Yes, you CAN deliver a memorable presentation without PowerPoint!
But will you be memorable?
People spend far too much time preparing PowerPoint or Prezi slides for a presentation and not enough time thinking about how to influence audiences, so today we want to give you some tips on how you can deliver a memorable presentation without PowerPoint.
Your slides are an aid to your presentation, but they’re not the presentation itself. The more you stand side-on to an audience reading from them, the more likely you are to have zero impact.
Yes, you’ll survive. And yes, everyone will tell you were great! (No-one will want to hurt your feelings). But no-one will remember a thing you said.
Here’s another way.
Ask yourself what you want your audience to think, feel, do or believe? Are you there to educate? To motivate? To entertain? Your presentation needs a purpose. And the answer to this question gives your presentation its shape.
Once you’ve answered that question, the opening line of your presentation becomes obvious. For example:
“Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. My aim today is to inspire you to quit your very safe day job and pursue your dream of owning your own business.”
You’ve told them exactly why you are there and what you plan to achieve. This gives them a clear direction, and something to look forward to!
Now you’ve got their attention, take them on a journey.
Think of one, two or three reasons – no more – why people should do just that: quit their day job and start a business. These reasons will become the key messages you want the audience to remember.
My own three reasons for owning a PR consultancy are these – autonomy, job satisfaction and financial freedom.
So here’s your presentation so far.
“Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, my aim today is to inspire you to quit your very safe day job and pursue your dream of owning your own business. I know you’ve got a dream like this.
Now there are three reasons why everyone should live life without a safety net and pursue this dream.
The first is autonomy – having complete control over your own life. Imagine that. The second is job satisfaction. Having your clients hug you, when they adapt your ideas and it changes their lives. I can tell you, that’s a great feeling. And the third is financial freedom. No longer just working for wages, but tasting some profit as well.”
That’s the introduction to your presentation. You’re sixty seconds in, no Power Point in sight. And you have the attention of the entire room. They’re open to the proposition you’re making, and ready to go on a journey.
Your introduction gives you the structure for your presentation. Stay with what you’ve promised and don’t introduce any other themes. You stated your purpose and key messages in the introduction. Now repeat those messages and elaborate on them. Use the same order as in the introduction.
Illustrate your key messages with personal stories or real industry case studies. The more personal and emotional the better. You won’t need Power Point, you won’t need notes and what you say will be unforgettable.
Here’s how you might unpack the first key message in your presentation.
“The first reason you should quit your very safe day job and pursue your dream of owning your own business is autonomy. If you’re a natural boss, who has been masquerading as an employee for twenty years, business ownership is for you. If you’re a parent who regrets missing out on limitless precious moments with your children, the autonomy of business ownership is for you.
My drive to starting my own PR firm was a combination of these. I’ve always been the dad who purposely worked 5.00am starts in the newsroom so I could be there when my kids got home. I’ve never been able to understand the kind of reasoning that puts children as top priority in theory, but not in practice. I came from a small business family, and I’ve watched them make a success of things while I’ve been toiling away at the ABC. Not long ago, I decided it was time for a change.”
My presentations continue with the rest of my story. I highlight the autonomy I’ve enjoyed since leaving news reporting. How I’ve lost weight and felt better. The better work/life balance I’ve had, and quality time with my children.
Then I stay with the structure, deliver my second key message and illustrate that with a personal story. Likewise for the third key message.
Finally, I summarise and round things off. A good conclusion is simply the introduction restated. Don’t be afraid to use the same phrasing. It reaffirms your message.
“ So in conclusion my aim here today was to inspire you to quit your very safe day job and pursue your dream of owning your own business. How did I go? Hands up If I’ve got you thinking.
Now there’s three reasons why everyone should live life without a safety net and pursue this dream.
The first is autonomy. Having complete control over your own life – imagine that. The second is job satisfaction. Having your clients hug you, when they adapt your ideas and it changes their lives. And the third is financial freedom. No longer just working for wages, but tasting some profit as well.
Thanks for having me.”
Stand back and enjoy the applause.
No power point, no notes, just a purpose and three key messages illustrated with personal examples.
You’ll notice that there is a lot of repetition. This is what helps your audience to remember what you say. Reaffirming things helps them resonate. Give them the same messages at the start, in the middle and at the end.
Make it emotional, tell stories and you will never be forgotten.
At Good Talent Media, we want you to be memorable in the boardroom for all of the RIGHT reasons. You can find out more about our presentation training services here.
If you’ve got some presentation stories to share, leave us a comment. Maybe it was a memorable presentation for all the wrong reasons.
Founder and Director of Good Talent Media