Good Presentation Impressions

I’m always on the lookout for good presentation styles.  It doesn’t have to be public speaking in front of a large audience. It could be a customer service representative, a sales person, someone or some organization I come into contact with in every day occurrences. I note what impresses me.  The good, the bad and the ugly of communication styles.

Recently, I was in Connecticut and had a few extra hours and decided to explore. I came across The Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, New York. It was wonderful.  Great exhibits, no crowds, unbelievably cheap admission fees. For 2-3 hours, I was captivated. All for $5.

I thought about how this experience relates to giving speeches. Here’s what I observed that you can put into practice for your next presentation:

  • Surprise your audience by being great. I didn’t expect this out of the way place to be so over-the-top interesting. Your audience may expect a standard presentation from you. (That’s the way most business presentations are viewed.)  Make sure your presentation is over-the-top interesting/valuable/insightful.
  • Put your creativity to work when you develop your speech or PowerPoint. One of the most creative exhibits was Red Grooms: The Bookstore.
  • Make your audience glad they are there. I was thrilled at the “find.”
  • Give the people who hear your presentation something they can remember and talk about after you are done. I’ve been telling lots of people about the Hudson River Museum since I returned and recommending it to people who live in the region.
  • Remember that you are the expert on the topic you are speaking about…but your audience isn’t. This museum had a small, but impressive collection of the artists from the Hudson River School genre. The descriptions along side the paintings were helpful to those who don’t remember (or never learned) art history. Short and to the point.
    • When you give a speech, make sure you put enough of the basic information in for those in your audience who are not as learned about your topic. They don’t want to feel stupid…and may not bother to ask questions to further understand what you are trying to convey. Make basic explanations short, and to the point, allowing you to spend time getting into the meat of your topic.
  • Give your audience their money’s worth. Their time is valuable.  Honor that by making your presentation rewarding for everyone who spends time listening to you speak.


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