Co-authored by Robert Kawalsky, CEO of Zeetings
So, your presentation didn’t really deliver the impact you wanted. There’s a good reason for that. In great part because a typical audience will tune out from your traditional Power Point presentation in 10 minutes.
Delivering a monologue inhibits your ability to communicate a point effectively. In a world of conference rooms terrorized by bland, monotonous PowerPoint presentations, your presentation needs to have a little extra oomph in order to stand out from the crowd. To get that out-of-your seat reaction from the audience, you need to transform them from passive spectators into active participants.
If you stop ignoring your audience, they will start listening to you. Now that we are way past the dawn of the mobile era and living in a cloud-based world, the presentation paradigm is shifting. In modern, professional environments, speakers need to foster a meaningful connection with the audience to share information productively. Sifting through bland, nondescript slides is no longer an acceptable mode of communication, and is really no different than the 30-second advertisements we are all forced to watch while our streaming videos load. What is called for are interactive, collaborative presentations which take the speaker-spectator relationship to the next level.
Communication is a two-way street and presentations are no different. To be proficient, you need to facilitate a dynamic and engaging conversation instead of a static, one-way presentation. On top of that, you need insight into what your audience is thinking so you can deliver your material in a way which helps them remember it.
Right now, software is continuously transforming the way we work. Not only are workflows increasingly more efficient, traditional decision-making frameworks are being upended by data-driven intelligence. We are now able to guess less and know more. And, what we know is that people respond much more positively when they are part of a presentation rather than simply a member of an audience. The combination of cloud computing and proliferation of connected devices allows this level of inclusion to flourish.
This was first shown by eBay, whose team recently seized one of those opportunities and used a cutting-edge interactive presentation platform to sell its vision of the future of retail at SXSW. Another thought leader, Irene Au from Khosla Ventures, used the same software for an online chat and presentation for ATP Innovations.
Both cases garnered the crowd-roaring reaction that can only be attained with real engagement and genuine connection. These hosts also recognized one of the most important aspects of modern presentations: once the slideshow ends and the official show is over, the information’s impact should continue to ripple like a water from a stone tossed into a pond. Modern communication services facilitate this ongoing discussion, extending your presentation’s life and giving you an ongoing opportunity to gather insight about your audience.
Today, monologue presentations and traditional communication techniques are simply not good enough. The small technical hitches and hold-ups that accompany these traditional presentations are unacceptable in the modern, professional world, which is sophisticated, cloud-based, and more glitch-free than ever before. Audience members who are accustomed to tuning out Web advertisements and are practically pros at ignoring the unwanted information that they are bombarded with on a daily basis need to have a voice, some stake, in a presentation for it to matter to them.
Sure, you can add any number of bells or whistles, but if the audience is disconnected, it will not mean anything. In an environment where social media analytics can provide boundless consumer information, your presentation—a space where you are communicating directly with a consumer of your information—should similarly provide you with data you can act upon.
There is beauty in tradition, but the tradition of boring presentations is not very beautiful. Don’t use antiquated techniques to deliver your latest message—spark a dynamic conversation which does not grind to a halt as soon as you step off the podium. Your audience will thank you for it, and you’ll thank yourself once you see the effects.
Image credit: timtim.com