Leadership

How to call your team into action with a winning presentation

Emma Bannister /

presentation

Founder and chief executive of presentation studio Emma Bannister. Source: Supplied.

It’s 4.45pm and almost at the end of a long day of meetings. Your presentation is the last one scheduled. You look around the room and catch a few of your team yawning. How on earth are you going to engage them when all they are thinking about is dinner?

Your topic is important, you want to inspire and encourage much-needed action. You need buy-in.

The good news is, even in the worst of circumstances, it is possible!

Here’s how to call your team into action with a winning presentation.

‘What’s in it for me?’

In order to create buy-in, the starting point of your presentation should be personal. Your team wants to know why they should care. Don’t start with the technicalities — start with the heart. What effect does the subject you are presenting on have on the people in front of you? Think about what matters to your audience — time, money, skills, career development, family, ethical issues — and shape your presentation around that.

Share your passion

Your biggest potential forbuy-inn lies in your own passion. Enthusiasm is infectious. There a couple of easy ways to ensure sure that your presentation clearly showcases your passion.

1. Use emotive language

Ditch the jargon and express the feelings evoked in you by your subject matter. Whether you’re excited or enraged, focus that energy in a professional manner and channel it into your presentation’s wording.

2. Perform your passion

Don’t be afraid to use your voice and body to help communicate your message. Vary your tone of voice, think about your body language and let your passion drive your manner of presentation.

A good presenter is energised by their subject, and it shows.

Clarity is key

If it is your intention to inspire and motivate your team, they need to understand your message. Keep it simple to ensure clarity.

Use design to your advantage and be thoughtful in your use of graphics. If done well, design will be your best friend. Clear graphics which support your script, bold colours and logical visual flow are sure to have your audience eating out of your hand.

Be kind to them — keep your presentation short and sweet, getting to the point succinctly and giving them clear direction.

Capture their imaginations

A major part of calling your team into action is capturing imaginations. This means your presentation should not just be a download of information, but a story. Use this presentation as an opportunity to help your team imagine a new future, whatever that may be.

For example, perhaps you’re looking for buy-in on a new office policy. Use your presentation to help them dream of life after this policy is embraced. What problems are you solving? How much better will their daily lives be? How will their prospects improve?

Paint the picture!

Call to action

There’s no point in gaining team buy-in without having a clear call to action. Your call to action is a condensed instruction manual for your audience.

What do you want them to do as soon as they leave the room? Make it the last thing they hear. Blast that message loud and clear. Once you have them on board, tell them what the next steps are to achieve this collective dream.

With some simple communication tips, you have the capacity to win your team over with a powerful presentation. Keep it personal, passionate and persuasive. When that long day of meetings ends, and your team finally decides on what’s for dinner, they’ll still be thinking about your presentation.

NOW READ: Six tips for presenting tough information to staff

NOW READ: Ditch the notes and smile: Eight hacks to keep your presentations interesting

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Emma Bannister

Emma is the founder and chief executive officer of Presentation Studio, APAC’s largest presentation communication agency, and author of the book Visual Thinking: How to transform the way you think, communicate and influence with presentations.

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