When I first started presenting on my best selling book, ROAR!, I struggled with the task of creating a presentation that would leave a lasting impression on the audience. I knew people were getting value from the book, but it's hard to compress 200 pages into a 45-minute presentation without overwhelming people with content. Most people were getting some value from the presentation. Several people approached me about the material after, but I knew many weren't getting the value I hoped to present.
This year at Inc. Growco, I made a conscious attempt to revamp the presentation to be more interactive. With the new changes, I have been much more successful in engaging the audience, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Here are 3 techniques I used to make the presentation more fun and sticky.
1. Simplify the content.
One of the challenges in the original presentation was too much information. I love all the concepts in the book, and I have stories around each golden nugget. But most people won't retain a massive amount of information from a single speech, so I needed to edit. I still establish the framework for the concepts but I only drill down in a couple of key areas. It's better to help the audience fully understand one or two key points than for them to retain hardly any part of many concepts.
2. Create in-room exercises.
With less content, I now had time for group activity. Rather than just telling my audience about a concept from the book, I now have exercises that help me show them how the book's techniques work in the context of their daily activity. I also like to have them work with a partner on some of the exercises. This way, they can learn from each other and enjoy the buzz of networking at the same time.
3. Provide a take-home project.
If my presentation begins and ends in the room, then I have left the idea of providing lasting value to chance. I prefer to insure my audience gets actual value long after the speech, so I create a two-part exercise. The first part is structured to provide immediate aha moments in the room so that the material has credibility. The second part gives the attendees instruction they can apply when they get back to their business. The extra homework reinforces the lessons learned and reminds them of the value they got at the original presentation.