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Powerful Presentations: 9 Simple Tools for Persuasive Speaking

1. Start with a Bang

Open with a powerful question or a story which captures your audience’s attention immediately. If you don’t grab your audience’s attention within the first 30 seconds, they will tune out of your presentation.


2. Don’t Lip Sync Your Presentation

Don’t lip sync your presentation. Don’t read word-for-word from your Powerpoint. If you’re saying the exact same thing as your Powerpoint, then one of you is not needed.


3. Provide a Clear Next Step

What do you want your audience to think, do or feel differently as a result of listening to your presentation? Give your audience a clear next step they should take after listening to your speech.

4. Sell the Benefits

What are the benefits audience members will receive as a result of taking your recommended course of action. Always sell the benefits.


5. Don’t Make Yourself Seem Special

You don’t want to come off as a special person, so don’t flaunt your high IQ or brilliant business acumen. Instead, share your failures, flaws and struggles and show how you overcome those to finally achieve success. By sharing your relevant failures and flaws (and then sharing the process you used to achieve success), you will gain your audience’s support.


6. Anchor Your Points

Tie your points to an anchor. An anchor is anything that helps your message stick. There are 4 types of anchors:

  • Anecdotes
  • Acronyms
  • Activities
  • Analogies
Every time you make a point, tie it to a relevant anchor to make it stick.


7. Use Visual Words to Paint Pictures

Say “3 keys” or “3 tools” instead of “3 strategies”. Use visual words to paint pictures in your audience’s minds.


8. Don’t Squeeze Your Information In

Don’t cram too much information in a short period of time. Instead, focus on elaborating your points and making each one memorable.


9. Involve Your Audience

Audiences hate passively listening to your speech. Instead, involve your audience in your speech using activities and questions.

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  1. Hi Akash, I agree with some of your points here. Especially #2 which is one of the most annoying to watch. Presentations shouldn’t make sense as they should just be an aid to the presenter.

  2. Good tools. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Excellant presentation. Short and implimentable tips.
    Thanks Please

  4. I am a Toastmasters member and have to delivered different speeches in civic and fraternal organizations I belong. Your handouts on presentation and how to improve my speeches and really helping tremendously in my quest to better my speeches. Thank you.

  5. I agree that #1 is important in grabbing your audience’s attention, but I suggest that when using on opening question, be sure to make it clear to your audience whether your presentation an rhetorical question or one that you really want a response from your audience. It is a bit annoying when a speaker asks a question that the audience thinks they are suppose to respond to, but the speaker ignores the number of hands going up. If you ask a question such as, “How many here today drive a truck?” The professional thing to do is pause for a moment and take notice of the number of hands that go up. DO NOT just go to your next point.

  6. It is somewhat similar to “The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs”. Isn’t it? But it really is brilliant and effective..:)

  7. Ray Collins says:

    Your insight and suggestions are great and should help any serious speaker improve his or her message delivery. I would add one more tip to your list: Know your audience. Don’t try to sell coke to pepsi drinkers.

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