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Five keys to your presentation success in 2014

By Anil Dilawripresentation

The good news: 2013 was a good year for most businesses.

The bad news: Most business presentations delivered in 2013 still sucked.

Whether it’s an investor pitch, an elevator pitch, a customer update or an important sales presentation, here are five ideas to help make your presentations remarkable in 2014:

1. Engagement – Most presenters are content experts. Great presenters focus on engagement as much as they focus on content. Your audience wants more than just good content. They want you to be interesting. They want more than the same old boring business presentation. Interactivity, stories, examples and anecdotes are all engagement tools that will enhance your presentations.

2. Better slides – Not more slides, not more stuff on your slides, just better slides. Effective slides have limited text on them and can be consumed in seven seconds or less. Your presentation should not be an attention-seeking competition between you and your slides. It’s often said that many presenters are at their best during the Q&A because they’re not handcuffed by a slide. Think about that the next time you’re trying to get your slides to work for you, not against you.

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What gets in the way of a great presentation?

By Anil DilawriBored-Audience

I learn a lot from my clients. Recently, I witnessed a couple of clients who had dramatically improved their presentation effectiveness. Their delivery was good, their engagement level was good and the content was clear. But do you know what the real secret sauce was? Their slides really worked for them, not against them. They had simple, easy-to-understand slides that supported and reinforced their strong verbal content.

Those text-filled, complex and cluttered slides may work well in a presentation document that is sent to people via email and then read like a document. But when busy slides are put up on a screen or discussed at a meeting, the audience tunes out the presenter. This is frustrating to you, the presenter, because the presentation should be all about you, your golden verbal content, and your valuable context. The focus should be on you, not the slide.

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When a good presentation isn’t good enough

By Anil Dilawri presentation

I deal with lots of executives who are good presenters — in some cases, really good presenters. But, they choose to work with a presentation coach because they want to become remarkable presenters. Remarkable presentations are memorable and inspiring, and they cause the audience to take action.

Inevitably, during an executive’s career, he or she is required to deliver a monumental presentation — to land that big contract, to attract that strategic investor, to solidify oneself as the right leader for the job. This is when delivering a good presentation isn’t good enough. Something special is needed.

Being a remarkable presenter is hard work. It takes lots of time, effort, and resources. The payback is huge and in some cases game-changing. Here are just a couple of ideas for getting from great to remarkable:

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Show up and throw up: A presentation epidemic

20120724_9givingapresentationBy Anil Dilawri

Nobody ever said, “That was an okay presentation, I just wish it was longer.”

Yet day after day, in boardrooms around the world, presenters set up their laptops and present way too much information to their disinterested audiences. Even if the audiences were initially interested in the topic, the presenter quickly makes them disinterested or confused by going into too much detail. Most of this detail is unwanted and unnecessary.

A presenter tends to be a subject area expert — that’s why they were selected to present. Subject area experts want to tell audiences everything they know about a subject. The product marketing guy doesn’t simply want to tell you about the two key benefits and the price of the product. He wants to tell you how the product was developed, the nine key design features, the 12 main benefits, and the 27 ways it can be deployed. The problem is that the audience doesn’t want all that information. It’s too much. It’s not digestible.

So, how can a passionate and knowledgeable presenter entice their audience? Here are three quick tips:

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The art of ignoring feedback

By Anil Dilawri

I see a lot of presentations every week. Many of these presentations are investor pitches from small technology companies. Most of these investor pitches are bad … really, really bad. They’re poorly prepared, not well structured, confusing and riddled with jargon.

Following these investor pitches the entrepreneur presenters often say, “It was a good experience, we got some really good feedback on how to improve our pitch.”

There are two main problems with this statement:

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