I’ve found that the best presenters—the ones that most effectively reach their audience and inspire them to take action—are the ones that take the time to really understand and practice the wide array of skills necessary to influence an audience.
That means everything from finding the right way to describe a complicated process to adding an element of surprise that permanently sticks in the back of somebody’s mind.
But when it really comes down to it, the best presenters do two basic things really well: First, they craft story narratives that capture their audiences’ attention. Second, they pair these stories with visuals that support and enhance their points without distracting from them.
Craft a compelling story
After studying hundreds of speeches, I’ve found that the best presenters use the same techniques that great storytellers do. First they remind people of “what is,” or what their world looks like today. They then paint a picture of “what could be,” or what the world might look like if the people in the room adopted the presenter’s idea. This contrast creates an imbalance that the audience looks to the presenter to solve.
Once the presenter has piqued the audience’s interest with this sense of imbalance, he or she needs to bridge the gap with ideas about how to solve it. I’ve found that the most effective way to present these ideas is to move the audience back and forth between “what is” and “what could be.”
Learn more about the power of storytelling in Nancy Duarte and Patti Sanchez’s Best of Show webinar on 30 November.
Once you’ve explained your key messages, it’s time to end with a bang. You want to give the audience something to do after your presentation that moves your idea forward,...
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