Conducting a successful presentation includes many elements, and when you scour the internet for tips, you’ll come across tons of do’s and don’ts. But, the most significant aspect of all is creating a rapport with the people listening to you. You’ll prepare to talk about your idea or product as best as you can. But, if you cannot get the point across to your audience, the entire purpose of the discussion is lost. Read ahead for some important tips on how to connect with the people sitting across the table, listening intently to what you have to say.
Build a Connection with Your Audience
The connection or rapport you form with your audience can form the basis of whether or not your presentation works the way you want it to. If you want to sell an idea or a product to a group of people, you first need to connect with them so that they are open to the concepts you present to them. Use an interesting story to capture attention or pick up from a conversation you were having with one of the attendees when you first arrived.
Humor works like a charm too. Toastmasters International, Jane Penson advises you to use, “gentle self-deprecating humour (with the smile of course). If you are an acknowledged expert in something – you can say you are useless at something else in a light hearted way.”
A Successful Presentation Can be for Anything
You could be putting together a proposal for a project. Or, you could be meeting with a company to talk to the representatives about why they should be forming a partnership with your organization. Or, why they should buy the products you’re selling. To be convincing enough and conduct a successful presentation, you have to get them to trust you. You will have to hold their attention long enough, so they are interested in what you have to say. The principle here is simple. If they listen to you, they’ll be open to accepting your ideas and agree to buy your products or create a partnership with your company.
Once You’ve Created the Connection – The Rest is Smooth Sailing
Once you’ve built a bond with your audience, you’ll find that they WANT to listen to you and they WANT you to convince them. They’ll overlook any mistakes you make and the nervousness you display. In fact, you’ll come across as human and fallible, and that could be an endearing quality. They’ll even focus on the interesting parts of your communication; ask questions, and offer comments and suggestions. As you sense the room warming up to you, you’ll start to enjoy giving your talk and show the necessary enthusiasm for the products or ideas you’re trying to sell. The result – you have a successful presentation, and you’ve clinched the deal.
Audience Attention Can Wane – But, You Can Claim it Back
At some point, everyone has been in that place where they’re talking to a group of people, and it’s very clear that that the audience is just not interested. You see them looking bored, yawning, checking their phones and watches, or even chatting with a neighbor. When you’ve worked so hard to prepare for the presentation, and you desperately want it to succeed, that’s like the worst situation ever.
Take a cue from the waning interest and understand that you need to change tracks right away. Try a different strategy to ensure the success of your presentation. Tell a joke or ask a question. Single out the key entity in the room and direct your comments at her. You could even smile and say, “Okay! So, who’s had to sit through the most boring presentation ever? Oh, it’s actually the bunch of you!” Finish with a chuckle. Then, move on to a different approach.
Know Your Audience for a Successful Presentation
For a successful presentation, begin creating that rapport even before you meet with the people who are going to be listening to you.
- Find out everything you can about the audience.
- Read up all you need to know about the company.
- If you know who’s going to be attending the presentation, that would be great. Get the names and designations.
- The list will help you single out the people who are likely to be making the final decision on whether or not they should accept your proposal. You’ll know how to prepare to target them convincingly.
- Read up a little about the attendees’ backgrounds.
- Memorize their achievements and the major successes they have had in the company.
- Knowing your audience well will help you conduct a successful presentation. For instance, you’ll see them as real people, not nameless strangers. This factor is important so that you’re completely at ease and some of the nervousness is erased.
- Personal, in-depth information can be a secret ace up your sleeve. At any time, if you think that that particular person is not too receptive to what you have to say, you can make some comment related to his or her background that will help win him or her over to your side.
Display Confidence All the Way
The main winning factor in a successful presentation is confidence. Use all the assurance building strategies you can think of. Prepare your piece well, dress impeccably, and make sure you groom yourself well. On Your Feet, Barbara Moynihan says, “Smiling will make the audience see that you are relaxed and looking forward to the presentation and will entice them to do so too. Another side effect is that a smile is the cheapest way to improve your looks!”
If you believe you look good, you’ll feel fantastic and convinced that your audience loves you. Eliminate all the factors that can take away from the self-assurance you need. For instance, hair loss and balding patches can make you feel less of yourself. As the experts at BHRC, the center for professional hair transplant in Los Angeles advise, go ahead and rectify the problem, so you have a fuller head of hair and get back your confidence. Or, if you think you might have bad breath, slip a pack of mints in your pocket.
Use these tips to build the perfect connection with your audience. Have them eating out of your hands, and you’re sure to conduct a successful presentation each time you step into the boardroom.