We have conducted several 50-second interviews with our thinkers. Here are their collected answers to one specific question: What is the secret of a great presentation?
Connection not perfection.
The quality of the speaker is obviously key here – I have seen brilliant speakers captivate their audiences talking about incredibly obvious and mundane things. But beyond the speaker’s basic charisma, the secret of a great presentation is that takes the audience somewhere new and surprising. Remember, most of the audience for a business presentation have seen a lot of these presentations before, so they don’t want another story about Jack Welch or Steve Jobs. I believe they want something different, that forces them to think and reflect in ways they don’t usually do. Of course, it also has to link that new thought back to the “real world” as well.
Connecting with the audience, challenging them, having them reach the ideas by themselves.
Leaving people thinking, inspired, and wanting to learn and do more! It takes the right theme, practical content, lots of engagement, and fun.
A true connection with the audience, a narrative arc, and an element of surprise.
Being totally present with the audience. Yes the stories, timing, delivery, visuals etc are all important but a presentation goes from good to great when all you are thinking about is that connection with your audience. You don’t just know but can feel what you want them to walk away with.
Address a question that people care about as much as you do. Speak to people about an issue. Not the other way around.
A great presentation solves problems of others more than telling them what I know. A great presentation is one that someone remembers a week (or at least 24 hours) later.
Connecting emotionally with the audience.
The same as the secret to great music – something dissonant or seemingly “off” has to happen to create tension, that then gets resolved in the rest of the piece.