Effectively gaining your audience’s trust is imperative in any presentation setting. Building that sense of reliability can be fairly tricky but there are a few lessons we can takeaway from one of the greatest holiday movies and a certain little boy named Ralphie.
If you aren’t familiar with Jean Shepard’s, A Christmas Story, it’s the classic story of a boy who will do anything to get what he wants for Christmas. In Ralphie’s case, he fantasizes about the, “official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model BB rifle with a compass in the stock “, the one and only thing he wants for Christmas. Throughout the entire film, Ralphie is set on a determined quest to convince his “Old Man”, mother, teacher and Santa himself that he absolutely needs this gift, even though he could potentially “shoot his eye out with that thing”.
So what can we learn about a hopeful little boy who desperately wants a gun for Christmas? It’s simple, Ralphie was able to build credibility with his parents because in the end he got what he wanted when they surprised him with his beloved BB gun. Though his parents were well aware of the possible danger of shooting his eye out, Ralphie constantly assured them that he “would be careful”- enabling their trust.
Here are a few suggestions to help you establish that credibility and trust from your audience when giving a PowerPoint presentation:
Ensure Strong Verbal Delivery and Body Language
Speak loud and clear: the more understandable you are to your audience, the more they can trust what you’re saying. Use effective body language as well: stand tall and don’t fidget nervously to assure them that you’re cool, calm and confident.
Teach More, Sell Less
The purpose of your presentation is to teach your audience your content- selling them goes simultaneously with this. The more your audience learns, the more they remember.
Ask questions and listen to their ideas. Effective communication goes along way with trust building: your audience can believe your ideas when you believe in their concerns.
Share Beneficial Content
Skip the fluff, even if your content is simplified—another important PowerPoint tip. Only provide your audience with information that is useful and relatable. Don’t project a ton of text and statistics that they will soon forget, less is more!
Design, Write and Look Professional
This is a three step process. You want your PowerPoint to look neat, clean and presentable so skip the over abundance of animation and bordered backgrounds. Grammar and spell check multiple times before presenting, even ask for a second pair of eyes for extra edits. And most importantly, look presentable! It’s better to be overdressed than under dressed.
These four tips will help you build trustworthiness with any audience base. Whether you are presenting to a conference room full of people, or even just one person, you are building a reputation for yourself within that time period. From start to finish your audience is meticulously judging your words, content and overall appearance of your professional presentation. Capture their attention in a good way and establish that trust from beginning to end.
Though Ralphie may not be a great example in this case, because in the end his parents ended up being right when he almost shot his eye out, he successfully built his own credibility by convincing his parents that they could trust him. In your next professional presentation consider these tips in order to effectively gain your audience’s trust, I double dog dare you.