The most common frustration I hear from financial people, IT people and engineers is that people fall asleep during their presentations or that people pepper them with questions wanting to argue the methodology being used.

Why does this happen and is there something you can do about it? Can you make a technical presentation interesting?

The biggest mistake you can make as a technical presenters is thinking the goal of your presentation is to share information. You are NEVER there to just share information. You are always looking for an action to be taken based on the information being shared.

  1. What do you want the audience to do after they hear your information? Do you want discussion, decisions, agreement to continue going forward, awareness of problems and how you plan to handle them, funding for more of the project? All of these can be action you want from your presentation. Each of these actions is distinctly different from the others. If you don’t know ahead of time what action you want you will spend way to much time just telling the audience what you did and why.
  2. What questions does the audience need answered in order to reach that action?Remember you don’t have to turn them in to a mini you. If you went to a mechanic to get your car fixed would you want them to pull out 20 charts and graphs showing all they have learned in their history and all they are going to do step by step to fix the problem or is your main point that you want to know they know what the problem is and how to fix it without ripping you off?The reality is that your audience needs less information than you believe they do.
  3. Anchor what you say.The more you can speak “visually” the more your audience will grasp your message. The ability to bring technical details in to things that relate to every day life will be one of the most effective tools you can use.Example: Imagine I have done extensive work on heat conductors and I would like you to fund a new project I believe will help create better heat conductors. The action I want you to take is to fund my project. The questions you need answered in order to do that are What is wrong with our current heat conductors? How will new heat conductors help us? What funding do we need to put in place for this?

Once I answer those three simple questions we are ready to go.

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