It was from a reputable organization. It had good information. The speakers were likable. But I left frustrated.
I drove home after, windows down and music up. I felt empty.
Why didn’t the talk connect with me?
What was missing?
Stopped in traffic, the light went off. Not a green one. An internal one.
There wasn’t a moment in the entire presentation where I felt compelled to pull out my phone and tweet.
No pizazz to keep me motivated.
There was nothing that inspired me to run out and tell others.
I’m naturally a market maven.
I love sharing inside intel with friends and colleagues. So when I stay silent, something is wrong.
Presenting is about sharing knowledge and helping others.
But as a company representative, it is about adding value—and reach—to your brand.
In today’s social, always-on world, speaking engagements should go beyond the immediate walls and connect with a larger, digital audience.
It’s primetime to position your company, thought leadership style.
To give your presentation life and wings, try using these tactics next time you take the stage with a clicker:
Make Your Presentation Shareworthy by Broadcasting Live
Think of your presentation as an opportunity to broadcast to the world.
Easy-to-use tools allow you to openly promote your message to a digital audience and extend your voice.
If possible, have a peer in the audience launch Facebook Live to film your speech, capturing the moment to increase online participation.
While there are other streaming apps and services, Facebook Live will likely be the most effective.
With the platform, you can take online questions in real-time or save for the Q&A.
If interacting with a live audience online is overwhelming, you can identify common questions from the stream later and host an additional video answer session.
You can also write a blog post to share on your social channels.
This has an added bonus of making the audience feel like they are involved with a larger production and can increase the energy in the room.
By Going to Prep School
Whether novice or expert, preparing for your presentation makes a big difference.
While some may feel the need to practice speaking beforehand, working on your content and flow is important in delivering a memorable experience.
To give your talk a better chance at getting shared around the web, use some of these easy tips:
- Schedule important facts, figures, and ideas as social posts in advance.
- Create a short, catchy hashtag for your presentation.
- Deliver important information as short sentences on a slide. This helps participants quickly tweet or post on Facebook.
- Create slides with good contrast so your slides are readable and audience members can easily take pictures.
- Include your company and personal Twitter handles and make them prominent.
- Free photography sites such as Unsplash or Librestock can add a visual punch to your slides. It’s better to show than to tell.
- Present data as colorful graphs or large bold numbers—not a list of numbers.
By Including Your Audience
Monologues are great if you are studying to be an actor.
They aren’t a good choice for engaging presentations.
Not only does crowd participation improve the pace of your delivery, it can create promotable moments for your company.
A few ways to include the audience are:
- Live polls. Use software that integrates with your slides and shows audience answers in real-time. This increases participation and gives you actionable information to tie-in with your overall message.
- Ask audience questions or input. This works best with small audiences. For larger audiences, ask multi-choice or yes/no questions and ask for a show of hands on the answer.
- Try to engage directly with individuals in the audience. If you ask a question that includes a show of hands, follow-up with those who do and ask them to elaborate more.
By Telling a Story
Most presentations follow a tired format.
They start with company facts, credibility, and dive right into the what and how.
We’re a billion-dollar company, I manage the South American division and we launched a new product that purifies water and increased revenues by 10 percent. Here is some data. Thanks for coming.
Instead, paint a picture.
Start with a conflict and build an interesting narrative.
Begin with a reason for the crowd to stick around and develop interesting elements the same way screenwriters create characters.
A better formula would be:
Conflict / Problem + Increasing odds + Interesting Story = Resolution (primarily your product or service)
Let’s Try Again
People were experiencing issues getting clean water to remote villages. The roads and infrastructure made access more difficult. Storms damaged the area. Funding was cut. Our product manager went on an eight-month journey of research and development to deploy portable filters that made it easy to purify water for drinking. We now sell more than one million units worldwide and our stock price improved 10 percent.
See the difference?
Facts and figures belong in annual reports.
Bringing them along for the presentation requires a bit more skill and thought.
Rather than listing key insights in bullet point format, weave statistics into story.
Make the audience care.
By Making it Memorable
Getting up in front of people and hitting a home run takes time, practice, and creativity.
As professionals, we are all pressed for time and crafting amazing presentations isn’t always a high priority.
However, they can add value to your brand and serve as an extra spokesperson for your cause.
Even more, if you nail the tips in this post, you create additional brand advocates who share your story with the world.
Today’s listener demands more.
With so many options vying for attention, you have to stand out and get ready to deliver shareworthy information.
Anyone can wing it.
Give your next presentation the care it deserves and differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack.
Stop doing the ordinary.
Strive to do something everyone remembers.