Constructing a Winning Presentation

By Greg Niemi . April 8, 2014


The best tip in constructing a winning presentation is to know your audience.  Below are a few helpful hints which have helped me be an accomplished speaker past and present.

# 1 – WIIFMSpeaker

Answer the WIIFM question “What’s In It For Me” early in the presentation, preferably in the opener.  Construct your presentation in terms of their interests.  Do your homework.

State in your opener “By the end of this presentation you will …”

Speaking to their WIIFM gains their attention whether speaking to an audience at a conference, presenting a proposal to a prospective customer, providing employees with an update or a requesting capital investment from a lender.

# 2 – Openers & Closers 

The fact is most people remember your opener and closer the most and get lost somewhere in the middle.

Understand this and construct your opener, and especially your closer, to open with a bang and close your presentation with a booming crescendo (and a call to action).

I believe it was Dale Carnegie who first taught us we need to:

a) tell them what you are going to tell them (opening summary),

b) tell them (the body) and

c) tell them what you told them (closing summary).

I also suggest garnishing the main entre with participant-centered activities to add sizzle to your presentation.  Activities increase retention.  Opening with a tantalizing appetizer, garnishing the main and closing with a scrumptious dessert will improve first, last and in between impressions.

# 3 – Personality Types

It is likely your audience will consist of a mix of personality types.  Construct your presentation to appeal to personality types in this exact order.

Speak to Driver’s first, Expressive’s second, Analytical’s third and Amiable’s last.

Driver’s want you to cut to the quick so give ‘em the facts, the bullets, boomada boomada boomada, at the front of the presentation before you lose them.

Expressive’s want the story complete with images and feelings.  Use stimulating pictures and colorful adjectives and draw upon emotions, likes and dislikes.

Analytical’s want to see the supporting detail which justifies (and demonstrates you have thought through) the case you are making.  Fail to do so and uh oh.

Amiable’s want to agree without inordinate pressure or conflict.  Amiable’s seek acceptance and are irritated by insensitivity.  Make your presentation as pleasant as possible (even if it has controversial content).  Find peace.

# 4 – Smile 

Above all SMILE.  Your attitude, your energy, your facial and body gestures will telegraph far in advance whether your presentation will be a good one, or not, before your words reach their ears.

Be confident and visualize beforehand your audience sitting on the front of their seats, smiling and absorbing everything you have to say.  They are cheering you on to do a good job because they want to have a good time too.

I trust you found these presentation tips helpful.  In my next blog this non-techie will share with you a few quick tips and apps I stumbled across on using my iPad & iPhone to amp up my presentations.

Greg Niemi

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