Choosing presentation content is often one of the most difficult tasks a presenter faces… with getting up and giving the presentation right up there, too. So I thought I'd offer a simple, effective tip when you have lots of stuff to talk about or when you're not sure where to start. Please check out the video or skip down and read more on this topic.
If YouTube is unavailable in your area, please click the following link to watch or right-click to download: Presentation Quick Tip #8 - How to Create Presentation Content Your Audience Will Care About
Video length 1:23 (Click CC for captions or read transcript below)
Too much to say, too little time
Most people want to include as much as possible because it seems like the right thing to do. Or it might come from thinking that it's what your teacher or boss wants. The problem is how to fit everything in and meet your time restriction. Or not talk so much and so long that your audience turns into slobbering zombies. Interesting for a movie, but not your presentation.
It's a human thing
The thing to remember is that human beings can only remember approximately four things at a time. If you talk about too much, there's no way they will remember. So it's better to keep the number of topics you cover from three to five.
But I've got a gagillion things to talk about…What do I do!?
Obviously, you can't include a gagillion things, or even a bazillion, which is significantly less…I'm sure. So you need a process to hack away at what's important from what's unimportant. Not only will this help you focus on core topics, but it will help your audience better understand, and remember, the essence of your presentation.
Try this four step process…
Step 1: Make a list of everything you want, or think you should talk about. Everything. Just do a complete data dump and don't worry about what's good or bad.
Step 2: Cut that list in half. Be like a serial presentation content killer. Choose victims that are not necessary for understanding or that will take away from your presentation's focus and hack and slash them off your list.
Step 3: Now look at what your audience wants to hear, their goals, reasons for attending your presentation, etc. You should have identified this early on. Looking at your audience profile, go through your list and remove stuff they don't care about. Be ruthless in doing this, as your audience will thank you for being focused on what they want to hear.
Your audience will continuously pay attention because they are hearing what they want to hear. Always remember to think about why the audience would want to spend their precious time listening to you.
Step 4: Look once again at what you want to say, what the audience wants to hear and knock out anything else that doesn't add value or help you reach your goals and your audience's goals. You should now be able to get down to three to five life changing, universe moving, mind shattering topics… Or at least what you and your audience will be excited about.
Be ruthless in rooting out content that will not add value to your audience, that will not move them to action, or that will not persuade or motivate them. You can now focus on delivering focused, clearly defined information.
A final tip
If necessary, provide supporting evidence or additional information you didn't talk about in a document. Ideally, give this document to your audience at the end of your presentation so they don't sit there reading it while you're talking. You can even tell the audience that you will cover some core topics, and that everything else will be given to them afterwards.
If you have any questions or comments about this tip, please let me know by writing in the comments section below.
(Whuh, whuh, whuh!)
Hi, it's Carl Kwan here and this is Presentation Quick Tip #8.
In this video, you're gonna learn about how to create presentation content that your audience will care about, which is, you know, really important.
What you want to do is take your list of topics that you want to cover, or the points you want to cover, write them all down.
Just throw everything in there.
And then, cut it in half.
Think about what is non-essential, what is essential and just immediately cut it in half.
Then, take your audience's perspective and look at what content they would be interested in and why they would want to spend their valuable time listening to that content.
You'll probably be able to, kwhuh, cut your content in half.
You love that kwhuh, cutting sound, don't you?
Anyway, so cut your content again.
Then, look at your content, look at the topics you want to cover.
And again, go through that list and cut them again.
Try and get down to say, three to five really crucial, important, great pieces of information that you want to share with your audience.
And that is how you create presentation content that your audience will care about.
And this was Presentation Quick Tip #8.
If you have any questions or comments about this one, please leave them below this video.
Talk to you again soon.