Let’s talk about how to give a great presentation and your presentation content. Yes, yes. There’s a lot to being a good speaker (the mechanics) but so many of us are experts and are booked to teach. To tell people something new. To inform. To share our industry knowledge and know-how. With that in mind, here are three things to remember about your content that will help you deliver real value as a presenter and a speaker:
- Tell me something I don’t know and that I really can’t Google. Why should I spend my precious time traveling to an event or conference only to receive knowledge I could have received in the office or my home? If you can do a quick search online and easily come up with all the elements of your presentation in a listicle, it’s time to dig a little deeper.
- Give me a new way to look at something. Give me a process to solve a problem that has worked for you. Tell me exactly how to do it. Make me scramble for my notepad or frantically take notes on my phone because I want to try your method as soon as I am back home. Make me gasp. Tell me something so counter-intuitive that I almost don’t believe you. Almost. Give me your unique perspective and experience.
- Make it fun to learn something I don’t know and that I really can’t Google. Be engaging. Be interactive. Sure, not everyone is a comedian and I’m not suggesting you have to always include jokes or other funny bits but think about how to entertain while you teach or talk. Your audience may not remember everything you say but they will remember how they felt and that they enjoyed the experience. Or if you delivered “all the feels.” (I’ve cried during someone else’s presentation – an emotional performance that I’ll never forget.)
As speakers, we have a responsibility to deliver great content (dare I say, over-deliver). This is especially true if we want to be asked back. This is a true test of a great speaker. Keep improving your presentations and presenting skills. Go to school on other speakers. Watch the great speakers. Watch your competition. Are there other speakers delivering on your topic? (If you say “no” I will challenge you on this. When anyone says they are the only one delivering some content, inwardly I cringe. We have literally hundreds of speakers on Innovation Women and I can likely find someone else delivering that same content on our site. On the plus side, event managers have choices here!)
As you might guess, at Innovation Women we spend some serious time in the audience at conferences and events, participating in webinars, listening to podcasts, watching fireside chats and panels. Basically, we’re the expert audience. Not necessarily the experts in the things you are experts in: artificial intelligence, robotics, cyber-security, leadership, negotiating, legal matters, investing, relaxation techniques and oh, so many more topics. (Yes, event managers, you can find these speakers and more on our platform – sign up today and browse our self-service platform.)
We’ve become experts in listening to presentations. We see and hear the presentations that make us nod vigorously, jump to our feet and scream out “YES” — as well as the ones that elicit polite applause.
Do you want to be one of the former or one of the latter? Do you want to know what makes a great speaker or a merely good one? You decide. Spend some time thinking about how you can deliver a great presentation and great content.