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4 Types of Audience Members You Need to Present For

Your audience is filled with 4 different member types of thinkers: analytical, structural, social, and conceptual.

It’s your job to make your presentations appeal to all four. Like any other accomplishment, appealing to all four thinkers will involve research, namely research about how each thinker thinks. We, at our Presentation Agency, have looked into inc.com’s recent series of articles on leadership and compiled a rudimentary set of instructions to appeal to each thinker by analyzing the essentials that make up the foundation of each form of thought.

Analytical

Here’s how you can be sure to draw out your analytical-thinking audience:

  • Show your research.
  • Highlight important data from within the research.
  • You need to show the big picture, not just the details.
  • Provide a case study.
  • Analyze past successes to allow your team to develop new ideas.
  • Provide an overview as well as objectives.
  • Clarity about your needs is critical.
  • Quantify everything
  • Use analytical phrases like:
      • What is the cost/benefit of this project?
      • What does the research say?
      • I’ve been analyzing the situation.

Structural

So here’s how to communicate in aims to draw out your structural-thinking audience:

1. First, it’s important to understand that a structured thinker learns by doing

2. Next, provide plenty of “how-to” points

3. Hand out a step-by-step implementation plan and a guide for how things need to be done.

4. Explain through practicality.

5. Communicate in concrete terms and explain the rules.

6. Be very detailed.

Social

  • Here’s how you can be sure to draw out your socially oriented audience:
  • Don’t be afraid to refer to feelings.
  • Use questions like:
      • “How does that appeal to you?”
      • “How are you feeling about this?”
  • Or statements like:
      • “I’m concerned about how others will react.”
  • Show a personal connection.
  • Phrases that evoke this:
      • “Let’s work through this together.”
      • “Is everyone on the same page?”

Conceptual

Here’s how you can be sure you speak and interact conceptually to draw out your conceptual-thinking audience:

  • Think long-term; Where do we want to be in 5 years? You can always fill in the details and short-term afterward
  • Describe the levels or stages of your plans or ideas
  • Use abstract examples or metaphors
  • Define key terms

Thinking through this form of audience analysis will allow you to maximize the research for PowerPoint presentation, which will in turn lead more sales!

 

References:

Browning, Geil. “Why Being Social Makes You a Better Leader. inc.com. July 15, 2013.
Browning, Geil. “Why Steve Jobs’ Exactitude Mattered as Much as His Vision. inc.com. May 16, 2013.

Why You Need Props at Your Next Presentation

Props in Presentations

When you hear the word “prop” do you think of those cotton horse heads on a stick that the actors pretend to ride around on?

The truth is props are universally profiled as cheesy theatrical objects, much like the horse on a stick, good only for middle-school plays. Because of this, props are obsolete in the eyes of the typical presenter, and that’s a problem.

While by definition, the word “prop” does refer to theatrical property, its purpose is overlooked. Any given prop is used to add realism to a given story and to help advance the narrative in a more palpable way. This idea is directly transferable and applicable to any corporate presentation, PowerPoint presentation, or sales pitch.

By thinking of props as relics of the past, we are blinding ourselves of the many creative and effective ways to utilize props in today’s world.

Here’s my favorite example:

Italian entrepreneur and television host Marco Montemagno is the renowned founder of digital domination summit.Digital Domination Summit is a free online event, featuring prerecorded video messages & video interviews from up to 30 leading authorities on how to do business in the digital world”. Montemagno’s also hosts live talks that are are known to be among the most engaging and intriguing throughout of Italy and Europe for that matter. He focuses on the topic of Internet culture. His talks revolve around showing Italians why the Internet should be embraced and not feared. Montemagno presents to audiences of up to 3,000 people in cities including Milan, Rome, and Venice. In spite of his goal to bridge a divide between his technical expertise and the everyday language of his audience, Montemagno uses devices meant to engage his listeners, namely props.

Montemagno’s audience members get a pen and paper before taking their seats. During the presentation, he asks them to turn to the person to their right and in 30 seconds sketch their portrait. He then asks them to write the title of their favorite song, movie, etc. They pass the paper around and repeat the process until the paper has changed hands up to five times. Each audience member then takes home a piece of paper that once belonged to someone else. The exercise is intended to demonstrate how information is shared among individuals across networks.

Montemagno shows us a unique and creative medium through which to apply props. He takes a complex subject, and simplifies to an experience that every member of the audience can feel, and therefore remember vividly. This is what props are useful for, helping the audience feel, understand, and remember. If you manage to get your audience to go through these three sensations about  you and your PowerPoint presentation, you will find your business reaching new heights!

3 Reasons Why You’ll Benefit from Using Props:

 Your presentations will be more memorable. Sure, you can repeat the same description of your product 12 times, and increase audience retention, or you can just bring out the actual product, explain it once, and get the same effect.

You can apply them as effective metaphors. Using props as metaphors are great way to get your audience’s attention in a matter of a few seconds.

You will create emotional impact. While facts and stats will tell, emotion will sell!

References:

“Digital Domination Summit 2013.” Wired UK. June 28, 2013.

Gallo, Carmine. “Using Props to Improve Your Presentations.” Bloomberg.com. January 27, 2009.

“How Do Props Help a Presentation?” Manner of Speaking. September 25, 2011.

Putting Your Presentation before Your PowerPoint.SlideGenius. December 9, 2013.

Ten Tips for Using Props in a Presentation.Manner of Speaking. September 28, 2011.

Using Statistics and Metaphors Effectively in Your PowerPoints

Did you know that every person recorded in history that has been able to lick their elbow has had an IQ characterized as that of a genius?  While the previous statement is a complete fabrication of my imagination, it doesn’t negate the fact that you just thought of licking your elbow to see if you were a genius.

Statistics, metaphors, pictures, videos they all make us think in very specific and useful ways. Knowing how to manage these presentational aids can be what makes your next presentation sound like if you have been taking private classes with Tony Robins.

Presentations bogged down by statistics, overwhelming data, and technical topics can send your audience dozing off in minutes, but never fear, there are a few techniques that can help you convey the true significance of what you’re presenting.

When it comes to data, simplify and get creative.

If you’re presenting your data with a table, you might as well be force feeding sleeping pills to your audience. Instead of cramming all your data on to one page, give each statistic its own page, accompany each with a visual, and present them as individual, easy-to-digest morsels. If you have a slide crammed full with numbers, chances are nobody is going to take anything away from it.

Why should we care?

Statistics can captivate when presented effectively, they just need to be framed in such a way that makes your audience understand their significance. Paint a picture that depicts their relevancy. An excellent example of this was done during the 2012 presidential race when there was much to-do over the net worth of President Obama and of Governor Romney.

Adjusting for inflation, George Washington was the United States' richest president of all time.Obama

While it was revealed that Obama was among the poorest presidents ever elected and Romney was among the most wealthy, their combined wealth didn’t even come close to that of George Washington’s, when adjusting for inflation. Framing statistics in this way helps to give life to numbers that can often be monotonous and sedating, because practical application and historical context can make them much more relatable.

Metaphors, metaphors, metaphors.

If you’ve got a tough sell or a hard point to make, a metaphor can often help paint a picture for your audience to wrap their heads around. Metaphors can evoke an emotional response, which is very desirable when presenting potentially dry information, such as an investment opportunity.

Even better, Visual metaphors

When we listen to something, only 3 percent of our brain neurons are engaged, but when we see an image, that number jumps up to 30 percent. As far as engaging an audience on a chemical level, and ensuring that they retain the information you wish to convey, a visual representation of the conclusion your presentation seeks to reach will be, literally, 10 times more effective.

What you talk about is meaningless unless you know how to express it. It all comes down to two factors: how you say it and how you show it. Whether the topic is stem cell research or peanut butter protein bars, the audience will only care based off of how you present what you are presenting.

Harness the power of these presentational aids, and you will rule the world. Not really, but you will definitely have captivated your audience.

SOURCES:

http://www.slideshare.net/CarlKwan/how-to-present-data-and-statistics-visually

http://www.forbes.com/2010/07/14/george-washington-hoover-jfk-obama-personal-finance-10-richest-presidents_slide_5.html

http://soappresentations.com/the-value-of-metaphor-in-business-presentations/

3 Presentational Skills to Learn From Conan O’Brien

“Starbucks says they are going to start putting religious quotes on cups. The very first one will say, ‘Jesus! This cup is expensive!'” –Conan O’Brien

 

The world is full of people that can stand in front of an audience, or sit behind a desk, and talk for an hour, and in so doing call themselves talk show hosts. What separates Conan from the rest of those “unworthies” is his flawless technique as a presentation expert. Conan’s jokes, one-liners, and funny anecdotes always seem to bring out a steady stream of laughter and applause in every venue.

As one of America’s favorite television hosts, comedians, writers, producers, and voice actors, Conan is known for his “awkward and self-depreciating humor.”

While every presenter has their own style, here are three tips from Conan’s spectacular swag, that as presenters we should study and practice:

1)     Good-natured fun always has a place in a presentation. Whether talking about terrorism, the Queen of England, fast food restaurants, or 100-year-old sea turtles, Conan finds a way to put a humorous spin on any subject. For example, when referencing former President George Bush Sr. at the commencement speech at Dartmouth University, “Behind me sits a highly admired President of the United States and decorated war hero while I, a cable television talk show host, have been chosen to stand here and impart wisdom. I pray I never witness a more damning example of what is wrong with America today.”

Humor has a way with people. It can actually help simplify the most complex issues so they can be understood by children. I shouldn’t have to tell you (but I will anyway) that jokes and humor are all good fun until someone loses an eye (or so the expression goes). While not many eyes have been lost by investor presentations, emotions can be poked at, and people can get offended. Just use good judgment.

2)     Use rhetorical devices. Conan fills his monologues with metaphors, comparisons, statistics, and sarcasm. He uses these devices to convey his overarching themes and messages. In the aforementioned commencement speech, Conan exemplifies this idea by saying “I went from being in the center of the grid, to not only off the grid, but underneath the coffee table that the grid sits on, lost in the shag carpeting that is underneath the coffee table supporting the grid.  It was the making of a career disaster, and a terrible analogy.” Analogies, even those as off-color as this one, can make you more relatable to your audience, and add a human aspect to your presentation.

3)     Your body may be a temple, but Conan’s body is a wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man. At 6”4, Conan’s long-limbed body caps off with his world-famous fiery red hair. Needless to say he can be easily seen from every angle by his audience. Even so, O’Brien makes an effort to shake or bob his head, dance around, transform his face, or even ride around in his imaginary canoe every couple minutes. He screams, he shouts, he seems like he’s the entertainment at a six-year-olds birthday party, but he does it beautifully and tactically. He keeps the audience’s eyes on him at all times. This is a great skill for any presenter. 

In sum, while you may not be a ridiculously tall, red-headed Harvard graduate with his own talk show, you can definitely apply something from these tips to your next corporate presentation.

Finally, this goes out to you Conan. Stay awesome!