Presentations are an important part of law firms’ and attorneys’ existence, whether it’s a pitch for new business or a presentation for a webinar, seminar or conference. How often do these presentations hit their mark as opposed to doing the opposite of their intent – bore the audience to death? Effective presentations are a fine art, but that art can be learned with practice. Here are a few tips to help you create a more effective presentation:
• Software is a tool, not the presentation. PowerPoint (or whatever software you’re using) is designed to augment the presentation and should not take center stage. The presentation is your message. We’re all familiar with the “death by PowerPoint” syndrome; in fact, search the term and you’ll find 3.9 million results. No amount of slides or props will overcome a weak presentation, so make sure your message is strong and tailored to your audience. For information on new trends in presentation tools, read my blog post on the topic.
• Tell a story. Every presentation should be a narrative that includes a beginning, middle and end. The first part of your presentation should always present the problem. The middle of the presentation should present your key findings, and these should always tie into the central issue you want to solve. By the end of the presentation, your audience should feel that they’ve learned something, and that they have a better understanding of the solution (which should include hiring you and your firm!).
• Connect with your audience. Presentations that convey your emotion, your passion and your truth have a better chance of engaging the audience and holding their interest. Also, a presentation is a two-way communication. Although you’re doing most of the speaking, you’re still having a conversation with the audience. You want to speak with them, not at them. Body language is important: speak with your hands, move about and – most importantly – maintain eye contact. Too many times, the presenter’s eyes are directed at the screen, his or her laptop, or down at notes or a script. This can create a disconnect between the presenter and the audience. Along with visual contact, interaction with the audience is key. By asking questions and getting audience input and feedback, you help them get involved in the conversation you’re having.
For more tips on how to create more successful presentations, contact Zaneta at firstname.lastname@example.org.