Remember: Decision making is mostly emotional, not rational
Research shows that decision-making is inextricably tied to emotion. The part of your brain linked to rationality and decision-making, the orbitofrontal cortex, and the part of your brain associated with emotion, the amygdala, are often working together when you are processing higher thought.
Your slides and presentation should activate the emotional part of their brain. Your handouts and documentation gives them the intellectual confirmation that the emotional sale is legit. Use facts and numbers to bolster your story, not tell it.
Include the big picture and how your message is connected to it.
people only remember 10% of what they read but will remember 65% when accompanied by a informational visual.
this is especially needed when communicating very “librarianesque” topics and lingo. Relate the topic, process, resource, or service to one that is generally well-known.
Include your contact info EVERY time.
You may even want to include where a person can find you in the library for face-to-face.
Choose a testimony from a person that means something to your audience.
Ex: student testimonies about the value of a service or peer-faculty
Always include a call to action, even in informative pieces
Ex: Learn more, for more details, participate here, etc
Be Early - There will ALWAYS be tech problems. Give yourself time to fix them and relax before you speak.
Use a handout! - this will be key to eliminating design problems with your slides later.
Famed visual designer, Edward Tufte even takes a full 5 minutes at the beginning of his presentation to review a handout before speaking and a full 30 minutes of required reading before that. He understands the value of getting people on the same page with the basics before diving into the meat of his talk.
Taking 15 minutes to read before your presentation may not be possible for you. Instead, and what I’ve employed with my one-on-ones with my own boss, is to send them any materials or notes to read before our meeting. It wastes less time going over details she doesn’t care about yet she’s aware of everything I am working on.
It’s also a nice takeaway for the audience.
Most presentations are meant to cover the basics and the big picture, not the details - that’s what your handouts, website, link lists, etc are for.
2-3 Main Points - Open with your 2-3 main points so they know the structure of your presentation. People brains are wired to recognize patterns and flow.
Jobs didn’t invent this idea, he just capitalized on it. Every keynote he ever gave had 3 main points which he told the audience at the very beginning. It helps the audience to follow the presentation even when the details got very technical.
Add gestures for memory recall - Your mind is connected to your body and your body to your mind. You’ll remember your points as you go through your “choreography.”
Practice - This is an obvious one. But, the goal is to make it look natural. Like you DIDN’T spend an insane amount of hours on these presentations.
Utilize the 10 minute rule - Your brain can’t handle listening longer than 10 minutes - you have to do something emotionally engaging at each 10 minute interval - tell a story, show a video, do an activity, etc. I’d argue that it’s even shorter for presentations that are numbers intense.
Avoid ambiguous buzzwords.
Stakeholders hear these words so much that they’ve lost their meaning. Ex: They may consider their morning coffee more of a “strategic resource” than your service. #ouch
Lead with your key point(s) and keep them few. People often only read the first few sentences.