Content is the key ingredient to getting to your presentation destination. If you don't have great content that wows an audience, then you are missing a valuable opportunity to give your audience information that they need and to advance your own goals through speaking.
In my last post, we talked about organizing presentation content, but today we are going to focus on two types of content that wows: storytelling and statistics.
Crafting Content Begins with your KABOOM Statement
Presentation content that wows – starts with your KABOOM statement which is the one idea you want your audience to take with them after the presentation. That 10 words or less statement is at the center of all you do. All your content relates directly back to your KABOOM statement. When you are crafting your content, always be asking yourself does this story or statistic directly support my KABOOM statement. If it does, great you are creating content that is on point and will wow your audience. If not, you need to consider losing it.
A word of warning – don't get too attached to a story or a particular statistic. If it doesn't further your mission, it needs to go.
What's your story?
Stories are one of the most compelling and engaging ways to relate content to your audience. Think about the last time you got so involved with the a book or movie that you didn't want it to end. It was sad to see the characters go because you wanted them in your life! That is the power of story.
In a world where executives are drowning in dry data, market share estimates, and bullet points, stories are a way to liven up a presentation and make your presentation memorable. Stories must include a few key elements:
- Set the scene – in a few words describe the place, time or person. Craig Valentine recommends checking the VAKS. Those are visual, auditory, kinesthetic and smell cues. Engaging the senses is a way to get the audience engaged in your presentation content.
- Character – you need to have at least 2 characters – typically you and one other person. Be sure to describe that character using Craig's VAKS method.
- Dialogue – Don't just tell us what happened. Relive the story. Use dialogue to advance the plot.
- Challenge – There has to be a challenge or a conflict to overcome. Introduce this early in your story.
- Resolution – Describe how the conflict was overcome. Use dialogue.
- Take away – this should be your KABOOM statement or related to. It's the whole point of why you told the story.
Telling a great story in a presentation is a way to wow your audience, touch their hearts, engage their minds and leave a lasting impression.
Show Me the Numbers
Statistics are a wonderful way to establish credibility, show that you really know your stuff, and bore the audience to tears. Some presentation coaches will tell you to start a presentation with a startling statistic.
“Wow that statistic scared the crap out of me.”
-Said no audience member ever
Statistics are abstract. Big numbers are hard to wrap your mind around. Let's face it, we hear tons of numbers EVERY day, the statistics become meaningless. Your job as a presenter that wows with your content is to take abstract numbers and make them meaningful to your audience.
I saw a speaker who told us that 60% of African-American young women won't graduate from high school. We were all seated at table of 10. She then said “Look around your table that means 6 people at your table would not graduate from high school.”
Wow that drove the point home! A few other tricks for making numbers stick:
- Use metaphors and analogies
- Tell a story that illustrates your number
- Make the number visual (and I am not talking about a pie chart or bar chart from hell), but a clean graphic that gets your point across
- Relate that number to your KABOOM statement
Compelling content is key to having a presentation that soars and gets you to your ultimate presentation goals. We are now halfway through discussing our road map to your presentation destination. We've assessed for speaking success, discussed the barriers that hold you back and covered content. Next week, I'll be discussing delivering your message!
Have questions on content that wows? I'd love to hear them in the comment sections below.
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