There can be a lot riding on an internal presentations, especially when different departments need budgets or projects approved by the top guns. Not only does this put presenters in high-pressure situations, it affects the morale of teams that need reassurance that their managers and team leaders know what they’re doing. An awful presentation not only affects how you’re perceived, but it sends a message to your team that you just don’t care – so why should they?
It’s time to rethink presentations. They don’t have to be nerve-wracking, boring, or just “part of the job.” Reconsider your attitude to presentations and watch out for the following identifiers of lousy internal presentations.
No Call to Action
While not every presentation needs you to channel your inner Leonardo DiCaprio in Wolf of Wall Street, it is important that you leave your team knowing exactly what their objectives are and how to achieve them. This message needs to be clear and concise. If it doesn’t give them a direction, they can’t be motivated to do what they need to do. To make sure your message gets across, keep it to one message per slide – this means you’re not diverting your team’s attention and they’re learning more because they retain information.
Lack of Respect and Credibility
Aretha Franklin sang it best: r – e – s – p – e – c – t – find out what it means to me. Your team will respect what you have to say when you demonstrate that you and your information are credible sources. Giving a presentation with little attention provided to design shows your team that if you put so little effort into your work, it means they can too. An internal presentation sets the standard of how people are expected to work, whether implicit or explicit. Establishing credibility through the appearance of your presentation is achievable and simple if you consider the way you display information and data.
Unclear Ideas and Transitions
Sometimes, we hide behind data. Graphs, charts, and hard numbers trick us into believing that we appear more knowledgeable than our audience. This isn’t the case. Filling your slides with too much data is more likely to confuse rather than inform your team of vital speaking points. To combat this, consider utilising design principles to better display your data and to clearly demarcate where you are as your presentation progresses. Psychologically, our working memory means we don’t retain large chunks of sentences if someone is speaking. Try to keep it under six objects per slide and remove large blocks of text.
Your presentation is your greatest asset when you’re addressing your team. Incorporating clever rhetoric engages your team and encourages them to think about your key points. Rhetorical questions can be used to your benefit and help guide the audience as your ideas develop. Accompanied by a stunning presentation, you’ll be able to hold your team’s attention for longer.
Remember: 90% of information is lost within 30 seconds if you don’t know how to keep your audience engaged. Opting for a vibrant and fun approach to presentations means that you keep your team passionate about what you do and ensures that they’re on the same page. Avoid a public flogging and keep your morale high.