This simple technique will make your presentations pop and have people on their feet!
Suddenly everyone was up on their feet and taking photos of my presentation. The impact was immediate and sent a ripple of recognition and understanding through the room. I smiled. I knew my talk would benefit the audience of coaches I was speaking to and this moment confirmed I had given them something they wanted.
If you're planning a presentation, you can empathise with that moment of simultaneous relief and delight. And I know you want to feel it too when you're on stage or standing in front of a client or your colleagues. In this article, I share my secret ingredient to an effective presentation.
What did I do to get everyone up on their feet?
I shared a powerful, interactive visual that highlighted “the marketing journey that small business owners go on”. Now you’ve probably read that and thought, ‘it sounds super yawn-worthy’ but this is the point. Words alone don’t cut it. You have to see it - and that’s the magic. Showing, not just telling.
Below I share how to add a touch of sparkle into your presentations. You will also see an outtake from that presentation which had the audience really engaged with what I had to say. Many people came up to me afterwards saying, “I need you!”.
Let’s backtrack a little first though.
Why are you creating a presentation in the first place?
Presentations are created to share knowledge and support decision making. You probably want to confidently project your central theory, ideas or plan that you’d love the audience to take away from the session.
If your listener can’t understand the complexities you are portraying or they are not connecting with the content you are sharing, you’re not going to keep their attention.
The answer? Introduce a powerful framework into your presentation.
What is a framework?
A framework is a skeletal outline of how you approach what you do.
Humans have been using frameworks to understand concepts and how their world works for thousands of years. Simplifying complex ideas and transmitting stories started with the first scratches on cave walls. Drawing our thoughts is not a new idea.
One framework you will be familiar with is The Tree of Life. This is a fundamental concept seen in many of the world's mythological, religious, and philosophical traditions. Every culture drew The Tree of Life out visually to explain the principle of universal connection; how everything is connected, interdependent, and interlinked.
Let’s now move from the esoteric to the practical use case of a business presentation, where frameworks serve us well. It’s likely you will have seen John Maxwell's 5 Levels of Leadership framework. You can see at a glance the progress that leaders make and can associate yourself as the reader with one of the levels.
John Maxwell developed the 5 Levels of Leadership paradigm in his book, Developing the Leader Within You, and then expanded it in his book, The 5 Levels of Leadership. This framework provides a simple overview that draws people into the concept. Plus, it lets them identify where they're at, and how to improve and move up to the next level.
These are just two examples and if you Google “framework” you will find multiple others across the internet, but to make a real impact and create an effective presentation, it’s necessary to add your special sparkle to it.
This is done partly by combining visual and interactive elements that connect with your audience and show that you see and hear them. The deeper level is when we weave in your unique experience and value add.
What is a Sparkle Framework® ?
A Sparkle Framework® is an essential visual structure that not only shows the unique value proposition of the creator but also presents a transition or journey in an eye-catching and memorable way. ~ Susanna Reay
Sparkle Frameworks elevate what you're doing. They build trust, credibility and authority - enabling you to take your business to the next level and show up as the expert you are.
They may look deceptively simple, but to truly engage and be effective they will have been created with deep thought and refined through live testing. It can be tough trying to create them on your own as you need to distil your philosophy and clients’ journey into an at-a-glance framework which encapsulates who they are, what they are experiencing, and where they want to get to.
4 reasons why Sparkle Frameworks® power up your presentation
1) They communicate your value at a glance. Frameworks are the distillation of your experience which has been acquired over many years. They convey both your value and your understanding of the topic, winning you instant trust from the viewer.
2) They enable you to meet people where they are. Frameworks show the journey ahead and listeners can self-identify how far they need to travel, pinpointing the key factors as each milestone is achieved. It helps them feel in control of the issue at hand.
3) They simplify the complex, bringing a deeper understanding and connection to your listeners far faster than words alone can convey. Our brains love to have complex models broken down into simple points as it gives them something to hold onto, to remember.
4) They help to confidently project your values, beliefs and philosophies that underpin your business, your process, your unique methods. They are a simple way to show your inner gold, sharing your thoughts in a structured way so that people get you.
Frameworks are a simple way to show your inner gold, sharing your thoughts in a structured way so that people get you.
What captures your attention during a presentation?
Every successful, engaging speaker that I have listened to at conferences has one thing in common: they use a framework. The moment they start to share their key learning points, everyone is scribbling it down for future reference. These are the key points that the speaker wants to share with the intention that the listener will take a small step to committing to bring this into their world.
It’s not just about codifying your thinking. You’re creating a memorable, visually appealing image that everyone will take a photo of, scribble down, and have as a checklist to see where they are at. But there is more to a framework than that.
Effective Presentations Need Frameworks
*snap* My Profit Pyramid Sparkle Framework was fully revealed... At that moment I felt like a rock star as all the cameras were held up!
“And that,” I told my delighted audience, “is the power of frameworks.”
But the final image on your slide deck is only half the story; your narrative as you unveil it is needed to bring it to life. You are an essential ingredient in an effective presentation, and the framework is there to support you. With clients, I show them how to do this to create the maximum effect in their presentations, and instantly they see added engagement and reaction when they present.
Value Projection is the essential presentation skill to win pitches. Frameworks convey both your value and your understanding of the topic, winning you instant trust from the viewer.
It’s essential to reveal frameworks step by step, at a speed that allows time for the listeners to decide if this is where they are, or their company is.
No-one likes a huge overload of information in one go, yet many presenters cram their slides full of text which pretty much negates the need for the presenter at all. Your presentation is there to ground you not to replace you. You are there to promote your services, to share your expertise, to impart knowledge effectively.
Adding in a touch of humour never goes amiss, as the laughter allows our brains to pause for a moment, to take a breath. The simple act of laughter will bring a feeling of joy and memorability to your talk as well. Business can suffer from being way too stuffy in my opinion!
The majority of frameworks are not Sparkle Frameworks®
Sadly most presentations miss the magic elixir that elevates the presenter's ideas from black and white into technicolour. Most presentations miss the third dimension a framework brings: pulling people closer into your world while simultaneously heightening your authority and credibility in mere minutes.
When created well, effective presentations pull together your personality, your branding, and your solutions into a unique framework that none of your competitors will have. This instantly elevates your presentation above all others as you become the only solution that clients wish to work with. You have laid out precisely the value people achieve when working with you by displaying the expertise you bring in a very human way. You eradicate competition by being the only supplier of your unique solution, and with this comes sales.
In short, Sparkle Frameworks® show you know what you're talking about!
Sparkle Frameworks are the secret ingredient of an effective presentation which is why I’ve created a comprehensive range of frameworks to suit various situations and goals:
- high impact presentations that people talk about weeks after the event,
- social channel engagement,
- customer connection,
- customer service,
- course creation mapping and more.
Eradicate competition by being the only supplier of your unique solution.
If you’d like my help to develop Sparkle Frameworks® for your business, check out the Sparkle Frameworks® Starter Kit to get you started fast. Then if you'd like extra direct support - just reach out.