Break This Rule: #2 – Give Informational Presentations

That’s about as exciting as watching grass grow. Take action!

Why would you break all the rules you took the trouble to learn in your presentation skills class? Because they’re awful! Many rules bind us up and make us boring. Be yourself and you’ll be so much more effective.

One of the most problematic rules out there is number two: Give informational presentations. Well, that sounds obvious. Don’t 95% of our presentations consist of sharing information? Yes, but if all you want to do is inform, please just send an email. You are there to make a difference and affect your audience. In the first installment of this series, we learned about having a clear purpose. Your action is how you achieve your purpose. Purpose = What. Action = How.

By choosing an action, you’re going to make people feel something. When people feel strongly, they do something. So your action could be:

  • Motivate
  • Inspire
  • Convince
  • Anger
  • Entertain
  • Invigorate
  • Persuade

When you know you want to persuade, you’ll choose eyewitness accounts, definitive data and success stories. If you want to entertain, you’ll choose funny stories and show silly YouTube videos. Knowing your action helps you coordinate your content to drive your purpose.

Here are examples of ways you could tie your action to your purpose:

  • Entertain the youth club so much they enter the go-kart competition.
  • Convince the budget committee to raise your departmental budget by 10%.
  • Anger the community council so they enact restrictions to limit toxic dumping.

Don’t cop out and inform. You can always find a stronger action that will move and motivate your audience. Action is the vehicle that gets you to your destination: the purpose. Want more fuel for that vehicle? Head over to ImprovEdge for extra presentation guidance and advice.