Give us a call on +44 (0)20 3326 6289
Home Blog Presentation Skills Who Are You Designing Your Presentations For?

Who Are You Designing Your Presentations For?

Have you ever sat in the audience of a presentation and thought 'why am I here?' Ever been presenting and seen this exact thought behind the glazed-over look of your audience? In our experience, this is often because you've designed your whole presentation in your own head, and forgotten about the 'what's in it for them' factor.

When speakers don't clearly explain what they will be speaking about or how they will present their information, but instead dive straight in. What happens? You start to switch off and everything floats over your head, never to be remembered. With such an unstructured approach to speaking you would have to be an extraordinary speaker to engage your audience and keep them interested for the duration of the presentation. Some speakers do this very well, but unfortunately not very many, and this leads to boring and unengaging presentations.

The best way to engage your audience and keep them engaged, is to tell a story and take them on a journey with you. Consider what you want your audience to think and feel whilst you're telling your story and what you eventually want them to do when they leave. All good stories have a beginning, a middle and an end, so make sure yours does too. And don't forget the science: all people are bound by something called the 'availability heuristic' this is a mental shortcut where things that are easily remembered (like stories) are more believable. This means a good story is easy to recall, easy to use and seems more true than other forms of knowledge. (Psychologists Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, 1973). So using a story helps you be engaging and memorable, making it easy for you to transfer the information. What more could you want?

So, in practical terms, what's the best way to do build your story? What we suggest, is that you think about the three areas of your presentation and:

• Start and end with a bang. Research shows that people remember most what was presented at the beginning and the end, or primary and recency, what they heard first and last. Add this to your story telling science and you're onto a winner where memorability is concerned.

• Ask yourself what you want your audience to think, how you want them to feel, and what you want them to do as a result of your presentation – this is your ultimate goal and should guide everything you say.

• Plot the journey. Regardless of how long your presentation is, can you summarise the key points at a high level in 60 seconds? If you can't – you're probably going to give your audience too much information anyway.

Ultimately the key to all of this is practice – get a friend or colleague to help you, or come along to one of our Fabulous Facilitation or Pitch Perfect workshops and we'll help. Get in touch to find out more.

Presentation Skills


5 Ways you can Achieve Flow 18 April 2018, 00.00 Sharon
5 Ways you can Achieve Flow
Often described as a state of mind in which you can experience total immersion and involvement in what you’re doing, where things happen effortlessly and time disappears, flow is what athletes often call “being in the



Protect. Enable. Strengthen. Flourish. Your business is in their heads.