Andrew Griffiths | How to develop winning presentations

This document outlines a 10 step process for developing presentations that command attention, engage and trust. This process can be used with all presentations styles and allows you to sell every idea, product or service with ease.

System Architect: Andrew Griffiths
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Step 1: Do your research.

  • Research your audience. The key to capturing your audience is to know it well.
  • Research what is going on locally.  Read newspapers and online articles about things happening locally for example events, disasters or something specific to the industry.
  • Research the venue in which you are going to present – where it is, how to get there, what the room looks like. Will people be able to see and hear you or do you need to adapt your presentation.  

Step 2: Do your planning based on research.

  • Analyse the results of the research and use them to plan your presentation. Includes logistics, presentation and focus. 

Step 3: Determine the appropriate mood.

  • You need to adapt your mood to the audience you’ll be addressing. 
  • Tell a story that will connects you to your audience and gives them a reason to listen to you.

Step 4: Structure your presentation.

  • Great opening options:
    • Make a big, bold statement.
    • Quote a really thought provoking statistic.
    • Ask the audience a good question.
    • Tell an engaging story.
  • A great presentation makes them laugh, makes them cry and makes them think. 
  • Here’s an example of a scalable structure.
    • Memorable opening
    • Make a point and tell a story for each for each point
    • Call to action close

Step 5: Get your visuals right.

  • Use a maximum of 2 fonts: a heading font and a text font.
  • Only use high-quality images. Don’t use clipart.
  • Use more slides, say less per slide.
  • Develop your own look and feel for your slides. It needs to fit in with your branding. Remember your presentation is an extension of your personal brand. Be smart don’t keep reinventing the wheel. 

Step 6: Rehearse your presentation many times.

  • Rehearse as many times as you need, to feel confident.
    • Suggestion! Record the rehearsing and then watch it for spots that can be improved, like body language.

Step 7: Refine your presentation based on your rehearsal.

What did the rehearsal tell you? Watch the recording and ask your friends to watch and provide feedback.

  • Adjust the timing.
    • On stage, you will be 20% slower, so if you aim for 30 minutes, make your presentation 25 minutes long.
    • Leave time for audience interaction.
  • What are the sticking points of your presentation? What do your instincts tell you?

Step 8: Prepare for the stage.

  • Arrive early and have the right energy and your full attention there. Get yourself into a great state by listening to music, meditating or whatever will put you in the right state of mind. Dress so that you feel confident.
  • Find a friend in the audience (or make a new one when you arrive early).
  • Have your presentation ready on USB and print it out.

Step 9: Presenting and engaging the audience.

  • Own the stage – give yourself the time to be ready and take a deep breath. Your body language matters. It has to be big and strong.

  • Make the first minutes count. Be authentic, eye contact is really important and learn the power of the pause.

  • Never lose your cool on stage. No matter what happens around you just keep talking. When you are the speaker, you need to be the coolest man in the room.  

  • Don’t take yourself too seriously.

Stage 10: Review and improve.

  • Review your presentation as soon as it finishes and learn from what you get right and what you get wrong.
  • Always ask for feedback but be careful about the feedback that you take on board.
  • Present wherever you can, whenever you can. The more you do it the better speaker you become. Challenge yourself. Comfort is the enemy.