Presentation Strategies to Change a Culture

Everyone is talking about the evils of PowerPoint and how the use of it is now considered a presenter faux pas but in seems to me that as with any tool it isn’t the technology that makes or breaks a presentation but rather the presenters approach.

You may be wondering how presentations connect to creating a culture of collaboration?  And the simple answer is that a great presentation can create an environment for deeper learning and collaboration by stimulating an audience to share experience and knowledge with each other. By forming the right mindset and following a few simple principles anyone can give a presentation that not only imparts knowledge but fosters collaborative culture.

1. Share knowledge rather than teach it

Plan to present something that the audience has never seen or heard before.

This may seem a daunting task but if you use a relatable example from an entirely different field/interest finding something original can be quite simple.

Be vulnerable

This suggests to your audience that you in fact don’t know everything, but you’re here to share what you do know.

Be confident

This may seem to contradict the idea of being vulnerable but in fact the most confident people are those who are curious, open and unafraid to show their vulnerability.

2. Personalize your content

Connect content to personal experiences

This demonstrates a genuine interest and sincerity in involving your audience in a way that abstract references can’t.  This tactic can be used as your ‘something the audience has never seen or heard before’ quite successfully and provides more than one context that the audience can understand while stimulating them to think of their own personal metaphors that relate.

Now, while you are following the principles above if you do decide to employ PowerPoint as a presentation tool,- and I contend there is nothing evil about that! – try to restrict its use to showing relationships through images and very few words running in the background while you talk.  Again, using personal images or images from ‘real life’ rather than stock photos will better serve your purpose and resonate with the audience.

Any audience will have a group of people with a range of understanding and experience with the topic of your presentation so tell a story, describe things in more than one context and be original!