Presenting is not for the fainthearted: often said.
Once conquered, the art of delivering presentations can be high adrenaline rush: initially the fear - nerve-wrecking, the preparation- sleepless however once delivered with impact - highly orgasmic.
For those who have conquered this fear: face an inevitable challenge: the challenge of the content; the challenge of scripting ones presentation; putting the whole oratory in a structure: a ‘flow’.
Is this easy?
Some have learnt the art of making the presentation free-flowing and yes, few of them are really impressive.
Often, the reality is otherwise, the presenter seems comfortable delivering the presentation, however for the audience – the whole content piece “just doesn’t make sense”. Clap/acknowledge they will- often thanking that the presentation is over!
So, how does one structure the presentation for maximum impact?
One of the oldest frameworks is
Tell 3: Tell Them What You Are Going to Say; Tell Them; Tell Them What You Said.
When we are ignorant of frameworks, Tell3 looks interesting; sounding like a well-rhymed verse. It has been used especially in a public speaking environments very powerfully, probably because with no visual reinforcement to the audience, the repetition of points itself lends to the audience’s memory and recall.
However nowadays, a presenter, especially in formal organisational environments, relies on visual tools and at times audio-visual clips too. So then, using the Tell 3, really doesn’t land well as it leads to loads of repetition of points – personally I feel like a kid who is being forced to remember by repetition – takes me back to by school days and rote-method of study.
So what other frameworks can one use?
PCS – Problem, Cause, Solution
The PCS model can be used especially if the presenter has to convey something that has gone wrong in the organisation: could be process, system, or ways of working. This framework defines the problem or challenge you or your team saw, the causes: interspersed with data, facts, research and then the solution that your team has come up with. The decision of moving forward is for the seniors (listeners) to make and that’s the crux of this presentation: permission to move forward.
Remember be prepared to answer questions when the audience doesn’t see the problem exactly as you see it or if the cause relates to the doing or not doing of some stakeholder/s in the audience, then you would have to face a hell of disagreements!
PPF – Past, Present, Future
The PPF focuses not on a problem or challenge but the past that may have its out-dated legacy issues. Also this could be used if there is a creative idea that requires to be sold to senior management. You take the listeners to the past, and show how it is affecting the present. Proposing the future which may require a change in the present becomes your proposition in the presentation. This framework also increases ones “Presence”in the organisation.
This format can be used for Quarterly or Annual Review meets too, when you are expected to talk about your business / responsibility / targets etc. Focusing on the future helps you diffuse the past.
PCO - Pros, Cons, Opinion
Interesting framework that can be used by SME’s (subject matter experts) who can build up different perspectives in the listeners’ minds rather than just coming up with only your opinions. You need to put up to the audience the data: positives (pros) and then with the same energy the cons (negatives). Now comes the part that makes you be seen as an expert: what’s your opinion on this issue and which facts are you relying on, from the above mentioned pros and cons. Audience sees you as a humble expert who puts up facts to the audience. In-spite of you having put your opinion as an influence, the listener sees you as having given them a choice to decide on their positions on the issue.
AIDA – Awareness (Attention), Interest, Desire and Action.
The AIDA model is widely used in marketing and advertising - describes the stages that occur from the time when a consumer first becomes aware of a product to when the consumer trials a product or makes a purchase decision.
When a presenter uses this model, the first A can be interchanged with Attention: a captivating story, data and/or video. Then the content moves on to create Interestthrough points/facts. Then you have to build a Desire in what you are proposing and at the end the conclusion should make the audience start thinking of an Action.
So in short, Presentations aren't about Stand-Up and Speak: they are about Using Powerful Frameworks that create the magic of group influence!
Ajit Kamath CPF is the Principal Trainer & Facilitator at WizTalks primarily working out of India. He has been in the field of #Lecturing, #Training & #Facilitation since 1993.His flagship program in the initial years of training was “The Fascinating World of Public Speaking” and “POWER Presentation Skills” having trained in Companies like Philips, National Stock Exchange, Castrol and others. He delivers programs primarily for senior & mid-level Leadership Teams across industries. He has had experience in the Theatre field that he integrates seamlessly into his training & facilitation. He is also a Story Teller and Certified Professional Facilitator using Group Process Facilitation techniques.
He can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org, tweeter: @AjitWiz