I’ve given a lot of bad presentations in the past, but there was one that was particularly painful. I was in college and I had to share a presentation on an assignment we had. I hated presentations. But there I stood, in front of a packed class of students, ready to speak. I was nervous. In fact, I had to set down my notes because I was shaking so badly. I didn’t want to sound stupid. Out of desperation, I started reading off my slides. The same slides everyone else was reading. They weren’t that impressive. Just a few points and some data to back up my findings. Nothing crazy. I glanced across the room at the rest of the students. Some were on their phones. Some were looking off into space. Others were doodling in their notebooks. But no one was listening to what I had to say. No one cared. So, what did I do wrong? I didn’t create an emotional connection with my audience. There are so many presentations out there that just focus on the data. While data is important, it doesn’t necessarily make an emotional connection with an audience. But what does? Storytelling. “Human beings are hardwired to love stories,” said Robin Amos Kahn, a presentation coach at Own The Room, a communication skills training company. “. . . We need stories. We need to share our stories. Stories move us.” Telling powerful stories is an artform. It allows you to connect with your audience emotionally and draw them into what you’re saying. But when was the last time you started a presentation with a story? The next time you give a presentation, start with a compelling story that relates to your topic and moves your audience. Want to increase your communication skills? Check out our course “How To Improve Your Communication Skills At Work” to become a better communicator and learn how to work with others more effectively.
Most people are troubled when they have to perform in front of a large audience. This is nothing to be ashamed of – it’s normal to have stage fright. This is something you need to work on and you’ll get addicted to the feeling you get on stage in time. But before you get there, you need to do your homework and learn about performing. Related: First Impressions: You’ve Got 30 Seconds To Make The Right One There are three equally important goals that your presentation needs to cover. First, a presentation should be all about new information that you want to share. Second, you need to find a way to share that information the right way, in order to increase the demand for your product. And third, your product must stand out when compared to the competition. If you follow the steps below, you’ll make a successful presentation.