The Power Of Persuasive Presentations

In a world of evolving and complex business needs, creating effective PowerPoint presentations is becoming a challenge.

Old managerial styles, new technology that changes how we play the game, and a challenging economic climate all contribute to the resistance many have to typical presentations.

In other words, people are distracted and not paying attention.

The question is, how can communicators engage an audience while using a technology that many consider obsolete?

Recently, MLEK senior partners Lucy La Grassa, Martin Krogh and Dr. Laurence Mussio provided a suite of training sessions to an Ontario ministry about everything from innovation to communication. One of the key sessions was about persuasion, exploring the elements of presentations: how to prepare for them, research them, put them together and deliver them powerfully and persuasively.

That particular session was based on a monograph written by Dr. Mussio entitled, “The Persuasive Presentation and the Successful Executive,” which outlines the challenges faced by presenters and how to overcome them. It focusses on avoiding the common mistakes by understanding the limitations of PowerPoint.

Combining Dr. Mussio’s professional observations with the most recent and relevant literature on delivering effective, persuasive presentations, the monograph focuses on seven key elements to presentations. These are: knowing your audience, using narrative, using visuals and timing them effectively, clear language, using numbers carefully, creating physical connectedness, and being persuasive.

While they sound simple and obvious, each of these elements is necessary to effective presenting; many presenters have lost their audiences by neglecting one or more of these key aspects.

The seven elements are based on two simple facts:

  1. Knowing your audience and subject well is the key to simplifying the presentation process.
  2. How we share information is the key to knowing whether or not others will retain it.

Unfortunately, it is just as easy to over-communicate in a presentation as it is to under-communicate. Effective presenters are able to find a balance between the two extremes.

Understanding these principles can help you and your organization find that balance. MLEK can help you develop your presentation skills into one of your most effective tools.

And in an age where “death by PowerPoint” is becoming an increasing concern, this might be more necessary than it seems.

MLEK provides training, consulting and strategic advice to the public, private, not-for-profit and academic sectors. The firm specializes in leadership, communications, innovation, management, ethics and emotional intelligence. The MLEK team connects client needs to leading-edge best practices.

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