Twelve Days of Christmas…day Five

On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me….a heart full of confidence and joy

On the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me …two brilliant questions

On the third day of Christmas my true love sent to me…three ways of avoiding err

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love sent  to me…four steps to answering questions

AND on the fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me five golden stars…

Hope you sang that with gusto!

Fitting these blogs into numbers is an interesting challenge to each day( to put it mildly)…and this one fits really well with what we talk about on our Panic to Poise seminars – a Five Star approach to preparing and delivering powerful, persuasive and confident presentations.

When we attend a presentations, often we are treated to a one star experience when what we really expect is a five star experience.  Why is it that we are so disappointed?  Because people rarely invest in themselves to hone a set of skills that help them articulate clearly and persuasively their message; because when we are experts we are automatically assumed to have the skills that allow us to talk clearly and confidently about that expertise ( wrong!) and because the majority of people follow a fairly dire convention of presentations which is PowerPoint – led, starts off with boring introductions and even worse tail off endings and in the middle consists of lists and statements whcih are more about what they have to say than with what the audience need to hear.

So here is a quick guide to Five-Star Presentations

Preparation – target your audience and make sure that your presentations take into account their world with all its problems, challenges, delights and issues.  How can what you are delivering help and benefit them to make their lives better, easier, profitable, efficient ?  See the Second day of Christmas..

Participation – make sure that your audience participate in your presentations mentally, emotionally or even physically.  When the audience are engaged and involved in what you are saying , then they will remember, be influenced by and take action.  How can you get your audience thinking, feeling and doing in your presentations?  I suspect my true love might have some suggestions later in the week but just to keep you going, think how you can ask your audience rhetorical questions to get them thinking, how you can make them imagine to get them feeling and how you can ask them to put their hands up to physically involve them.

Pathways. – Audiences need to understand you as you speak and remember you afterwards.  So having a sound structure makes a lot of sense. And it needs to be more than that as well.  You need to build a structure that persuades because it is organised the way people listen and learn, a structure that has a flow to it and works with the audience ( rather than talking at the audience) and a structure that is based on the key messages you want to deliver rather than bullet pointed facts on a slide.  We share at our Phenomenal Woman Experience weekend a Pathway Planner which ‘chunks’ your material into digestible sections and links them up again using verbal signposts and non verbal signals ( let me know if you want more on this on one of the days of Christmas left)

Persuasive Language – tempting as it might be to keep the spontaneity of a presentation by not rehearsing or thinking about language in advance ( !)  a truly impacting and influential presentation will use language carefully and specifically to put across a message.   What stories can you tell to put across your message or deal with objections subtly, what tag questions can you add in ( can’t you, don’t we?, wouldn’t he?) that get people agreeing, what presuppositions can you phrase so that people focus where you need them to?

And finally…Perfect Poise.  Delivering a presentation in a state of mind which balances your focus (on the audience’s needs) your language ( inside your head as well as the actually words you say out loud) and your physiology ( standing, spine elongated, feet firmly on the ground, head up right).  Remember if you want your audience to be alert, interested and relaxed, then you need to be  in the same state.  So adopt a confident posture, focus on the audience and use language about what you can do and what outcomes you want from the presentation.


Tune in tomorrow for the sixth day..wonder what my true love will send us?  If you have a suggestion for future days, drop me a line and feel free to add your comments on this and previous posts.Still thinking of ways of including chocolate into the gifts ( thank you Jan)



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