Sep 8, 2013

7 Presentation Challenges - Part II

In an earlier post, we looked at the 7 challenges you face in every presentation you make. These challenges are get audience to pay attention, retain their attention, make them understand, make them remember, make them believe, make them care and make them to act.

Is each challenge equally challenging? Do you need to prepare equally hard to tackle each challenge?

The answer is No.

You face all these 7 challenges in every presentation but the degree to which you face these challenges is not the same. Some challenges are tougher and some not so much. We will understand this with the help of examples.

Scenario #1: You are presenting to your CEO and you are recommending why your company should launch a new product

Since you are going to talk about a new product launch, getting CEO's attention is not a problem but to retain attention, you need to be short and simple. S/he will need to understand what all you said so take care. The toughest parts are: Convincing the CEO that your facts & analysis is correct and the product should be launched. Getting the yes from the CEO is again a tough challenge.

Scenario #2: You are a scientist giving a TED talk.

The most challenging part here are to retain attention of your audience (since everyone is a layman), get people to understand you and get them to care. Credibility is not an issue. Since you are a NASA or ISRO scientist your audience will believe you.

Which of these 7 challenges are more challenging will depend on who you are, who your audience is and what you are talking about. A CEO presenting to her senior management will not have a credibility problem (hopefully) but the same CEO presenting to the press & local media , might have a credibility problem. Think about each of these 7 challenges and figure out which ones you need to tackle properly and tackle on priority.

Ask yourself these 7 questions:

1. Will I get audience attention at the start?
2. Will I be able to retain attention throughout my presentation?
3. Will my audience understand me?
4. Will my audience remember what I am going to say?
5. Will they believe me?
6. Will they care about the topic?
7. Will they act on my suggestion? Will they do what I ask them to?

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