Mixed race man opening wrapped giftImagine someone is handing you a beautifully wrapped gift, all the while hinting that the treasure inside is something that you really want…would you feel bored? Of course not. But suppose the giver has a pattern of giving pretty boxes filled with sawdust? Nothing but sawdust, month after month. How would you feel now?

That’s exactly how an audience feels when they are forced to sit through yet another boring monthly update, status report, or any other routine presentation where presenters have spent an inordinate amount of time making their slides look good and too little time thinking about impact and delivery. Before you ever open up that PowerPoint program, consider the first three steps to effective presentations:

1.  Analyze the audience:  Who are these folks, and what do they really want from you? What knowledge or skill gap can you bridge for them?
2.  Clarify your purpose:  What action do you want to cause as a result of your presentation? What emotion do you want to evoke?
3.  Create connections:  How will you engage the listener? Presence is about connecting with people. What connections can you create that will make this content relevant for this audience?

When you begin your preparation with these three steps, you are much more likely to generate excitement and enthusiasm for the gift you’re bringing:  the gift of your knowledge and experience.

For the full list of prep steps plus tools and examples, check out our book!