Not everyone can deliver a speech that will be remembered for generations to come – there are only so many people born each century who can tell you they “have a dream” or ask “what you can do for your country” – but we can all learn how to deliver effective and powerful presentations with a few simple steps.
Giving an effective presentation not only increases your visibility within a company, it also enhances your credibility with clients, colleagues, and management. It’s a skill any ambitious employee needs to master if they want to succeed.
Powerful presenters have two key components: Persuasion and Storytelling.
The Power of Persuasion:
Persuasion is no longer a soft skill, says Carmine Gallo, a bestselling author of “Talk Like TED” and “The Storyteller's Secret” and communication advisor for brands like Google, Accenture, Intel, Allstate, and LinkedIn.
Despite the tectonic changes in business communications in the digital age, it’s human communication skills that matter the most, Gallo argues. “Persuaders are irreplaceable,” says the Harvard instructor.
“The era of average or good enough communication is over; everyone needs to find that extra edge to rise to five-star quality.” – Carmine Gallo
Whether it is in a formal presentation to leadership or a one on one meeting with a colleague, we are presented with numerous opportunities each day to persuade others and help move our business forward.
The Power of Storytelling:
“Warren Buffet uses metaphors like castles, moats, and knights to explain investing. Reid Hoffman pitched LinkedIn by analogy, comparing it to eBay with networking. History’s most creative genius was Leonardo da Vinci, who saw that everything was connected and drew influences from every field he came across,” says Madanmohan Rao, research director at YourStory Media, in his recent article “Soft Skills, Hard Cash”.
If you think back to the most memorable presentations you have attended, the presenter likely used stories to help convey their message. If you have a presentation coming up, I challenge you to identify your key point and then try to think of a story from your life or career that you can relate back to your message. I am confident that if you spend some time doing this, you will be able to find a story to incorporate into your presentation and better engage your audience.
While society continues to swallow the myth that presence, persuasiveness, and storytelling are innate qualities, magically appearing in some and not others, we at Communispond continue to see our students transform their skills and careers by adopting the behaviors practiced in our courses.