10 Tips for Successful Presentations

Competence is one of the four keys to career and life success in my Common Sense Success System.  I also discuss it in some detail in several of my books: Straight Talk for Success; Your Success GPS; and 42 Rules to Jumpstart Your Professional Success.  If you want to succeed you need to develop four basic, but important competencies: 1) creating positive personal impact; 2) becoming a consistently high performer; 3) dynamic communication skills; and 4) becoming interpersonally competent. 

There are four key competencies that will help you become a career and life success:

  • You have to be able to create positive personal impact.
  • You have to be become an outstanding performer.
  • You have to be a dynamic communicator – in conversation, writing and presentations.
  • You have to build strong, lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with the important people in your life.

Dynamic presentation skills are a crucial competency to develop.  More than one career has been made on the strength of one or two really good presentations. 

Darren Hardy is the Publisher of SUCCESS Magazine.  I love SUCCESS.  It is full of very useful and usable information every month.  Darren also sends very informative emails to subscribers.  A while back he posted a great piece covering his best tips for delivering dynamite presentations.  He was gracious enough to allow me to repost it here…

Darren Hardy’s 10 Tips for More Compelling Presentations:

1. Prepare. Nothing beats great preparation. I usually write out a presentation word for word, then I reduce it to a skeleton outline, then bullet points, then just key words on paper in case I need to quickly glance down at trigger words to guide me along, but I will rarely use the notes. Just going through the process is my process for learning the presentation.

2. Know your audience. Find out the demographic mix of the audience. Find out who the key players are so you can use their names during the presentation. Understand core aspects about their company, cause, products, ideals, etc. Understand the trends, competition and key issues that the audience faces. If they know you know who they are in the first few minutes, they will be your ally for the rest of the presentation.

3. Sell it. Not necessarily you or what you are promoting, sell your presentation. Open up with an attention getter. Imagine the format of an infomercial. Explain the grand benefits they are going to get by listening raptly to the information you are about to share.

4. Package it. Tell them what you are going to tell them (through benefits, outcomes, the difference this information will make in their lives), tell them (deliver the goods), then tell them what you told them (post-sell the benefits so they know you have just given them great value).

5. Be entertaining. Yes, you need to be informative and enlightening, but you are talking to humans—they are bored easily. If people are entertained, they are engaged and are more apt to actually listen to what you are saying.

6. Be visual. I think in pictures, so I talk in pictures. I use visual aids and talk in word pictures and metaphors. People seldom recall words, but they do remember pictures.

7. Tell stories. I am not a natural storyteller. I have to force myself to break off and tell a story, but the best speakers, lecturers and influencers the world has known were all great storytellers. Collect them and get good at telling them. BUT, make sure they are relevant to the point you are making. I dislike gratuitous storytelling for stories’ sake in a keynote. I can read a book or go to a movie for that. Make sure the story is on point.

8. Overdress. My grandmother taught me this. People look at you before they listen to you. How you show up communicates 80 percent of whether someone should (or will) listen to you or not. During the first 5 minutes people will assess you up and down and draw all sorts of conclusions. Make sure the conclusions they draw are: professional, polished, credible and sensible (at least).  Whatever you think the dress code will be dress at least one or two steps above it. There is nothing worse than being underdressed—it’s disrespectful. You are going to be onstage; people expect that you respect that position and dress UP for it.

9. Be Yourself. Don’t try to be Zig Ziglar or Tony Robbins. Me? I don’t like beating on my chest and yelling, having the crowd jump up and down on their chairs, run around the stage or drop to my knee for dramatic effects. You will never see me do that; it’s not me.  My best advice for you is to be you. Be onstage as you are offstage. Be real, authentic and communicate through your true feelings and conviction—it is from that place you can be persuasive, rousing and influencing.

10. See the ‘O.’ I always spend a few minutes before each keynote visualizing the presentation and the audience response: the rapt attention, the awe-inspired looks on their faces, their laughing and having a good time, then the rousing standing ovation at the end. It helps me get into the ‘zone’ and raise my emotional energy before getting started.

Hopefully there are some tips you can borrow and utilize to improve your own presentations. I hope that I’m standing and clapping in the audience of your keynote presentation soon.

The common sense point here is simple.  Successful people are competent in four areas: 1) creating positive personal impact; 2) performing at a high level; 3) dynamic communication; and 4) relationship building.  Dynamic communicators are competent in three basic communication skills – conversation, writing and presenting.  Darren Hardy, publisher of SUCCESS Magazine suggests that there are 10 things you need to do to become a master presenter. 1) Prepare.  2) Know your audience.  3) Sell your talk.  4) Package your talk.  5) Be entertaining.  6) Be visual.  7) Tell Stories.  8) Overdress.  9) Be yourself.  10) Visualize yourself doing a successful talk.  These are 10 common sense tips for becoming a great presenter.  Use them and you will succeed.

Those are Darren Hardy’s 10 tips for creating and delivering great presentations.  What are your best presentation tips?  Please take a minute to leave a comment sharing them with us.  As always, thanks for reading.

Bud

For the record — this content was republished with permission from Darren Hardy, Publisher of SUCCESS magazine. For more great insights, tips and strategies on success and achievement go to http://DarrenHardy.SUCCESS.com More about Darren Hardy can be found at: http://DarrenHardy.SUCCESS.com/About

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