Time cannot be deposited into a savings account to accrue over time, and time can never be exchanged or refunded. Once you spend it, it is gone forever.
If we can agree that time is a treasure, then let’s make sure the next presentation you give respects your audience’s time. The experience needs to be memorable, and it starts with how you develop your content.
Here are a few simple tips to make your content more memorable:
Record Your Thoughts
As a voracious reader, I constantly have programs like Evernote within reach to track and document a new idea, quote or other piece of inspiration. Choose the program that works best for you and track your ideas so that you can share them at a later date. After all, it’s been said that “A life worth living is a life worth recording.” Your life is full of so many rich experiences and lessons. Most of these are worth documenting. More importantly, some are probably worth sharing during your next presentation.
Write Like You Speak
If you are the kind of person that likes to script out your content, then make sure you are using everyday language. If your audience needs a dictionary to comprehend your presentation, tone it down a bit. Nobody appreciates a show-off. Be yourself and write like you speak.
If I were to make the statement “A dog walked across the street,” one person will think Golden Retriever while another person will think Great Dane. But if I were to say “The Bulldog walked across the street” then the message is completely different. It’s clear. I’m doing the heavy lifting as the presenter by providing an extra layer of clarity.
Speak in the Present
As a communications major in college, I quickly learned in my first Broadcast Journalism class that “Is” is much more powerful than “Was.” Turn on the channel to your local news station and you will see this at play. Broadcasters always speak in the present tense. You should do the same.
Make Three Points
The human brain works like this: 1, 2, 3…I forget. No one is going to remember your 4th or 10th point. Always aim for three points. Always.
Break Things Up
I always like to pretend a child is sitting in the back of the room when I’m giving a presentation. This mindset forces me to embrace some basic rules of simplicity that includes “chunking” my content into bite size pieces. The best way to do is this is by using lots of periods to ensure your content is littered with multiple/easy-to-understand sentences.
Create ‘Twitterable’ Moments
As presenters, we must embrace that we live in a world where social media is now the norm. Every webinar, product launch or sales presentation provides just another opportunity to share the value of your brand. With that said, you need to create Twitterable moments – clever headlines, golden nuggets and smart advice that you know will be tweeted and shared with the rest of the world.
Now that you have invested 2-3 minutes to read this post, I hope it has been a valuable return on the investment of your time. If so, pay it forward.
Scott Schwertly is the author of How to Be a Presentation God and CEO of Ethos3, a Nashville, TN-based presentation boutique providing professional presentation design and training for national and international clients, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to branded individuals like Guy Kawasaki.