Presentation is a skill necessary to convey information efficiently and clearly. It is a skill that enables your opinion or message to be transmitted to people who can benefit from it or can be of use to you. It is a skill that is required in every field. Its primary aim is persuasion so that your interpretation is acceptable to those who listen to it or view it.
The sole objective of any presentation has to be to persuade an audience to absorb the idea presented so that they can act further on it. Presentation skills can be made more useful if certain points are kept in mind while preparing and putting across the prepared material. These are:
• Ensuring you have the full attention of the audience
• Creating an urgency
• Defining a solution
• Illustrating the solution
• Creating a plan for action
It is important that the attention of the listeners is attracted by starting a presentation with something interesting, even if it has to be provocative. It can be some statistic that is mind blowing or a fact that is not well known. Most people when they attend any presentation are already aware of the subject or topic of the presentation, and will have their ideas about it or some preconceived notions. The display becomes immediately attractive if the first few lines or images are those that immediately grab the attention because they fall outside convention.
The presenter must then create a sense of urgency about the issue and the need for some definite action on the matter. The audience must understand why the matter requires to be discussed and thought about, as it has the potential to create certain consequences if not properly addressed. The action required can be something as mundane as a need to increase sales, capture a particular market, and address health or social issues or any other matter that does matter to the audience.
Once the urgency is established, the ideas of the presenter must be put forward clearly. It then becomes necessary to bring up likely solutions to the problem, which are within the capability of the presenter, its audience or society in general. Each solution must be clear as to the required involvement and technical, commercial or financial resources required. Every solution must have a validity and practicality that must accompany any solution to a problem.
Audiences are never satisfied with vague answers. They will always be more enthusiastic if the presentation skills allow the presenter to promote one or more solutions as the right ones, and give details of the reasons for this. At this point of time, proper power point presentations, videos, diagrams, and pictures can come in very handy. They must be such that they are vivid enough to make an impact on viewers.
The presentation must be wrapped up by getting the audience involved in the solution and inviting their views on the matter. A presenter must always understand the reason for the audience being present. Every point raised must have an outcome, and thinking must be action oriented.