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5 Cool Ideas for Giving Killer Presentations

The average businessperson makes dozens of formal and informal presentations every day. Presentations can involve a large audience or a single person. Some presentations require large amounts of time, energy and money so you need to be efficient as well as impressive. Here are 5 Cool Ideas for giving killer presentations.

1.  Effective openings make you impressive.

An effective opening sets the tone for positive results. Establish credibility by referencing a relevant statistic or a reputable literary source. I often begin seminars by saying, “This will be the best seminar you’ve ever attended.” Audience members usually smile with delight, which is a desirable reaction to an effective opening.

2.  Having fun is contagious.

Stories are fun. Tell stories. Make sure all stories have relevance or value. Fun stories offer a good ending with a moral or a lesson. Use humor but don’t tell jokes. Announcing a joke puts too much pressure on the speaker to be funny and too much pressure on the audience to laugh.

3.  Never lose sight of your goal.

A presentation is supposed to inform and incite. Ask yourself this question: What do I want the audience to do as a result of my presentation? All content should move listeners toward that goal.

4.  Good handouts enrich the presentation.

Handouts are a terrific way to leave the audience with a part of you. Good handouts offer sources for more information and instructions for contacting the sponsoring organization. Include your phone number or web site address on each page of the handout.

5.  Have a way to solicit feedback.

One easy way to solicit feedback is to stand by the door as people exit. Audience members will feel compelled to comment about your talk. Most of the feedback will be favorable because they are speaking directly to you. If you want constructive criticism, learn how to probe to the fifth level. You might ask questions like “What could I have done better? Why do you say that? What else could be improved? What do you mean by that? Who else can help me improve?”


Michael Angelo Caruso is President of the Edison House consulting firm. He is author of the 5 Cool Ideas book series and has recently released FastLearnerAudio2 For Leaders, which includes more information on how to give killer presentations. To receive his complimentary newsletter, send an e-mail to [email protected].