As a branding expert, you are probably getting asked to speak at some of the leading conferences to share your expertise. In today’s digital world where consumers have such a short attention span, creating the right strategy to build a strong brand that is affordable and effective is going to be paramount to any new business who is trying to get by on a shoestring budget.
Therefore, your ability to share your ideas and wisdom in a precise manner is going to be critical for those who come and hear you speak. This is why so many of the great speakers on branding spend countless hours on preparing their speech because they understand that with the short amount of time you get, you have to make every second count.
Set Your Objective
Most of the presentations you’re asked to give in a business setting aim to achieve one of two purposes: (1) to inform or (2) to persuade. During your insightful presentation, those in the crowd listening will learn something new about a topic they are familiar with. However, when being persuasive, the goal of a good speaker is to change the mind of your audience and get them to see things from a new perspective.
It does not matter if the goal of your presentation is to convince or educate your audience, the presentation will contain many of the same elements. It is crucial that you understand the objective before you give your speech, otherwise you might reveal to much too soon. If you are presenting to a large group, you’ll need to do more to make all audience members feel involved in your presentation. However, with a group that is smaller, it might be easier to get them engaged. With some audiences, you may need to provide more background/historical information about your topic before you can effectively persuade them of the correctness of your point and if the audience is not inherently motivated to listen to you, then you’ll need to give them reason to listen within the presentation itself.
The space in which you present will impact both you and your audience. Sometimes you have little control over space constraints, but it is important to check it out before you give your presentation in order to make allowances for comfort of the audience and to ensure that they can all see you, no matter where they are sitting.
A study by Albert Mehrabian at UCLA shows that 55 percent of our total message in face-to-face interactions is communicated through body language. A big part of body language is how you dress. As a general rule, you should dress slightly better than your audience. Conservative dress and solid colors are always winners in the business arena.
Your presentation should have an introduction, body and conclusion. The first part of your presentation is called the opening. You use the opening to get the audience’s attention, build (or continue to build) rapport with the audience, introduce your topic, and prepare the audience for the rest of your presentation. The opening should take only a fraction of your total presentation time. For example, if you’re giving a fifteen-minute presentation, you might dedicate two to three minutes to the opening.
Your opening should set the tone for the rest of your presentation. First impressions are important. Make sure everybody knows who you are. The audience needs to know who you are and why they should listen to you. Present your credentials and let people know why you’re an expert on this topic. Be careful not to sabotage yourself in your dress or your spoken words.
Demonstrate Your Expertise
One way to demonstrate your expertise is to open your presentation with data, exact figures, latest developments, and interesting little-known facts. Provide the audience with some “ah-ha” evidence of a problem or need with which they can relate. Select relevant information that will fascinate or surprise the audience. Try to get the group involved from the beginning by taking an audience poll or holding a mini-brainstorming session.
You have a limited amount of time to address the audience, so you must limit the number of main ideas covered in your presentation. It’s best to stick to two to five main points. You need to provide supporting evidence for each main point, so allow enough time to develop each point in adequate detail. You need to plan your presentational structure and organize the body of your presentation in a way that makes sense for your subject.