Deliver a great presentation

I will share a list of best practices that apply to any keynote you create. Great presentations are all about great communication, so these practices can be applied in many contexts.

  • Focus your attention on the audience. Demonstrate you understand them, their business, and their worries. This helps the audience identify with you as a speaker.
  • Identify the antagonist. Contrast is your friend. Identify what we’re fighting against—the enemy, the status quo, the poor state of affairs today. Think of the presentation as the journey in a Disney movie: Mufasa needs to die for Simba to grow into the lion king that Pride Rock needs.
  • Introduce obstacles. The best way to disarm a detractor is to identify obstacles up front. Try to predict objections and surface them first.
  • Show utopia. Entice stakeholders by showing them the outcomes and value of future state. Add to the drama and excitement by building up to the future state and treating it as a big reveal. Clearly demonstrate the power of the product/solution and what their world would look with their problems solved—show a prototype of the future state.
  • Provide evidence as backup. This may include case studies and references to demonstrate moments when we’ve been successful addressing the obstacles.
  • Repeat key messages. Audiences generally do not have good attention spans. Be sure to repeat the key value propositions throughout the presentation.
  • Outline the next steps. All presentations should drive the audience to action. Clearly identify their next steps (e.g., a workshop and follow-up materials).
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The Secret Source by Aurimas Adomavicius

About the author

Aurimas Adomavicius is the president and co-founder of Devbridge. When not in the trenches working with clients, Aurimas is an active speaker and writer on product design and engineering best practices.

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