The best speakers tell stories. Your audience forgets most of what you said in your presentation. They forget your name. If they remember anything, it’s your best stories. You know it was an effective story when they repeat it to others. They might not repeat it word for word – but they convey the essence of your message. That makes your presentation story a success.
A prop can greatly enhance your presentation. Verbal arguments aren’t enough to convince people of your message. Add a visual – a chart or cartoon. Verbal props come in several forms: quotations from famous people, anecdotes, plays, poems or even questions. I was faced with a critical meeting to defend myself against serious charges from our auditors. My defense included a quote, a cartoon and a parable.
You can expect your audience to have questions about your presentation. That indicates interest in your presentation message.
When you answer questions from the audience, that allows you to engage them and reinforce your message. The question-and-answer session can convey your confidence, reveal your depth of knowledge and enhance the rapport between you and your audience – if you handle it well.
Your close although short is a significant part of your speech. Be clear on the purpose of your speech and be clear on how your close supports that purpose. Your last words might be remembered the most. No matter how badly you think your presentation went always end it looking and sounding confidently.
This CEO didn’t know how to end his presentation. That was curious because as the head of an advertising firm he stressed the importance of telling stories. He emphasized the need to sculpt three components to your stories; opening, body and close. But he didn’t do that with his presentation. Both his opening and close were disasters. I wonder if he delivers a better close when pitching to prospects.