Surviving in a business person oriented world can be a challenge to the newly promoted geek leader. A geek leader is meow likely to be able to work with fellow geeks than business or sales people. Business people tend to be a lot more emotional while geeks tend to be a lot more logical. It can be very frustrating on both sides. When the business person needs to present to the geek, it’s arguably a little easier than when the geek needs to present to the businessman. The businessman just has to strip out the emotion from their presentations so the thing remaining is just the logic. On the other hand, a geek needs to understand the way those who are emotional think before they can make a presentation that is able to be understood by businessmen. This article by Gary Genard has a great example of speaking with emotion even if you aren’t an emotional person. What we are talking about today though it the content of the speech.
Here are five tips for better presentation content brought to you by the minds of Paul Glen and Maria McManus in their book The Geek Leader’s Handbook.
Step one: Clarify your goal
Make sure you understand what you want this presentation to accomplish. Without a goal, it could end up losing people who are listening. Also, this helps you when you are trying to open up a little more to them but stay on topic as well. While they like a little more fluff, if it just becomes all fluff they will feel that it was a waste of time. You need a goal somewhere in there.
Step two: Get into their heads
What this means is that you need to look at what you want to tell them from their point of view. Why do they need to hear this? How are they feeling about it? What problems are they coming into this presentation with? Put yourself into their shoes to try and understand what they need to hear before, during, and after you state your main points of the presentation.
Step three: Craft a transformation (write it)
This is the part where you are able to actually write your presentation. The Authors of this book gave two tips to focus on when writing. You need to make sure that your listeners are able to first, understand and retain the information you are giving them, and second, experience the sequence of emotions that lead to the change. That first one is the easiest for geeks. Jut tell them what you want to tell them and make sure they remember. The hardest par fo this one is leading them up to what you need them to know. Hook them in, try to get them wanting to learn what you want to tell them. Use their emotions to your advantage.
Step four: Present, connect, and resonate
Now that you have finished writing your presentation, you need to decide how you want to present it. Make sure you use pauses to your advantage. They allow you to get ahold of your audience better and take control of the stage. Say your emotions, use words that describe emotions so the audience knows how to feel. Make a good powerpoint. This is probably the hardest of them all. You need to learn how to get people to understand what you are saying without being overwhelmed with data.
Step five: Conclude with a call to action
Make sure that by the end of it all you are able to wrap it up with call to action. Let them know what you want out of them and how they can use their newly leaned knowledge. In that case, I will end this blog with a call to action. Go out and take steps to make your presentations less boring!