My Presentation is Boring! Now What?

Nick Morgan answers an important question on the Forbes.com blog: how do I keep it interesting when I have to present a bunch of dry technical facts?

Dr. Morgan’s advice is timely (read it here) given that many business presentations are not of the “I Have a Dream” variety. They are dry, technical, factual, let’s face it…they’re boring.

So how do you tackle a boring topic? Give this a try.

Ask yourself: what negative impact would it have on my audience if they didn’t have this information? Then make that the topic of your talk.

For instance, say you’re presenting some new tax laws that will affect small businesses in your area. The information is dry and technical. But what negative effect could it have if your audience didn’t have that information?

Well, they could make a mistake that gets them audited. Or they could miss important tax breaks and lose money.

So make that the topic of your presentation. “Protecting yourself from an audit and the new tax laws” is a more interesting topic than “the new tax laws” and puts your dry facts in context.

How about this one: you’re presenting an overview of the new ordering system to channel partners. What could go wrong if they don’t understand the new ordering system? They could input customer orders incorrectly, so that customers receive the wrong items, or shipments are delayed when errors are discovered. So make that your topic: “How to avoid incorrect customer shipments using the new ordering system.”

Give it a try.

If you don’t know what your audience would lose by not knowing your facts, then perhaps the problem is not your dry content, but that you’ve chosen a topic your audience doesn’t really care about.

About the author: Bruce Gabrielle is author of Speaking PowerPoint: the new language of business, showing a 12-step method for creating clearer and more persuasive PowerPoint slides for boardroom presentations. Subscribe to this blog or join my LinkedIn group to get new posts sent to your inbox.

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