Too many presentation messages

One of the dangers when presenting is thinking you need to cram in everything about your organisation and its products and services – if you do you end up with too many presentation messages.

I’ve witnessed many presentations, as I’m sure you have, where the speaker included far too many presentation messages. What I call the kitchen sink approach.

The upshot of too many presentation messages?

Firstly the presentation runs way over time – a 10 minutes allocated slot becomes a 19 minute presentation. I witnessed this recently and to add insult to injury we, the audience, were warned this might happen when the presenter started by suggesting he had only just found out his time slot was less than he had expected – a lesson here in preparation!

The knock on affect of over running on time is that the following speakers are under pressure and the whole event over-runs.

Secondly by using the kitchen sink approach you leave  your audience confused about what the actual message of the presentation is as the bombardment of information is relentless.

Thirdly the onslaught is compounded if slides are massively overly populated and made worse if the screen is totally inadequate for the size of the room and the audience.

The same happens when delivering virtually.

The key to a successful presentation of any length is focusing on no more than 3 messages and only delivering information that is relevant to the audience and is likely to be unknown by them.

As your audience I can handle and take away 3 messages. Give name 23 and I’ve no idea which to remember and subsequently act upon.

There should be a natural flow not a series of random slides and working 3 messages makes this much easier.

So here are some tips to help you deliver a great presentation without too many presentation messages:

•Understand your audience and plan your presentation around what will be very relevant to them.

•Keep words on slides to a minimum – start with one word per slide and work up if you need to.

•Check the equipment that is available to you and build your presentation around its capabilities – in particular the size of the screen – this applies when delivering virtually.

•Get straight in to your first message. Resist the temptation to start by banging on about how great you are, the awards you’ve won etc….

•Don’t forget to have a strong finish with a clear call to action in terms of what you want the audience to do next.

•And finally to ensure you run on time practice delivering the presentation in 80-85% of your allocated time so if you have 10 minutes aim to deliver it in 8 during practice.

If you want to make the most of your presentation opportunities and/or win more sales pitches you can reach me, Trevor Lee, on 07785 390717 or click here to email me.

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