Got a big presentation coming up? Need to wow your audience? Instead of taking the usual fact-based, ho-hum approach to presenting, consider a completely new source of inspiration: television commercials.
The fact is, commercials have a lot in common with presentations: Both have to instantly grab attention, convey information in a compelling way and convince your audience to buy (a product or your proposal). Here are seven lessons about presenting you can learn from recent commercials:
Have a clear objective.
Verizon sells many products and services, but this commercial focuses on encouraging customers to buy a Droid Razr for Mother’s Day. Be specific about what you want your audience to know and do.
Exude confidence and passion.
It’s clear that Jennifer Hudson has confidence in herself and enthusiasm for the Weight Watchers program. Don’t be afraid to show just as much passion for what you’re presenting.
Let your personality shine through.
Ellen DeGeneres uses her easy-going, funny persona to sell Cover Girl products. The more authentic you are, the more your audience will trust and support you.
Use metaphors to highlight concepts.
Instead of using technical jargon to explain network connections, Mac uses phrases like, “You speak her language?” Metaphors not only highlight concepts but can also make complex information easy to understand.
Ask a question.
Cigna asks, “What does being true to yourself have to do with being healthy?” Get your audience thinking by posing a question. It can be rhetorical or you can use the question to actually start a dialogue.
Add an element of surprise.
I bet you didn’t expect hamsters to enter a robot war zone in a Kia, and then start a robot/hamster dance party. Grab your audience’s attention with something unexpected.
End with a call to action.
This commercial ends with, “Join the world’s biggest fight for more birthdays. The American Cancer Society, Relay for Life. Find your communities’ event at Relayforlife.org.” Conclude your presentation with something specific audience members can act on.