Marketers today are quite often required to either give a presentation or create presentations for other members of their organization. The practice of delivering information or a pitch to an audience, whether internal or external requires a great deal of expertise. While there are a plenty of presentation tools designed to help you create a presentation, the skills require to deliver an effective presentation are a bit more complicated.
Overall, marketers often turn to presentations to help package and creatively deliver new ideas to team members as well as to externalize the companies brand and value proposition to sales prospects. These presentations usually occur at in-person events like conferences and tradeshows as well as virtually like webinars and live streaming sessions.
Regardless of where it is being delivered and to whom, there are a few universally-applicable attributes of a winning presentation:
- Content that is valuable to the audience. Content is the cornerstone of any presentation, and that content should be as relevant to the audience as possible. Good presentations include information that is digestible, practical, and simple to apply.
- Delivered in a way that is memorable and relatable. Great presentations require more than reading a list of data points from a spreadsheet. Rather, they use stories or other personal illustrations to bring the audience into the information. Presenters may also include out of the box tactics, comedy, exciting visuals, or audience participation to make their content memorable.
- Clear call to action (CTA). When relevant, marketing presentations should include a clear CTA. Even if that CTA is simply to request more information on a product or service, that should be noted and repeated often.
There are many other attributes to creating and delivering an effective presentation which we will share with the IMA community over time.
Since 2009, IMA has hosted over 30 Integrated Marketing Summits with over 600 in-person presentations and over 110 online webinar presentations. After each presentation, we make it a practice to ask our audience to rank our speaker presentations from 1-5 (5 being outstanding) on two primary topics: Speaker Content and Speaking Skills. We have seen some unique differences in the ranking and survey reports regarding these two types of presentations. For live presentations, the presenter who was more entertaining often ranked higher than a presentation full of detailed and useful information while webinar reports were the exact opposite. Webinar presentations that were full of helpful information and statistics would almost always rank higher with audiences than more entertaining presentations.
Another helpful tip is regarding the complexity of the presentation. Many speakers have asked over the years how complex or experienced our audience is and whether they should dumb down their presentations. IMA has never been a fan of dumbing down any presentation unless absolutely necessary. Its IMA’s opinion that it is better to deliver a more advanced presentation than a remedial presentation. If the goal of a presentation is to establish credibility and identify new opportunities a more advanced presentation will be more effective. People in the audience who are less sophisticated are more likely to be in the research phase of the buying journey than more advanced prospects that are more likely to be “sales ready.”
Regarding the actual creation and delivery of a presentation, IMA thought leader Rick Altman is an expert at developing and delivering effective presentations. He is also the founder of the Presentation Summit. Rick will be sharing his expertise on the IMA website so check back often for best practices and how to advise.