Are you able to lead a presentation that captures and keeps the audiences’ attention and teaches them something?
Communication is an essential part of a researchers’ job—the best insights in the world mean nothing if you cannot get your organization to take action on them. Our research identifies communication and influence as key skills for the next generation market researcher.
So, when the oh-so-talented team of executive advisors at the Corporate Executive Board gathered for a few days of training (yep–we’re trying to make our presentations more engaging and effective for our members as well!), I knew the topic would be one researchers would be interested in. Below are 10 of the top tips from CEB’s masters of effective presentations. Apply these in your next presentation and let us know how it goes!
- Start with Confidence, Purpose & Content. The audience should know you’re in charge right away, and that they will learn something very quickly.
- Half as Long, Twice as Good. Commit to every point you make. Never half-say anything: say it confidently or don’t say it at all. If you can’t decide whether to say something, don’t—everything is premeditated and focused.
- You’re Happy to be Here. Don’t just smile. Be excited to be here and let it show.
- Silence is Power. Be comfortable with silence. Use it to own the room throughout the presentation.
- Believe it. Show us that you truly believe your message.
- Prioritize. You are here to tell the audience what is most important. Which information matters most? Where should they focus their attention? Tell then what to do, what matters, and why.
- Don’t Talk What. Talk Why. Why are we talking about this? Why should we care? Why is this hard? Why do we believe we should change? Why are we showing you this information? Always be answering why—that makes for a much more fascinating presentation.
- Don’t Address Slides. Address the Audience, Using the Slides. You are here to teach and engage people in the room. Use the slides to do that, but make sure you address the people, not the slides.
- Transition with Purpose. Never say “page 9” as your transition. Tell me why we’re leaving page 8. All transitions are about why.
- Manage the Clock—Openly. Managing time from the very beginning. Once you have a time problem, it’s too late to solve it.