Just another HR presentation? Different day same story? That’s not the case when your audience sits at the senior management level. You are the expert in your field. Your voice and knowledge should be shared. Presentations, PowerPoints and public speeches may not be the highlight of your job, but they come along with the title. The senior management team is a specific audience, and each audience needs to be catered to appropriately.
Before your next presentation to company leaders and influencers, think about the following tips for building a stellar HR presentation that your audience will not only remember, but appreciate and apply.
Express your passion
How can we possibly expect an audience to maintain attention, or care about the presentation without demonstrating our own passion for the topic? It’s important to recognize that the presentation is more than the words on a screen and the concept being delivered. You, the presenter, are the real presentation. You are what people have gathered to hear, so remember the importance of your body language, energy level and tone of voice.
Organize your content effectively
Does your presentation stand out, or does it fall into the mix? Any successful presentation starts with a detailed preparation. By pairing the right amount of information with the appropriate layout you will develop a concept fluid enough to easily follow and understand.
Do your research
Consider how many presentations the management team has witnessed in the last year. What about in the span of their careers? Those who reach management status are where they are because of their knowledge and expertise. Comprehensive research is critical. With countless presentations under their belts, management is still expecting to learn something new from you. Providing fresh facts and the latest information to them in your presentation is fundamental.
Cut to the chase
The length of your presentation doesn’t necessarily illustrate your intelligence or impress your audience. The most effective way to connect with your audience is to remember that time is of the essence. Privately, each person is wondering, “What’s in this for me?” Don’t add fluff to your content. Everyone in your audience is conscious of the clock, so get to the point and be straightforward and direct.
Focus on three supporting subjects
The best way to keep a tailored presentation is to break the discussion into three major components. With this concept, your audience can easily recognize your theme and purpose. Given the audience, less can often be more. If cutting the presentation down to only three supporting points takes away value, you may want to consider expanding your concepts into a second presentation.
Manage the Q&A
Your presentation does not conclude on your final slide. Remember to leave enough time for the question and answer session – it’s just as important as the information you have provided. Predict potential questions and prepare fitting responses. The discussion can spin out of control, but you can carry on your theme by only answering questions that apply directly to your topic of choice. For extraneous topics, offer to meet with the questioner after the presentation or in a different setting.
Be prepared for curve balls
As with any situation, perfection is the goal but keep in mind that perfection won’t always be attainable. Train yourself for the unexpected moments. What content can be removed if you have to start late or end early? Rehearse your presentation in a chaotic environment. Can you maintain your concentration in the midst of interruptions?
Everything won’t always go as planned, but if you can handle the curve balls you remain in control.
For more information or to discuss related issues to HR presentations, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel team at (919) 878-9222 or (336) 668-7746.
Photo source: RDECOM