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Preparation: The Secret Weapon to Presentation Survival

It’s impossible to survive a zombie apocalypse without weapons.

When we say weapons, they can either be concrete arms, defense tactics, or escape strategies.

You need to get in shape and plan your journey to travel the path of survival.

The same thing applies with presentations.

Make this happen with a clear and organized discussion flow.

To do this, you need one powerful weapon to cover all your marketing efforts:

Preparation.

Let’s look at useful chunks of your pitch that we can connect with this presentation weapon.

Who’s Your Audience?

1 - Who’s Your Audience
Before you attack, you should know who your targets are first.

Whether facing the undead or a living, breathing crowd, know who your audience is and what they do.

Understanding your audience beforehand is the first step to structuring your content.

Investigate how much they know about your topic, their possible take on your idea, and what they expect from your presentation.

This helps you determine the succeeding steps needed to market your product.

When’s the Right Time?

2 - When’s the Right Time
You can’t strike at just any time.

As the saying goes, “Preparation and timing make a good formula for success.”

Timing matters if you want to combat fearsome zombies or people’s short attention spans.

With proper speech delivery and a well-timed topic, a great business opportunity awaits you.

Make your ideas parallel to your audience’s needs. Tailor your content and get all the facts you need so that it will appeal directly to their interests.

Plan when to strengthen your main idea for greater impact. If someone asks you about your speech’s purpose, create a hook in the beginning, then emphasize it more by citing examples of how they’ll benefit from it.

A logical path explaining your concepts from slide to slide also trims down your thoughts into a more digestible format.

On the other hand, a smooth speaking approach gives your audience time to think about what you said.

If you play your cards right, you can even get them to join your side.

Where Should You Go?

3 - Where Should You Go
If you wander aimlessly, you’ll exert tons of energy but get nowhere fast.

Some people fail to survive a grueling presentation experience.

This happens when there’s no clarity between what the presenter wants to say and what the audience wants to hear.

Of course, you want your presentation to go nowhere but up.

This end goal can be best achieved with a coherent flow of ideas.

Consider things like the best parts in your speech to emphasize a problem and a solution.

The classic story structure—beginning, middle, end— is ideal for outlining your key points.

Communicate exactly what you’ll be covering in each part, including why they should care, and what they’ll be taking away.

This approach keeps your viewers from getting bogged down with heavy data.

Equip Yourself for Survival!

4 - Equip Yourself for Survival!
You can’t win a battle without the right tools and strategy.

You can’t win over a crowd just by showing up.

To survive, you have to be well-armed and equipped to make your business pitch a success.

It requires many important elements like coherent flow and masterful planning.

Understand the basics of knowing your audience, proper timing, and outlining thoughts to give your business pitch a huge impact.

Don’t come to any battle empty-handed.

Be quick on the trigger with preparation to conquer your presentation!

 

References

Getting the Presentation Structure Right.” Presentation Process. n.d. Accessed September 24, 2014.
Brooks, Max. The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead. New York: Three Rivers, 2003.

3 Fool-Proof Ways to Master the Art of Presentation Survival

When you’re delivering a presentation in the boardroom or stage, you don’t want your audience to start zoning out and giving you zombie-like stares.

They may look docile, but the minute you finish, these people could end up swarming to the door, eager to leave.

That outbreak is the last thing you want to cause as a presenter.

How do you go about avoiding it?

A visually compelling PowerPoint that highlights your strengths is a great way to keep them engaged, but making one is never easy.

The best ones are usually made with teamwork and relevant information about your offers.

Let’s take a look at how we can avoid a zombie-audience outbreak:

1. Know Your Team

You may know your audience from the inside-out, but do you know your teammates?
You may know your audience from the inside-out, but do you know your teammates?

Each member of your team will always have a specialty (Michaelson & Michaelson 2010, 23).

One of them might know where to get the best information for your deck’s content, while another might be good at writing your script.

Learning to work well with your colleagues will save you loads of headaches and save your energy when it’s time to present

2. Know Your Tools

It's not owning the tools that makes you good. It's how you wield them that will keep you a cut above the rest.
It’s not owning the tools that makes you good. It’s how you wield them that will keep you a cut above the rest.

A highly visual deck makes great impressions, but knowing the other tools and your presentation area are equally important factors.

Simple things like testing out your screens, projectors, and your lapel microphones can save your presentation from technical difficulties later on.

Make sure your deck is formatted to run on the screen you’ll be using for the boardroom. You’ll avoid projecting misplaced graphics because of working with in wrong screen resolution.

3. Know Your Moves

Now that you know who and what you're working with, it's time to put your skills to use.
Now that you know who and what you’re working with, it’s time to put your skills to use.

Presentation techniques are another thing to master.

Nothing induces a mass zombie-like look faster than a person standing still and droning on during the whole pitch.

To master your moves, you need to look into two things: your body language and your speaking style.

Are you the type of presenter who likes to tell stories? Or will you take the time to know your audience?

Whichever style you prefer, always remember to employ appropriate body gestures and avoid slouching.

Putting on a professional look and a lively persona is one of your most effective weapons against zombifying your own audience.

One Last Thing: Teamwork Always Works!

You could survive the apocalypse alone... but working together with others will make the experience so much easier.
You could survive the apocalypse alone… but working together with others will make the experience so much easier.

It’s hard to survive a presentation that makes you or your audience looking like the walking dead.

In these situations, working as a team will always get you through.

By working together with your sales and marketing teams, you’ll be able to get the info you need to make your presentation as comprehensive as you can.

Mastering your tools will prevent any technical delays that can bore your audience.

Honing your presenter’s techniques can keep everyone’s eyes on you and focused on what you have to say.

Who knows? By following this guide, you might even prevent yourself from looking like a zombie when you step into the boardroom.

 

References

Michaelson, G., and Steven Michaelson. Sun Tzu: The Art of War for Managers: 50 Strategic Rules Updated for Today’s Business. 2nd ed. Avon, Mass.: Adams Media. 2010.