Top tips and advice for market research debriefs and presentations
Richard Walker, Director at Mustard, has over 20 years’ experience of debriefing market research projects and programmes. As a former MD of a film productions business, he is also familiar with the art of story-telling. In this blog he shares some hints and tips for delivering insight with a bang.
Debriefing with a bang
With regular practice, preparation and constructive feedback, anyone can become a fantastic presenter. This blog post is a collection of tips on how to improve market research presentations. Please feel free to try these out and let me know how they work for you.
1. Find out who you are presenting to in advance of the session.
Know their names, titles and what specifically they are looking to get from the presentation. Think about the questions they might ask.
2. Stand up when and where it is appropriate.
It is far easier to express yourself and draw emphasis to the key points. You will project yourself to the room far more effectively. The parts where you’re at your most expressive and animated will be the most memorable.
3. Smiles exude confidence.
Show that you’re relaxed (even if you aren’t). Show the room you’re confident – your client will want to see an assured presenter who is close to and passionate about the material / data being presented.
4. If you can, stand to the right of the screen (from the audience perspective).
In the West this is where eyes gravitate to having read any on-screen content. Within the deep sub-conscious, the audience will find this ‘easier’ and more natural.
5. Be an exaggerated version of yourself.
Focus on your strengths and ensure these shine through in the delivery.
6. Prepare thoroughly.
Know the material inside out. Know the running order so you know which slide comes next.
7. Have a ‘dry-run’ to an internal audience that are seeing the material for the first time.
Take on board their feedback on slide content, design and delivery.
8. If using PowerPoint, don’t go overboard on animations and slide transitions.
Your audience are likely to be seeing the presentation for the first time, so make it consistent – and easy to digest / interpret.
9. Try not to JUST rely on PowerPoint.
There are many other excellent presentation packages available. Use other media – audio, video and imagery. Bring handouts, props, boards, group task outputs, example diaries, etc.
10. Set yourself a false deadline to finish the presentation content.
Ideally, at least 48-72 hours before the event. Finishing slides on the train to a meeting is not good. Email the slides to your client in advance so they know what’s coming, and so you have a back-up should you be let down by technology.
11. Involve the audience.
Feel free to ask questions to the audience as you go along – even rhetorical questions. And listen to the questions that you are being asked and refer back to those questions later in the presentation if necessary. This shows you are listening! Make sure you save time for audience questions at the end. Then ask your own questions – ascertain what happens next.
Please feel free to use the comments below to share your own hints and tips – or to let us know how this advice works out for you. Or, share your thoughts with Richard through the usual social channels – @MustardRichard.