Evaluate Your Conference Presentation Effectiveness – Part 2 – More Content Evaluation
My mother passed away in 1999. I still miss her.
The day of her funeral, after the service at the funeral home and after the interment at the cemetery, the extended family gathered to spend time together.
One thing that surprised me about that day was not the amount of tears… there were a lot of tears as I expected. What surprised me was how much laughter there was. After the services, as the family gathered together, we shared family stories. Maybe it was because it was such a solemn occasion but the laughter that day was so welcomed and felt so good. I hadn’t expected to laugh on the day of my mother’s funeral.
Presentations too can surprise us. Some of my favorite experiences as an audience member have been those presentations that tug at me emotionally – make me laugh, make me cry, make me think – preferably all in the same speech!
We’ve heard it said before, people make decisions based on emotions, then justify those decisions with logic. If we’re to connect with an audience, make them feel good about us and our company, then we need to engage their hearts as well as their brains.
The next few questions about your conference presentations have to do with content but as it pertains to the emotional elements of your presentation. How would you respond to these questions?
1. How would you describe the use of humor in your presentations:
- I never use humor in my conference presentations due to the nature of the subject matter I cover.
- I tend to include jokes that I’ve heard from family or friends in my presentations just to lighten the mood.
- I don’t tell jokes but I will occasionally tell a story or include humorous material if I can tie the story or material back to the point I’m trying to make.
- I include stories and examples that use humor to make a point. I also respond to things in the environment around us to add humor where I can.
2. How would you describe the use of stories in your presentations:
- I don’t include stories in my conference presentations.
- I will sometimes add stories to my presentations “on the fly” if something strikes me in the moment.
- I usually tell one or two stories within my presentations. I plan ahead of time what the story is that I will tell.
- I try frequently include a story in my presentation to make a point. I plan ahead of time which stories I will tell, though occasionally, I’ll add a new story on the fly in the moment.
3. How would you describe the presentation slides that you use:
- I don’t use slides.
- My slides include all the points I plan to make in my presentation. The wording of the slides contains complete sentences.
- My slides include all the points I plan to make in my presentation. I use bullet points and only include the key words on each slide.
- I don’t use slides but I do use other visual aids such as props, flip charts, handouts, etc.
- My slides have lots of pictures, one point per slide, and generally two or three words per slide. Or sometimes no words at all.
4. How would you describe the use of emotions in your presentation:
- Audiences don’t generally have strong feelings about the topic of my presentations, positively or negatively, so my presentations don’t contain a lot of emotions.
- Audiences don’t generally have strong feelings about the topic of my presentations, positively or negatively, but I try to motivate my audience with humor and stories or by talking about aspects that do motivate my audience.
- Audiences have strong feelings about my topic which are sometimes negative so I’m careful to avoid anything that could evoke a negative emotional response.
- Audiences often have strong feelings about my topic which are sometimes negative. I don’t shy away from the negativity. I enjoy engaging in lively discussions with my audiences even if they walk away with a negative response to my message.
- Audiences often have strong feelings about my topic which are sometimes negative. I point at aspects about my topic meant to persuade my audience to reconsider their negative perspective. I use humor, stories and universal motivators to persuade my audience. My goal is for the audience to walk away with a positive perspective on my topic or at least an open mind to consider my message.
So what do you think?
How do you rate your conference presentation? Are these questions fair? Love to hear your thoughts in the comments section!