Recently, we asked our followers on social and some others to let us know about their particular presentation "What Ifs...": lingering questions about presentation skills training, delivery, and more. We'll be sharing some of the questions and responses here, because no doubt one person's "what if" maybe shared by many!
If you took part in our Holiday Giveaway through social or email, we thank you. Be on the lookout for responses from our President, Kerri Garbis, very soon.
What If: ...the audience thinks I'm uninteresting when presenting?
Answer from Kerri: This is an extremely common fear, especially when you’re often burdened with presenting highly technical or data-heavy material. While you can’t control what everyone will think (there’s often a resident curmudgeon or naysayer) you can include some things in your presentation to keep your audience on board:
Try using a story as a vehicle to deliver data. When you wrap your facts in a story, you illuminate your content in a way that engages your audience. (You can find lots of information about storytelling for business on the OC Blog and in our Resource Center.)
Another option is to include a periodic Q&A throughout your presentation. Give the audience a chance to participate and ask questions. With a few clearly set parameters, (and Q&A time built into your presentation) you can keep things on track while engaging your audience.
If you hear that your audience found your presentation uninteresting, sleuth a bit to find out why. Ask a superior or trusted colleague what lost them – many times it can be a simple fix, like speech volume that's too low or content that needs a bit of editing. Presentation skills are a constant work in progress. While you can’t control what other people think, you can continue to work towards improving your own skill set.