We are living in a new digital revolution, and business is no longer business as usual. Reaching an audience in today’s social climate requires more impactful, engaging and thought-provoking presentations. In almost all areas and sectors of the marketplace people are expecting more.
When communicating with your audience, you want to delight and surprise them, all while touching on key points and driving your message home. How can you do that with a presentation?
One effective way to engage an audience is to make your presentation interactive and allow them to be part of the story. For a pitch deck, especially when used as a leave-behind, allow the recipient to explore content in detail after your meeting. For a training session, give your audience a way to jump between sections and different types of content. If it’s a product manual, maybe include a few simulated product experiences that the customer can get their hands on.
It might not be immediately visible, but interactivity these days means “business”, and he/she/they who makes the first move wins.
People love stories in which they play a part
Allow your audience to take the journey themselves. When visiting Yosemite, some people like to follow a tour guide, and a lot of others prefer going out on their own. When you are presenting, you’re taking people to your Yosemite. For people loving a tour guide, gently lead them into the valley, and for explorers, give them a road map with marked stops, areas of key interests, and a way back home. That way everyone gets to enjoy their story more.
First impressions are lasting
A lot of people generally expect to sit through a presentation. By introducing interactive elements in your presentation, it breaks the norm and focuses the attention of your audience. Instead of saying “when we click this button, that will happen”, show people what happens when you click that button. Or even invite your audience to click the button and see what happens. We can only retain about 25% of the information during a presentation, let your presentation help you deliver more when you’re offline.
Create once, use it 100 times
We know businesses are about maximizing profits and minimizing costs. Instead of creating 100 sales decks, why not create one and allow sales and marketing teams to customize it 100 times? The most successful and most used interactive presentations are the ones with well established framework and modularized content blocks - just like Lego pieces, your team can rearrange and build unique stories with ease. That way you can spend more time and focus on your customer success, which also means much lower effort is required to maintain the presentation itself.
Trackable data insights
We aren’t talking about locations or other privacy sensitive data, but rather the perspective on what the audience values. Your online presentation might be limited to 30 or 60 mins, and you might have a lot to cover. Even when you leave time for Q&A, it might be difficult to gauge interest level on certain topics. Unlike traditional ones, interactive presentations might offer you insights into what the audience cares and values. You can measure how long they spend in certain sections or even how many times the presentation has been shared. Wouldn’t you want your business to have such insight?
Why it’s essential in 2021
If 2020 has taught us anything, it's that working remotely and the landscape for digital presentation is not what it used to be.
In 2021, it will still take a long time for in-person presentations to return. A lot of sales and marketing meetings are going to be done remotely. This makes it even more important to be sure presentations can hold audiences’ attention, especially after a series of Zoom calls followed by Google Meets. If you are concerned with connection issues, like many of us do, share a link to your presentation so even when your audience couldn’t see your screen, you can rest assured that your content is still in good hands.
It’s still going to be challenging for businesses to truly adapt and transform themselves to be digital first. While it might take some more time and effort to shift gear for the whole operation, interactive pitches and presentations offer great opportunities to show stakeholders why this transformation will be worth it. Just like in chess, he/she/they who makes the first move wins.