How to Deliver a Memorable Presentation at Work in Six Steps

effective communication

Effective communication is the cornerstone of impactful speeches and presentations. It connects the speaker’s ideas to the audience’s understanding, creating meaningful connections and leaving a lasting and memorable message in their minds.

In this blog, I will look at the six steps of delivering presentations that land with the intended impact every time you speak.

Know your audience

Understanding your audience is the first step in crafting a message that resonates and leaves a lasting impact. If you don’t know what your audience is seeking from your talk, it becomes challenging to know exactly what to say and how to say it.

More often than not, somebody only attends a presentation or speech if:

  • Their workplace has forced them to attend. In this case, there’s nothing more you can do because they don’t want to be there.
  • They want to gain something–usually something that solves a pain in their life–such as a faster way to reach a desired goal (more money, better health, increased confidence, a healthy love life, improved reputation, increased security, or some sort of peace of mind).
  • They want to avoid losing something in the future (their money or anything that they already have).

And they’ve come to you because you know how to help them get where they want to be. Once you know your audience’s motivations for attending, it becomes easy to plan your talk. You will know exactly what to say.

A final consideration of your audience is the following:

What is their current level of understanding of the subject matter? 

If they are new to the topic, you might want to opt for simpler language. On the other hand, if they have a certain level of know-how, they might be attending to deepen a pre-existing understanding. In this case, the content will need more depth.

Getting this right is important to avoid boring or overwhelming the audience. 

Define your core message

With a deeper understanding of your audience, it becomes easier to identify your core set of messages.

A well-articulated core message is an anchor for your entire speech or presentation, guiding your content and ensuring every element contributes toward a singular purpose. 

To identify your core message, ask yourself what the key takeaway(s) you want your audience to remember. 

This should be a concise statement that encapsulates the essence of your talk. 

For example, if you are giving a presentation on healthy eating, your core message could be “Healthy eating is a simple step toward a longer, happier life.”

Once identified, refine this message to ensure it is clear, compelling, and concise. Test its strength by ensuring it is specific enough to be impactful but broad enough to encompass your supporting points. 

As you prepare your notes, you can return each point you want to make against this core message. If it fits, it should be said or else discarded.

When the time comes to speak, this will stop you from going off on a tangent and losing your audience.

When you lose track of where you’re going with your point, it can cause nervousness and public speaking anxiety

As a result, bringing yourself back to the main point of your presentation becomes a losing battle.

Organise your ideas

You know your core messages and the points you want to make that hone down your core message. The next step is to organise your points in a way they flow logically.

To structure your main points effectively, start by outlining them in a logical sequence that builds naturally on your core message. 

For instance, if your core message revolves around the benefits of regular exercise, your supporting points might begin with explaining the immediate health benefits, followed by long-term health improvements, and concluding with societal benefits.

This progression from individual to broader impacts creates a compelling narrative arc. 

Employing the “tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them” structure effectively provides a preview, detailed content, and a summary to reinforce retention.

Related: How to start a talk

Additionally, consider using signposts—clear markers throughout your presentation that guide your audience through the argument, like stating “Firstly,” “Secondly,” or “Finally.” 

And it’s always helpful if your audience knows how many points you will make in advance.

Related: Don’t lead your audience on!

By presenting your ideas in a structured and interconnected way, you help your audience grasp the relationship between them, reinforcing your core message and facilitating a deeper appreciation of the subject.

Make it relatable

Making your message relatable aids with information retention and ensures your points resonate on a personal level. 

Using stories, examples, and analogies can transform abstract concepts into tangible, understandable ideas that audience members can relate to their own experiences. 

For instance, when discussing complex business strategies, a CEO might use a sports analogy, comparing team coordination in sports to cross-departmental collaboration in the company, making the concept more accessible and memorable.

Similarly, sharing a personal anecdote can humanise the speaker, creating a connection with the audience. For example, a CEO might recount a pivotal moment in their career when embracing innovation led to a breakthrough, illustrating the core message’s relevance and inspiring listeners. 

By consistently linking these relatable elements to the core message, you reinforce its importance and applicability, ensuring that the audience leaves with a deep, personal understanding of the subject matter and its significance in their lives or work.

Use visuals

Visual aids are powerful tools to reinforce and illustrate your key points. 

When selecting visuals, it’s essential to ensure they are directly relevant to the content being discussed and are designed to support and clarify rather than distract or confuse. 

For example, using a simple graph to illustrate market trends can convey complex data in an accessible format, making the information more digestible for the audience. 

However, it’s crucial to avoid overloading slides with too much text, excessive numbers, or intricate graphics that can overwhelm the viewer. Each visual should be clean and straightforward, with a clear purpose of either explaining, exemplifying or enhancing the information presented. 

By thoughtfully integrating visuals that complement and amplify your message, you can create a more engaging and memorable presentation, helping your audience to visualise and retain the key points you are conveying.

Regularly work on your communication skills

Regularly honing your communication skills is vital for delivering impactful presentations and speeches, ensuring you deliver your message effectively and confidently. 

Practicing exercises that calm your nerves, such as deep breathing or visualisation techniques, can significantly reduce anxiety and improve your overall delivery, while working on making the right body language cues will help your audience warm to you. 

Additionally, coaching your voice to find its natural tone and pace can enhance the clarity and persuasiveness of your speech, making your message more engaging. 

Working with a public speaking coach offers personalised feedback and strategies to refine your speaking style, helping you address specific improvement areas. 

Alternatively, enrolling in an online public speaking course provides structured learning and practice opportunities, allowing you to develop and polish your skills at your own pace. 

A combination of self-help practices with expert help contributes to building your confidence and competence as a speaker, enabling you to deliver your best in every presentation or speech.

Good luck! And if you want to hear more from me, you can find me on:

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