A presentation that aims to get an audience to take some action can be the most difficult type, even if you aren’t afraid to speak publicly.
Creating a presentation that effectively achieves your goal takes time, practice, and most importantly, a focused message.
With the right approach, you can create a presentation that will delight a skeptical audience to engage with your project.
This post covers the basics of creating a compelling presentation. Let’s dive in.
What is a compelling presentation?
In its simplest form, a compelling presentation shows a speaker trying to influence an audience to accept certain positions and take action to support them. A good persuasive presentation uses a mix of fact, logic, and empathy to help an audience see a problem from a perspective that it has not considered or has not considered before.
How to plan a compelling presentation
Do you want to make a compelling presentation that connects with your audience? Follow these steps to make friends and influence people in your audience.
1. Decide on a single question.
The key to convincing your audience is to first identify the single point you want to address. A good convincing presentation focuses on a specific and easy-to-understand proposal. Ideally, even if this point is part of a larger initiative, it needs to be presented in a way that your audience can easily say “yes” or “no”.
A message that is not well defined or covers too much can cause the audience to lose interest or immediately decline. Having a more focused topic can also help make your delivery sound safer, which is an important factor (for better or worse) in convincing people.
2. Focus on fewer (but more relevant) facts.
Remember: you are (in the vast majority of cases) not the target audience for your presentation. To make your presentation a success, you need to know who your audience is so that you can design your message to resonate with them.
As you compose your messages, put yourself in the headspace of your audience and try to fully understand their position, needs and concerns. Focus on arguments and facts specific to your audience’s unique position.
As we wrote in our post on How to present a convincing argument when you are inherently unconvincing“Just because a fact technically supports your claim doesn’t mean it affects your audience. The best evidence not only needs to support your claim, but also have a connection to your audience.”
What are the target audience’s weak points that you can use to create a connection between their needs and your goals? Focus on these aspects and trim off any excess information. Less relevant facts are always more powerful than an abundance of unfocused evidence.
3. Create a narrative around your evidence.
If you want to convince someone of something, it is not enough to win their brain – you also need their heart in it. Try to create an emotional connection with your audience during your presentation to better inform them of the facts you are presenting. Your audience is human, after all, so an emotional jolt will go a long way in shaking their perspective on the subject you’re talking about. A little emotion could be exactly what your audience needs to get your facts to “click”.
The easiest way to incorporate an emotional pull into your presentation is to use narrative elements. As we wrote in our guide to making pitch decks, “When our brains get a story instead of a list of information, things change – big time. Stories occupy more parts of our brains, including our sensory cortex which is responsible is. ” process visual, acoustic and tactile stimuli. If you want to keep people engaged during a presentation, tell them a story. “
4. Trust is important.
Practice makes perfect (it’s a cliché because it’s true, sorry!), And this is especially true when it comes to presentation. Repeat your presentation several times before giving it to your audience so that you can develop a natural flow and move away from each section without stopping.
Remember, you’re not making a speech here so you don’t want your delivery to appear like you’re reading all of cue cards. Use tools like notes and cue cards to keep track of things, not as scripts.
Finally, if you can, try to practice your presentation in front of someone else. Asking a trusted individual to provide you with feedback beforehand can help improve your deployment and identify areas that you may need to change or expand.
5. Prepare for common objections.
The last thing you want to say when someone in your audience has a concern or a direct objection to the question area of your presentation is, “Um, let me get back to that.”
Do your research carefully on the subject of your presentation to find the best possible case. However, prepare ahead of time for any common objections or questions your stakeholders will ask. The better you master the facts – and the better prepared you are to proactively address concerns – the more compelling your presentation will be. If you appear confident of rebuttal during a question-and-answer session after your presentation, it can go a long way in making your case appear more convincing.
As with any writing project, you want to create an outline for your presentation that can act as both a prompt and a frame. Having an outline will make it easier for you to organize your thoughts and create the actual content that you will be presenting. While you can customize the outline to suit your needs, your presentation will most likely follow this framework.
Any convincing presentation needs an introduction that attracts the listener’s attention, identifies a problem, and relates it to them.
- The hook: Just like a catchy song, your presentation needs a good hook to draw the listener in. Think of an unusual fact, anecdote, or framework that may attract the listener’s attention. Choose something that also establishes your credibility on the matter.
- The tie: Re-tie your hook on your audience to get buy-in from your audience as this issue affects them personally.
- The thesis: Here you indicate the position in which you want to convince your audience and form the focus for your presentation.
II. The body
The body forms the main part of your presentation and can be broadly divided into two parts. In the first half you will build your case and in the second half you will address possible rebuttals.
- Your case: Here you present supportive points for your reasoning and the evidence you’ve gathered through research. This will likely have several different subsections where you present the relevant evidence for each supporting point.
- Refutations: Consider possible rebuttals of your case and address them individually with evidence of your counter-arguments.
- Services: Outline the benefits of the audience who will take your position. Use smooth conversation transitions to get to these.
- Disadvantage: Describe the disadvantages that the audience will have if they reject your position. In any case, stay in the conversation and avoid alarmism.
Finally, you will sum up your reasoning, recapitulating your key points, and tracing them back to your audience’s choices.
- Transition: Write a transition that highlights the most important point you are aiming for.
- Summary: Summarize your arguments, their benefits, and key evidence supporting your position.
- Tie back: Link your summary to your audience’s actions and the impact of their decisions on the topic of your presentation.
- Last word: Try to end with one final emotional thought that can inspire your audience to take your position and support them.
At the end of your presentation, add a section of citations for your sources. This makes it easier for your audience to independently check facts and impresses your overall presentation.
Convincing presentation examples
Check out some of these examples of compelling presentations to get yourself inspired. When you see someone else doing their presentation, you can create a presentation that will appeal to your audience. While the structure of your presentation is entirely up to you, here are some outlines that are typically used for different topics.
Presentation of a concept
A common type of persuasive presentation is one that introduces a new concept to an audience and tries to get them to accept it. This presentation introduces viewers to the dangers of second hand smoking and encourages them to take steps to avoid it. Convincing presentations can also be a good format to introduce marco topics, like this presentation on the benefits of renewable energies.
Change personal habits
Do you want to change the personal habits of your audience? In this presentation, you will learn how to adopt healthy eating habits. Or this presentation that encourages the audience to get more exercise in their daily life.
Make a commitment to action
Is your goal to get your audience to commit to a particular action? This presentation encouraging viewers to become organ donors could provide inspiration. Are you trying to make a big sale? Check out this sketch presentation that can encourage someone to buy a home.
Remember: you can do this
Anyone can create a compelling presentation once they understand the framework for creating a presentation. Once you complete the process, you will be better able to generate sales, attract donors or funds, and even advance your career. The skills you learn can also benefit you in other areas of your personal and professional life as you know how to assert yourself and get people to do it.