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10 Commandments for Effective Presentations

  • Wildcard
  • January 20, 2015
  • by Spaeth Communications

01 20 15 10commandments

While it’s important to be credible and knowledgeable, speakers must also be interesting, exciting and motivating. Persuasive Presentations SkillsSM teaches you how to accomplish all of this and more.

From an introduction that will capture your audience’s attention to an ending that will leave them wanting more, Spaeth will help you structure your entire speech or presentation and perfect your delivery. Participants receive individual benchmarks and a plan of action for skills improvement. The training includes a component on visual aids, including the effective use of PowerPoint.  Need to field questions after your presentation? Spaeth’s control techniques help you respond to any question with ease.

Here's our 10 commandments for effective presentations:

1. Know your audience

The first step in preparing a presentation is to identify your target audiences, including those who may hear your remarks second hand.

2. Choose your words

Create a list of key words and phrases that you want your audience to remember. We call these “good words.”

3. Beware of numbers

Statistics are an important communication tool, but they can be difficult to comprehend and remember. Some tips:

  • Limit the use of numbers
  • Characterize numbers—tell the audience what the numbers mean.
  • Use visual aids to reinforce key numbers.

4. Keep it simple

Identify a handful of key messages (what we call "headlines") that you want your audience to hear, believe, remember and pass on.

5. Illustrate with stories and quotes

Use strategic stories to bring your headline to life.

6. Use guideposts

Guideposts are an agenda with purpose. They give your audience a clear road map of presentation and its purpose.

7. Prop up your skills

Our rule: If you refer to something and can drag it along, do so!

Important: Do not use visual aids as a crutch. They should enhance the presentation—not drive it.

8. Leave them laughing

Humor is a valuable tool for effective presentations and not used nearly enough. Avoid humor that doesn’t fit your personality. Ask, “What makes me laugh?”

  • Don’t think you must do stand-up comedy.
  • Stick with positive forms of humor.
  • Be willing to laugh at yourself.

9. Wrap it up

Good presentations demand more from the audience than just listening; they include a powerful call to action.

10. Control the Q&A

Think of the question and answer session of a presentation as a second speech. You are still responsible for communicating your headlines. Use Spaeth’s Acknowledgment Phrases™ to stay in control.

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