2 Questions You MUST Ask Before Giving Any Presentation

Ask these two important questions before you begin your presentation :: Renovate Communication Design, LLCYou’ve probably attended a meeting or presentation and, early in, thought, “This has no relevance to me at all.”

Or maybe you’ve sat through the entire meeting and wondered, “Now what?”

You can avoid these common pitfalls in your own presentations if you answer these two critical (but sometimes rarely asked) questions before you begin working on your content or making slides.

1. Who’s coming?

Who will attend your meeting or presentation?

Spend five minutes thinking about them. Picture their faces, say their names. What do they want? What are they afraid of? Jot down your answers on paper.

Want to go one step further?

Ask them yourself. Walk around the office and talk to your co-workers. Or put together a short survey and send it to them. This is especially helpful if you’re leading a workshop or seminar and have the attendees’ email addresses before the event. You can quickly create a survey and collect the responses easily with a Google Form.

The better you understand who’s in your audience, the more you can tailor your message to their needs. And the more relevant it is to their needs, the more they’ll appreciate your talk–and you.

2. What do I want them to do?

A boring presentation delivers information.

A good presentation motivates people to act.

Once you understand your audience and their needs, decide what you’ll want them to do.

In his massively bestselling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, Stephen Covey calls this “beginning with the end in mind.” You can apply the same idea to your presentations.

Do you want prospects to buy? Parents to change the way they talk to their teens? Students to get their work done? Employees to buy in to a new way of doing things?

Determine what you’ll ask them to do and then work backwards–build everything in your meeting or talk with the end in mind. This keeps your message focused and gives your audience clear direction when its over.

For your next presentation, start by asking these two questions and you’ll see a difference.

Make better presentations with the Presentation Renovation eBook + audiobook

A Few Good Presentation Fonts on Sale at Fontspring

Getting and keeping your audience’s attention is always a challenge. When it comes to your presentation’s visual design, it doesn’t help if you’re using the same fonts that your audience sees on their computers every day. Using a font that they don’t see routinely, however, can make a difference.

The fine people at Fontspring are making that easier for you right now.

The November issue of FONTFACE, the Fontspring newsletter, announced a sale on some good-looking fonts, some of which can work very nicely in a presentation. Of those featured in the newsletter, I think these three would work well (depending on the context and use):

These are really good prices for attractive, professionally-designed fonts. The newsletter doesn’t say how long the sale runs, so you might want to act sooner rather than later.

When choosing and using fonts for a presentation, always keep legibility at the forefront. Remember that your slides need to be read from the back row by people with bad eyesight. Stay away from scripty, swirly fonts. These look fine on a wedding invitation but not in your presentation.

If you’re budget can’t handle anything beyond free, check out Font Squirrel.

Why Your Presentation (Still) Doesn’t Work

So you’ve bought into the idea that you need cut the text on your slides.

Check.

And you’ve even rehearsed (something most people won’t do).

Check.

So why won’t they buy your idea?

Go back to your message and remember that your presentation is really about marketing. Here are a few points to keep in mind:

  • Your audience doesn’t care about you; they care about what you can do for them.
  • Have you identified a problem your audience has? And do you have the solution to it?
  • Are you telling a believable, emotional, and compelling story (or just presenting data)?

Your presentation isn’t about PowerPoint or Keynote or Prezi or whatever. It’s about making a connection and telling a story.

Make better presentations with the Presentation Renovation eBook