Score Your Presentation Skills: Are You Convincing?


In business presentations, your success often comes down to a single question. How convincing are you?

I’m not talking about the kind of slimy convincing one usually associates with snake oil salesmen. I’m talking about genuine open communication. Passionate conviction. Being the most interesting presenter in the world.

Here’s why this is such a big deal.

Busy professionals attend an average of 62 meetings per month. Over 50% of executives consider meetings a waste of time. This could be true of your presentations and meetings.

And if these decision-makers are bored, guess what they do? Recent research shows that 91% of executives admit to daydreaming during meetings. And a whopping 39% confess to falling asleep.

Yikes! You definitely want to be more effective in public speaking. You don’t want to have this happen to you in your presentations.

Instead of risking the horror of having someone snoring in your presentation, take these 3 steps to keep folks awake – and be dynamically convincing in your C-level presentation.

Step 1. Speak to Current Issues

Real-world success happens when you harness the power of current issues and news. Rather than relying on a speech you built last week, last month, or last year – get current.

Scour the news for topics that are hot and trends that dramatically affect your audience.

For example, I sent out a 1-minute video on How Visuals Work to a short list of my corporate clients. It struck such a nerve that many people wrote right back and told me it came at a perfect time.

Look for news, insights, and relevant information for your clients. Share this in a timely manner and you’ll immediately raise your ‘convincing’ score.

Face to face, use your effective public speaking skills to do the same kind of thing. Find news that connects with your audience and resonates with what’s going on in their world.

Step 2. Light a Fire With Storytelling

“Have you heard?” These are words that are very important for you- and your audience. Your audience is looking for powerful stories to learn, tell and retell.

Why? Because it makes them more important and it solves a big problem (What to talk about!)

For instance, you may have seen the news about online video. It’s sweeping the landscape with great examples popping up in ads, education, marketing and presentation.

A fun, entertaining video puts a story into action. It makes people smile and laugh. Additionally, it’s the easiest thing to send on to family, friends and coworkers.

Plus, look what happens to you when you are the source of a creative video, a remarkable story, and a fun viral message. As the source, you get extra genius status. You’re now more remarkable!

Perhaps the biggest thing you can do in your presentation is to give your audience a memorable story – that they can retell – and gain status by doing so.

Think about it. This is exactly what we all crave. To be on the inside of current issues. To be in the know with fresh skills, perspectives, and stories. When your presentation achieves this, you will be a winner.

You’ll light a fire that gets everyone talking about your brand and your business. This word of mouth storytelling can spread like wildfire.

Just think about all the places and spaces that your audience is going to go in the next 7-days. Cocktail parties. Events. Conferences. Industry meet-ups. Business luncheons.

And guess what they’ll be talking about? Your story!

That’s powerful and heady stuff.

Step 3. Involve Your Audience

The days of ‘sage on the stage’ are long gone. To guarantee you have no snoozing or snoring in your audience, involve people. Become a highly effective public speaker. Ask questions. Answer questions. Get people talking and problem solving together.

The more you involve your audience in the process, the more they will buy in to your ideas, proposals and recommendations. This is a foundational idea that can transform one-directional briefings into dynamic conversations.

By the way, if you look at these three steps, you’ll notice something. News. Visual storytelling. Involvement. These work at work. And they work at home. Just give that a moment’s thought and you could have a much more interesting conversation tonight when you get home.

Imagine what’s possible when you give convincing presentations to inspire decision makers to buy-in to your ideas, proposals and recommendations. It works at home – and it works at work!