There are five simple things you can do to help you land your messages with impact:
Look at the world through your audience’s eyes to help you craft your message. Think about what they’re interested in and might grab their attention. This is likely to be things that impact the organisation’s reputation, its stakeholders, agility, or value creation. Then, address their emotions. What might they be feeling about your topic? And what do you need them to feel by the end of your presentation? Appeal to hearts as well as minds to get them to act.
The important messages come first, sitting at the apex of the pyramid. This is your Executive Summary, start there with your context and key conclusions. Prepare a 1-minute elevator pitch to grab your audience’s attention. The rationale or process then sits beneath, in layers of decreasing importance but increasing detail. Only dip into these lower layers as guided by your audience. As a subject matter expert, you’ll be most comfortable here, but your audience have less care for it.
Your credibility goes up when you can express complex ideas in simple language. Short words and sentences are the key. Engage eye contact for your important points. Looking at someone for the length of 1–2 sentences is about right.
Pausing slows down your adrenaline and gives you time to think. When we’re nervous we often speed up, and our best thinking eludes us. Plan deliberate pauses after important messages so that your audience hangs on your every word.
Questions are good, it shows your audience is engaged. There are two types of question you can expect to asked:
You can find all our bite-sized videos on the BI Academy:
You can also find our suite of best-practice templates within the BI Platform (under the “Templates” icon in the top ribbon). These provide a starter for ten on the questions likely to be on your readers’ minds for particular topics and help you to structure your thinking in a logical and robust way.