When Should You Present? The Most (and Least) Persuasive Moments

Have you ever stood in front of a room and wondered if they'd rather be napping than listening to you?

Have you ever felt like you nailed a presentation, but for some reason your idea went nowhere?

Have you ever wondered why your team ghosts you when you attempt to schedule talks over lunch?

For the answers to these questions, look no further than the clock. Time, as they say, is on your side. But not if you misuse it.

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4 Presentation Mistakes You're Probably Making and How to Fix Them

A presentation is one of the most powerful ways to make an idea a reality. When the  audience buys in  to what you've pitched -- they can actually help your idea manifest.
 
However, less-than-optimal presentations can do more harm than good. Here’s a look at the most common presentation errors we see at GatherRound. Are you guilty of any of these?
 

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Stop Making Dinner in the Dark: A Case for Practice

Many of our clients ask us for shortcuts to improving their presentation presence. We're going to get real with you here: not happening. When it comes to learning how to be a persuasive presenter and storyteller, there are NO shortcuts.

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The Ketchup Popsicle and the Woman in White Gloves

Imagine me, at 17 years old, pulling in to the parking lot at work: a local Tex-Mex restaurant. I leap out of my Chevy Blazer (complete with subwoofer, of course), frantically tying my apron around my waist as I dash into the daily team meeting. (The meeting started at 10:00 am. I slept 'til 9:53.) In these meetings, sales techniques and results were common discussions, as it's when we learned of the restaurant's "daily specials," a.k.a. fish that needed to be cooked before we had to waste it.

 

"Man, you guys shoulda seen Nathan yesterday. He coulda sold a ketchup popsicle to a woman in white gloves," boasts our shift manager.

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Room And Bored: The Least Persuasive Place

The presentation is tomorrow. You know your story, and you've rehearsed your delivery according to your strengths. You have a sharp understanding of your audience and are prepared to deliver a powerful talk along the lines of empathy. You are unstoppable. Your idea will change the world.


Hang on there, cowboy. Where will this meeting take place? Around what table will your audience convene? If you answered "The Board Room," we have bad news... That's where ideas go to die.

Dramatic? Maybe. True? Absolutely.
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How to Get People to Show Up at Your Presentations

Recently, when speaking with a franchised restaurant client, we were discussing one of the greatest chicken/egg issues in the business: traffic. It's a pretty simple equation, really, but talk it long enough and it starts to look like the snake eating its tail. More so than average guest check, traffic drives restaurant sales. And as goes sales goes marketing budget. Marketing budget begets brand. And brand ultimately leads to more traffic. So in restaurants, traffic is king. Because anyone who shows up has at least the intention to eat, so that's more than half the battle.

I couldn't help but notice how similar this is to presentations.

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How to Funny: Using Humor in your Presentations

Picture yourself selling an idea to an audience. Do you want your audience to laugh, or do you want them to be all business? That's an easy answer. Laughing releases oxytocin, the feel-good brain chemical that helps boost feelings of loyalty and trust. Go for the chuckles, and help your audience feel how much they can trust you.


However, it's not always easy being funny in a professional setting - particularly if comedy doesn't come naturally. What should you look for in a joke when you're trying to sell?

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3 Questions That Lead to Better Presentations

It's not an impossible dream. In fact, it's quite simple to write a great presentation outline.

 

Research conducted by Stanford University has proven that audiences are 40% more likely to retain information accurately when it's presented with structure, as opposed to free-form.

 

While there are many ways to create structure, our clients find asking these 3 questions can take presentations from random and scattered to resonant and incredibly sticky.  

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This Just In: You're Creative

Funny thing about self esteem: It's often at its highest when we need it least. The inverse seems true as well: When opportunity knocks, many of us (who aren't proud to admit it) have been known to pretend we're not home. This reaction, even though we attach our professional value to the content we share, as we've explored in prior musings.

In fact, it's the most common thing we hear from our clients as they grapple with presentations: "I would do that, but I'm just not creative."

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I Share, Therefore I Am

Since our beginnings, we humans have defined our individual value by what we share with others. It's as important a step in self-actualization as any other: Acknowledgement from an audience (of one or many) for providing information perceived as valuable.

Does this mean we're selfish? Hell yes. And we should be proud of it, too. Isn't that what effective leaders do? We look for more ways to deliver more value, faster. And we give others credit when deserved.

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