There are eight important ingredients in a successful presentation, indicated by my acrostic,Â OH AM I SADÂ (which you will be if you don’t do something like this).
O:Â Outcome or Objective.Â Â Start with the end in view.Â Â What do you want people to do when you have finished?Â Â Write it down.
H:Â Hook.Â Â Sometimes called the Grabber.Â Â It’s something that you do or say to grab attention at the start, in much the same way as the Headline on a press advertisement.Â Â It says, “Stop! Pay attention, this is for YOU!”
A:Â Â Audience.Â Â Make it directly relevant to the group you are addressing, taking account of their needs, interests and anxieties.Â Â If you have a multi-cultural audience, keep the language simple and try to avoid too much use of metaphor.
M:Â Message.Â Â It’s not your information that matters, but rather its significance.Â Â Tell them what they should think about what you are saying, and how it will affect them.Â Â Summarise your message in a single sentence that you want people to carry away and remember.Â Â Write it down and make it the focus of your presentation.
I:Â Interest.Â Â You have their attention, and you are focused on where you want to lead them.Â Â Maintain the flow and keep their attention by relating everything to their interests.Â Â For every fact you put across, answer the “So what?” question.
S:Â Structure.Â Â It is essential to follow a structure, both to keep yourself on track and to enable your listeners to follow you.Â Â A simple structure, such as Past, Present, Future, will be easy for them to remember and reconstruct your presentation.
A:Â Â Action.Â Â What did you want them to do after hearing you?Â Â Make it clear.Â Â Don’t expect them to work it out for themselves.
D:Â Delivery.Â Â Pay attention to the way in which you deliver your presentation.Â Â Spend time rehearsing, listen to a recording of your presentation and make sure you are not boring, then make an effort to be heard clearly.Â Every presentation is a performance, and no one has the right to be boring.
Follow these guidelines and you’ll be worth hearing.