OSRAM – The Five Components of an Effective Presentation – Part 1 of 5 – The Objective

How do you give an Effective Presentation? What makes the difference between an average presentation and an effective presentation? This is Part 1 of 5 in a series of articles.

There are five main components of an effective business presentation. The acronym OSRAM should help you to remember them and help you to light up your audience. The five components are:

  • The Objective
  • The Speaker
  • The Room
  • The Audience
  • The Message

You should consider each of these components in turn to maximize the effectiveness of your presentation. Neglecting any individual component can ruin an otherwise successful presentation. Put them together correctly and you will turn on a light in people’s heads; brighten up their lives; get your audience to see and understand things, about which they were previously in the dark.

This series of articles looks at each of these components in turn and discover what needs to be done to ensure the success of that component.

The Objective

What do you want the audience to do as a result of your presentation?

To create an effective presentation the first thing you need to decide is what the objective of the presentation is. Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

But there may be more to that simple statement than you first perceive. You could say that for a product presentation the objective is for the audience to learn about the product, but that would be a very poor objective, as there is no action associated with it and no way of measuring how successfully it has been accomplished. The question you should ask yourself is ‘Okay, after my presentation they will know more about our product, but what do I want them to do next?’.

If your answer is ‘I want them to buy it’ then maybe you have gone to the other extreme. This objective may be fine if you work on a market stall and sell a vegetable chopper that cuts, slices and dices everything from tomatoes to pineapples. In that case, it may be realistic that after you have presented how easy it is to use and what a lovely job it makes, some people will want to buy one. For a market stall presentation, “selling the product” is a very good and plausible objective, which is measured by the thickness of your wallet at the end of the day.

However, for most business-to-business sales, it is unlikely that the presentation will lead directly to the sale. The sale may happen months later by which time you will have forgotten how well the presentation went.

So what is your objective? And how can you measure your success? The best objectives are SMART objectives.

SMART stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Timely

In the above examples objectives “getting the audience to know more about my products” is not easily measurable or very specific, and buying the product is not very timely.

A reasonable objective, when the presentation is the first real contact that members of the audience have had with your company, may be for 40% to arrange follow up meetings with your sales force.

When you are presenting at a conference on a subject, in which your company specializes, you may measure the success by the number of people who come up to talk to you after you have finished. You can set yourself a target of say 10 people. If only two people want to talk to you afterward, then it may be because your presentation did not stir up enough interest. If over 20 people come to talk you, you will have exceeded your expectations.

As every presentation has an objective it is important that the presentation concludes with a call to action that informs, encourages and directs people to meet your objective. If you want them to arrange a meeting with your sales force, you need to tell them to arrange that meeting and make it as easy as possible for them to do it. Consider having the sales force join you after the presentation so they can talk to their prospective clients, there and then.

With an objective of having people to talk with you after a conference presentation, you need to tell the audience where you will be and that you would welcome the opportunity to discuss any aspect of the subject in more depth, on an individual basis, or answer any more specific questions that your presentation has raised in their minds.

As you can see, by objective, what I am really talking about is what action you want the delegates to take following the presentation.

Of course, yours is not the only objective you need to consider. What are the audience’s objectives likely to be? What do they want to get from your presentation? Understanding your audience and their objectives is the key to an effective presentation and is discussed in the section entitled ‘The Audience’.

Your OSRAM objective should be SMART and remember to use a call to action at the end of you presentation to reinforce your objective.

5 Tips for Selecting a Presentation Skills Workshop

If you are interested in improving your presentation skills, one route is the workshop. You would be amazed at the transformation possible; however, it is important to understand that not all workshops are alike. In this article, I list the 5 things you should look for if you are serious about improving your skills in public speaking and having several opportunities to present your material in front of an audience.

    1. Look for a course in which you will be video-recorded. Video-recording is one of the best tools for seeing and hearing yourself in action. Too often, how we think we look and sound and how we really look and sound are not the same thing. Video tells a lot more truth about you than any other medium. While it may seem daunting at first, you should most definitely take advantage of this tool.
    2. Check to see that the class size is limited to 10 to 12 participants maximum. Very small groups are most important in a practical course such as this. Yes, sitting amongst an audience of 250 is fine if you are primarily listening to speakers, but in this case, size of group and recording potential really do matter. The larger group, the less individual attention. Larger groups also mean less participation by each individual.
    3. Will the course be covering the personal introduction? As a people, our personal introduction skills often take on the quality of a Valley Girl. As simple as it may seem, the personal intro is the most overlooked of the various forms of presentation. If you can deliver a dynamic summary about you and/or your business, you will find all other aspects of public speaking that much easier.
    4. While many courses cover the informative or persuasive presentation, check to see if the impromptu is being offered. As frightening as this may sound, the impromptu is an excellent exercise, teaching you to think on your feet: having that experience will serve you well in your future, not only when addressing an audience but when you are speaking extemporaneously to prospective clients, employers, employees, and your colleagues.
    5. How will the course handle your nervousness? If they plan to tell you to stare at something on the wall or look above the heads of your listeners, beware! This is not the advice you should be seeking. Nor is imagining your audience sitting in their underwear a comforting thought for most people! Find out exactly how they plan to deal with your nervousness. While it may be man’s greatest fear, it need not be yours if you learn the best ways of dealing with it!

In my next article, I will be discussing 5 Tips for Selecting a Voice & Presentation Skills Workshop.

Hey Good Looking – Are You a Presenter?

When we deliver a presentation, we need to make the best use of all of the tools that we have at our disposal. These tools include things such as hand gestures, using pauses, and vocal variety. All too often we forget that we have one more tool for us to use: our personal style.

Life is busy and all too often too many of us just don’t take the time to look our best when we venture out into public. The reasons for this are many – we don’t expect to meet anyone that we know, we don’t think that we’re going to be out for long, or maybe we just don’t care.

It turns out that this kind of thinking opens all sorts of doors for us as presenters. If we take the time to look our best then we’ll end up being the best looking person in the room. What this means is that everyone will be looking at us. If they are already looking at us, then we’ve got half of our task taken care of!

Carmine Gallo is a communications coach who has spent a lot of time thinking about this topic. Here are some of his suggestions that will help you use this tool to it’s fullest extent:

  • Keep The Bling To A Minimum: Over time we all build up a collection of accessories. Women have a collection of flashy necklaces and too-big earrings. Men have (also) too flashy necklaces, tie holders, bracelets, etc. Remember that accessories are designed to add value to your look – not to distract from the overall package. The rule is to keep it simple and suitable for your outfit.
  • Get Some Culture: This should be something that your research for any presentation reveals to you. A suit is always appropriate – except when it’s not. Make sure that you dress in a way that matches the event or the culture of your audience. Have your dress match the expectations of your audience.
  • Smile For The Camera: As long as you are going to the effort of getting all gussied up for your big presentation, take the time to make sure that all of the photographs that are taken of you show how good you look. We can never have enough photos of ourselves when we are looking our bests. Find a professional photographer and get a formal picture taken of yourself – this will be invaluable to you later on.

All too often we end up spending all of our time researching what we want to say, how we want to say it, and what we want our audience to be motivated to do once we are done talking.

If we take the time to plan out how we are going to look for our next presentation then we’ll be ahead of the game before we even show up. Sometimes just taking the time to look at ourselves in the mirror before we head out the door can do wonders for making our presentation that more effective…!