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Presenting a Compelling Vision

If I asked you to stand up and present, would you be filled with dread? If so, don’t despair, this is a skill that can be developed. You don’t need to be a professional actor, you just need techniques for presenting a compelling vision and time to prepare. In this article, I share three essentials to get you started.

Present to Build Connections, Win Trust and Influence

I am often approached by business owners, senior management, team leaders and trainers looking to hone their presentation skills. They are knowledgeable and competent, yet the thought of pitching an idea leaves them hot under the collar.

Glossophobia or stage fright are the terms used to describe the most common anxiety in the workplace; delivering presentations. However, we need to be able to speak up to educate, inform, convince and motivate team members, prospects, customers and stakeholders. The success of our business depends on it.

I think it is important to remember that, in a digital world, we have fewer opportunities to interact. Therefore, every opportunity must be used wisely. Presenting a compelling vision is an effective way to build connections, win trust and influence actions. Before you start collating content, or harnessing that nervous energy, let me share three essential points.

Start With The End in Mind (Steven Covey)

Firstly, ask yourself, ‘What is the purpose of this presentation and what outcome do I want to achieve?

I’ve sat through many speeches and training sessions which were packed with information. The presenter was knowledgeable and responded to questions. However, nothing changed because they provided facts, but not a vision. I was not driven to take action, my thoughts and behaviours didn’t alter and my curiosity wasn’t piqued.

Now, if you are going to spend time preparing and delivering a presentation, it needs to be worthwhile. You want to engage and incite the audience; convince them and motivate them. In short, you want your presentation to have an impact.

Be Invested in your Message

Secondly, if you want buy-in from the audience, you need to not only know the information you are imparting but also be invested in it.

You can speak well if your tongue can deliver the message of your heart”

John Ford

So, why are you passionate about the subject or driven to achieve the outcome?

If you want to see fantastic presentation skills in action, watch TED Talks on any subject. Focused on ‘ideas worth spreading’ each speaker has a unique style and area of expertise, yet there is a common factor. Every speaker has a strong commitment to their message. They want to share it because they see it as valuable and important. They want to drive change by revealing innovations, challenging thoughts and behaviours, giving hope or showcasing alternatives.

A speaker who talks from the heart is more likely to inspire an emotional response from the audience. This is important because it makes the message memorable and engaging.

Take a moment to consider what will it mean if people sit up, listen, remember your core message and act on it. Why is this important to you and why is it important to them? This leads me to the third point.

Know Your Audience

Thirdly, personalise your message to the audience. Whether you are speaking at a conference, delivering training or pitching to investors, your audience believes there is value in being there. Their time is precious, so they are hoping to get something from the experience. Your challenge is to understand their motivation and respond appropriately.

When you know your audience, you can pitch your content at the right level. Bring them on board by presenting information in ways that tie in with their values and tick their boxes. Consider what they need to hear or learn to engage and take those desired actions that you want to achieve.

My training sessions are never the same. The core content is consistent, yet I tailor it to suit the audience. The first question I ask when clients book training, is ‘What outcomes do you want to achieve?’ This determines the presentation I prepare, which activities I use and the discussion we have.

Advanced Presentation Skills

The three points covered in this article are essential starting points. They can help you to prepare compelling content that inspires others to buy into the story. This can be valuable for meetings, interviews and training, as much as a conference keynote speech.

If you would like to build confidence and competence in preparing content and presentation techniques, either 1:1 or as a team, contact me to discuss my Advanced Presentation Skills training.

Brilliantly paced and very informative, feel very ready to present now! The content was perfectly pitched so that I felt I was being stretched with confidence. Highly recommend to anyone looking to introduce speaking or workshops to their business.”

Sharon Strickland-Clark, Bravetart Coaching

Contact me to find out more and discuss your requirements at info@suegarner.co.uk or 07775 624724.

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