How to give a presentation they’ll remember

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September 11, 2017

 

Not a single salesperson, financial planner, marketer or investment banker ever sets out to deliver a poor client presentation. Nonetheless, there’d be few of us who haven’t sat through a PowerPoint tragedy. Mediocre presentations happen.

Our worst nightmare as a presenter is a sea of glassy eyes, clients examining their Facebook feeds or worse taking an opportunity for a quick snooze. A poor presentation doesn’t happen by chance, and there are some simple steps to take to make sure this doesn’t happen to you.

Get your story right

When building a presentation deck, think about the journey you’re taking the audience on – it should have an introduction and conclusion that bookend the main body of the presentation.

The presenter must be clear about who the audience is, and the key messages that he or she wishes them to take away from the presentation.  Ultimately, the audience is there to listen to you and most likely learn. However, it’s still important that you are clear about the journey you are taking them on, which will make it easier for them to embrace your presentation’s key messages.

Create visual appeal

A visually unappealing presentation should be avoided at all costs, advises my Corpwrite colleague Luke Maddison, who in his capacity as a marketing manager or business adviser has delivered hundreds and hundreds of ‘presos’ during his career. “Avoid death by dot points,” Maddison says. “A good presentation won’t be text heavy with slides filled with dot points.”

Ideally, you want the audience to be listening and engaging with you, not the words you’ve written. To do this, try using some suitable imagery. At the same time, choose images that match the themes, topics or theories you’re offering. “You can use some text in your presentation, just keep it to minimum,” Maddison advises.

Add some moving pictures

Video killed the radio star, according to the Buggles, but it can be a valuable presentation enhancement. Apart from augmenting the presentation, a video gives you a breather, and the audience some third-party content, which should support the opinions outlined in your presentation.

Using images gives you helpful visual cues to support the presentation. “There’s nothing more boring than a presenter simply reading the words off the screen,”  Maddison explains. “Build your verbal content around the imagery, and use the image as a guide to help you remember where you’re at in your presentation.”

Don’t make it all about you

No one wants to sit through a presentation focused only on you and your financial planning business. Like any marketing tactic, a presentation must feed the needs of your audience. Therefore, tailor your content to the audience and demonstrate you understand the challenges they face, or will face in the future. If it’s an overt sales pitch, chances are people will start sifting through their social media feeds or emails very quickly.

Do what works for you

When it comes to best practice, higher-achieving presenters will work with a style that matches their personalities. Whether you’re an Anthony Robbins ‘big personality’ presenter, or a more measured fact-based professional, always present to your strengths.

If you’re a nervous public speaker, there are many tips and tricks that you can apply to help you improve. For what it’s worth, practice seems to make more perfect when it comes to presenting, speech making and other forms of public address.

Once you have the presentation down pat, and the messages in place, you can create multiple types of content that appeal to your clients and leads such as blogs, articles, videos, podcasts or infographics. There’s no perfect way to deliver valued financial and investment content, and every medium has its place as part of an effective marketing strategy.


TOPICS:  marketingmarketing blogpresentationsVIDEO



About The Author /

Anthony O'Brien is a principal of corporate marketing and communications firm Corpwrite. He is a business and personal finance writer with experience extending over 20 years in the communication industry. He is presently the small business writer for Money magazine and has contributed regularly to a range of other publications including Charter, The Australian Worker, INTHEBLACK, Rugby League Week, Jetstar Magazine, Australian Way and The Bulletin. O'Brien also worked as a reporter with NBN on its nightly television news service. O'Brien is a published author, working with leading finance commentator Paul Clitheroe AM, chairman of the Australian Government Financial Literacy Board, to co-author Make your Fortune by 40 (Viking 2001) and Road to Wealth (Viking 2000). Prior to launching into self-employment in 1999, O'Brien worked in a diverse range of corporate communication roles for IBM, Link Telecommunications, BT Australia, several NSW state politicians and a number of PR firms.