A presentation intended to persuade an audience to take a specific action may be the most difficult kind to perform, even if you are not shy about public speaking. Creating a presentation that achieves your goal effectively takes time, a lot of practice, and most importantly, a focused message. With the right approach, you can create a presentation that will leave a skeptical audience excited about participating in your project. In this post, we will cover the basics of creating a persuasive presentation. Let’s dive in.
What is a persuasive presentation?
In its most basic form, a persuasive presentation features a speaker attempting to influence an audience to accept certain positions and take action in support of them. A good persuasive presentation uses a mix of facts, logic, and empathy to help the audience see an issue from a perspective that they had previously dismissed or not considered.
How to plan a persuasive presentation
Do you want to make a persuasive presentation that connects with your audience? Follow these steps to win friends and influence people in your audience.
1. Decide on a single question.
The key to convincing your audience is to first identify the singular point you want to highlight. A good persuasive presentation will focus on a specific, easy-to-understand proposition. Even if that point is part of a larger initiative, ideally it should be presented as something your audience can easily say “yes” or “no” to. A message that is not well defined or that covers too much can cause the audience to lose interest or reject it altogether. A more focused topic can also help your presentation sound more confident, which (for better or worse) is an important factor in convincing people.
2. Focus on fewer (but more relevant) facts.
Remember: you are not (in the vast majority of cases) the target audience for your presentation. For your presentation to be a success, you will need to know who your audience is so that you can shape your message to resonate with them. When crafting your message, place yourself in your audience’s mental space and try to deeply understand their position, needs, and concerns. Focus on arguments and facts that specifically pertain to your audience’s unique position. As we wrote in our post on How To Make A Compelling Argument When You Are Not Naturally Persuasive, “Just because a fact technically supports your claim does not mean it will sway your audience. The best evidence should not only support your claim, but also have a connection with your audience. ” What are the target audience pain points that you can use to make a connection between your needs and your goals? Focus on those aspects and eliminate any excess information. Fewer relevant facts always have more impact than an abundance of unfocused evidence.
3. Build a narrative around your evidence.
If you want to persuade someone of something, it is not enough to win their brain, you also need their heart. Try to establish an emotional connection with your audience throughout your presentation to better sell them the facts you are presenting. Your audience is human, after all, so an emotional tug will go a long way in changing the way they view the topic you’re talking about. A little emotion could be just what your audience needs to make your facts “fit.” The easiest way to incorporate an emotional drive into your presentation is through the use of narrative elements. As we wrote in our guide to making presentations: “When our brains are given a story instead of a list of information, things change, big time. Stories involve more parts of our brain, including our sensory cortex. , which is responsible for processing visual, auditory, and tactile stimuli. If you want to keep people engaged during a presentation, tell them a story. ”
4. Trust matters.
Practice makes perfect (it’s cliche because it’s true, sorry!), And this is especially true for presenting presentations. Rehearse your presentation several times before giving it to your audience so that you can develop a natural flow and move through each section without stopping. Remember, you are not giving a speech here, so you don’t want your speech to look like you are reading completely from the reference cards. Use tools like notes and cue cards as ways to stay on track, not as scripts. Finally, if you can, try practicing your presentation in front of another human. Getting a trusted coworker to give you advance feedback can help you strengthen your delivery and identify areas that you might need to change or increase.
5. Prepare for common objections.
The last thing you want to say when someone in your audience expresses a concern or outright objection during the question section of your presentation is “umm, let me answer you about it.” Research your presentation topic carefully to present the best possible case, but also prepare in advance for common objections or questions that you know your stakeholders are going to ask. The stronger your grasp of the facts, and the more prepared you are to proactively address concerns, the more compelling your presentation will be. When you seem confident in responding to any rebuttal during a question and answer session after your presentation, it can go a long way toward making your case appear more compelling.
Persuasive presentation scheme
Like any copywriting project, you’ll want to create an outline for your presentation, which can act as both a notice and a frame. With an outline, it will be easier for you to organize your thoughts and create the actual content that you will present. While you can adjust the outline to suit your needs, your presentation will most likely follow this basic framework.
Any persuasive presentation needs an introduction that grabs the listener’s attention, identifies a problem, and relates it to it. The Hook: Just like a catchy song, your presentation needs a good hook to attract the listener. Think of an unusual event, anecdote, or setting that might catch the listener’s attention. Pick something that also establishes your credibility on the subject. The Lasso – Tie the hook to your audience to gain acceptance from your audience, as this issue affects them personally. The Thesis: This is where you indicate the position you are trying to persuade your audience to and form the focal point of your presentation.
II. The body
The body makes up most of your presentation and can be roughly divided into two parts. In the first half, you will build your case and in the second, you will address possible rebuttals. Your Case: This is where you will present supporting points for your argument and the evidence you have gathered through your investigation. This will likely have several different subsections where you will present the relevant evidence for each fulcrum. Rebuttals: Consider possible rebuttals to your case and address them individually with supporting evidence for your counterarguments. Benefits: Describe the benefits of your audience adopting your position. Use smooth, conversational transitions to get to these. Disadvantages: describe the disadvantages of the audience that rejects your position. Make sure you have a conversation and avoid scaremongering.
In your conclusion, you will conclude your argument, summarize your key points, and relate them to the decisions your audience makes. Transition: write a transition that emphasizes the key point you are trying to make. Summary: Summarize your arguments, your benefits, and the key evidence that supports your position. Tie-back: Relate your abstract to the actions of your audience and how their decisions will affect the topic of your presentation. Final Word: Try to end with one last emotional thought that can inspire your audience to take your position and act in support of it.
Include a section at the end of your presentation with quotes from your sources. This will facilitate independent fact-checking for your audience and make your overall presentation more persuasive.
Examples of persuasive presentations
Take a look at some of these persuasive presentation examples for inspiration. Seeing how someone else made their presentation could help you create one that grabs the attention of your audience. While the structure of your presentation is entirely up to you, here are some commonly used outlines for different topics.
Introducing a concept
A common type of persuasive presentation is one that introduces a new concept to an audience and tries to get them to accept it. This presentation introduces members of the audience dangers of secondhand smoke and encourages them to take steps to avoid it. Persuasive presentations can also be a good format for presenting framing problems, like this presentation on the benefits of renewable energy.
Change of personal habits
Do you want to change the personal habits of your audience? Watch this presentation on how adopt healthy eating habits. Or this presentation that encourages the audience to Do more exercise in your daily life.
Commit to an action
Is your goal to get your audience to commit to a specific action? This presentation encourages the audience memes to become an organ donor could provide inspiration. Trying to make a big sale? Check out this presentation outline that can encourage someone to buy a house.
Remember: you can do this
Anyone can create a persuasive presentation once they know the basic framework for creating one. Once the process is complete, you will be in a better position to generate sales, attract donors or funding, and even advance your career. The skills you learn can benefit you in other areas of your personal and professional life as well, as you know how to present a case and influence people towards it.