Presentation Strategy vs. Tactics

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At a workshop this month, we discussed the difference and the importance of focusing on presentation strategy until it’s totally on target, and then adding tactical advantages to increase effectiveness.

The two key strategic issues are being Audience Driven and delivering an Authentic Presentation (we call it ADAP). They address the two key strategic issues in every presentation:

  • Is the message right – in terms of content and comprehensibility?
  • Is the presenter perceived as expert and trustworthy?

With today’s attention span being shorter than ever, our messages have to be on-target:

  • Include only information that’s important to the audience’s decision-making; everything else is clutter and distractive.
  • Present it in a way where the message is instantly recognized; too many words, incorrect charts, cluttered slides are all going to weaken the impact.

Just as with advertising, you have a limited amount of time and space – so use them well to communicate your message powerfully.

Make sure the message is one you fully believe in and that you’re 100% comfortable with the presentation process, including the template you’re using and the presentation setting.  The slightest reservations about what and how you’re delivering your message, undercuts your power exponentially! Voice drops and eye-contact disappears, weakening your ability to convince the audience of your expertise, leadership and trustworthiness. This is true whether you’re presenting one-on-one, to a small group or a large conference or as part of a team presenting the proposal to the judging RFP committee.

This doesn’t mean, that presentation tactics don’t count, just that they won’t rescue a non-strategic presentation. Clearly, inappropriate body language, use of pitch books which force people to look down rather than presentations which facilitate eye-contact, will weaken the impact of your presentation. How you sit at a table where you meet clients and how you sit on your chair when making a webcast affect the power to project. And these are the reasons, we cover these tactics as well. But fist make sure your presentation is Audience-Driven, and delivered Authentically in a way that communicates your leader presence, expertise and trustworthiness.

What are your thoughts and experiences? Do you have any presentation questions?  Share them and we’ll respond.