Updated: Mar 25
8 professionals from different jobs and industries attended the Impact Presenting Charlotte course from across the eastern United States. Their goal: to improve their public speaking skills to make their presentations deliver more impact to their co-workers and customers.
In this post we'll cover the 2nd step of the Impact Presenting program which is is “Brain Friendly Content and Call to Action”.
At the start of every seminar everyone gives a short presentation (so I can get their baseline) then all of us answer a key question: "what do we want from our audience?” and build a Call-to-Action which will accomplished this and plan a brain-friendly way of delivering it -brain friendly meaning dropping the "next slide now" approach.
Kathy (pictured to the right) had decided on the scenario:
“pitching to her team about new rules for quiet time in the hospital”
where she works.
After getting some fresh input from the others in the class, she switched from a fact-based approach, “do this, don’t do that”, and instead told some stories about her personal experience getting feedback from patients. Her fellow participants, totally engrossed in the story being told, later said there was no comparison between her first presentation draft done at the beginning of the class (which was a data-based PowerPoint presentation) and her final one – with storytelling, engagement, and clear call to action.
Michael, who worked for a cell phone tower company, decided on another alternative approach. Instead of showing us his slides, he asked us to look out the window at a cell phone tower, then used it as an example while explaining his company’s key unique selling points.
Then there was Avery, working for a major aircraft manufacturer, who was explaining complicated processes and used the furniture in the room in comparisons and analogies to help get his point across.
Here are some more ways you be more "Brain friendly" in your presentations:
Flipchart/Whiteboard – These can save you valuable time preparing slides and tend to animate your presenting style. A flipchart can be used to create mind-maps, comparison tables, or set points on the agenda. You can also write a clear call to action, make sure its keep visible (i.e. if on a flipchart page, hang it on the wall) to keep it fresh in people’s minds.
Multimedia – Showing impactful photos is always a good idea and short factual videos can also be enjoyable for your audience. When placed in the middle of a talk, these can perk everyone up when the energy in the room is sagging.
Experience sharing (Storytelling) – People want to hear stories. As with Kathy’s storytelling above, sharing an experience can hook the audience emotionally, especially important for audience buy-in for your idea or instruction. Check out a short clip of everyone warming up, getting ready to tell their stories on stage!
Storytelling, powerful openings, and simplifying complicated information were the most important takeaways from this class.
Participants walked away with not only some new techniques, but also with a whole new way of thinking about presentations. If you want to attend our class in Charlotte, get in touch!