There are plenty of reasons to have effective slide presentations. Anyone can make a bad one, and many can pay to have a good one. In the end, it will come down to how you interact with your audience. That is almost always in the Question and Answer period after you give the “pitch”.
- Know your topic deeply, your presentation was only the tip of your knowledge iceberg
- Inform your audience early. Send the slide deck ahead and only replay it if you are forced too
- Know you don’t know everything! Listen closely to the questions and answer them as crisply as possible.
- Always think you are talking to a customer and they will be writing a check when you are done. This will help you drive to the point leaving your expert testimony behind. This is selling, it’s not educating.
You have been trained to spend endless hours creating slide decks to convey your message. But it’s never the whole story. That is what Q&A is for. Put up your Q&A slide first, and follow on with details from your slide show as needed.
If you must have a presentation slide show, NEVER say: “I want this to be an open dialog” at the start of your presentation. This is a death blow to the content. People who are trying to come up to speed on the fly will rip you apart and you now have an uncontrolled Q&A driven by your content and the struggling audience. Present with one clear idea in mind. This is a formality to get into the Q&A.
Try this out with internal company presentation and see if it can be applied to external presentation over time. Most importantly investor / stakeholder meetings.
Good luck in changing the world!