• Alexandra Bond Burnett

The best presentation advice I can give you in 5 minutes

Yet again you've left it until the last minute. Your presentation is coming up soon. When? This week? Tomorrow? In the next hour?

We are the best procrastinators when we need do do something that scares us. Honestly my sock drawer was never as organised as when I had my final assignments due at Uni.

I know you're in a rush so I wont waffle on.

The best five minute advice I can give you for your upcoming presentation.

1) Write down your anchor points:

Getting lost in the message is usually what happens when we don't prepare. You'll get lost in your talk, go off on weird tangents that confuse your audience.

Think of it this way - you are telling a story.

Every story has three things: a beginning, middle and an end.

Mark down what the start of the presentation is, and how you want them to feel about it (i.e. sad, excited, intrigued, interested, angry, outraged)

2) What makes it interesting?

I lied earlier - there aren't just three things. There are two more and these are the ones that make a story interesting. It's the whole point of the story.

  1. Conflict

  2. Resolution

In between your Beginning and Middle you need conflict. Your problem.

This is usually closely linked to the reason you are talking in the first place. Maybe you're presenting a new software, or a financial report to the board. Maybe it's a staff meeting. Either way somewhere in there is a problem that makes it all interesting!

Between the middle and end we need a resolution.... key word being solution.

Bond AMbition story circle

In 2 minutes write down:

What they will learn / how they will feel.

for example:

  1. Beginning: Explain why communication is important for advisors /curious

  2. Conflict: Technical minds struggle to tell stories using complex information / empathise

  3. Middle: How easy storytelling techniques in their presentation will put them ahead of the game and make information accessible / intrigued

  4. Resolution: Take away tips they can use today/ empowered

  5. End What your better communications will help you achieve/possible and positive

Power point TIP: Create 5 slides with images ONLY that replicate your point

Do it quickly and instinctively... amend later.

The trick is trying to get the balance between what the audience want, and what you KNOW they need.

3) Only start when you are ready.

Feeling flustered? Count to three. Gather your thoughts and composure. Take a moment to own the room; this is a key element of having 'gravitas'. Stages have a different time zone; It will feel long because time slows down when you're speaking in front of people.

4) Divide the room into three

When you set up - take a moment to mentally divide the room into three sections. Left, middle, right. Remember to give each section attention with your eye contact. Sometimes when we are unprepared we avoid eye contact - even more than usual! This technique will make the sections feel that you are addressing them and connecting with them (and help you divide and conquer).

5) Run through the anchor in your head as much as you can.

You might not have time to practice the whole presentation - but you can easily run though five anchor points.

Any questions? Too late you don't have time. No I'm kidding - if you wantany help you can email me here.

If you need a fantastic presentation template to help you refine your message then you can download my free presentation tool here.