another, without hesitation. There is a subtle but vital difference between the task of giving a talk and the communication objective that underpins it.
Present with focus and a clear intent
Clarity of outcome is key to achieving new perspectives in the minds of the audience – assuming that the content is pitched appropriately (imagine the difference between the content of a talk about ‘the value of space travel to the human race’ delivered to a) pre-school kids and b) NASA astronauts. Confusion, distraction or boredom will only occur if an audience is unable to follow the logic of the presenter either because it is poorly pitched or because it lacks focus and intent.
Provoke a response from your audience
A communication objective should provoke a response in thought, word or deed. Effective communication will provoke the response you intend. Never forget that communication without purpose is just noise.
Do this one thing: next time you do a talk, set yourself a measurable objective and ask your audience for feedback. It will make you a better communicator, I promise.
Take a look at our INSIGHTS 2020 report for CMOs, shining a light on B2B communication in the next decade. The survey researched priorities and challenges for CMOs, and explored their strategic approach to communications, as well as the extent to which communication strategies are implemented to drive business outcomes.
EC-PR is a B2B PR Agency that helps forward-thinking tech businesses to be more effective communicators. We help businesses tackle critical issues such as lead generation, tender invitations and improving conversion rates by raising awareness, driving leads and developing targeted effective messaging.
Article first published 14th Oct 2016 and revised 1st Feb 2020.