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How to Give a Presentation – Part 7

by | Mar 31, 2015

Find Commonality

Find Commonality

Part Seven: Your Seventh Strategy on How to Give a Presentation

“How to give a presentation” Tip 7: Find Commonality

Blog Tip #6 began our discussion about engaging your audience. I’m spending several blogs on this topic because it’s so vital. In fact, if you do NOT engage and relate to your audience they will drift into cell-phone land and you won’t get the business, the relationship, and future business. Zippo – nada. It’s that important!

Many of my executive clients come to me to perfect their delivery. They say, “I’ve already got the speech prepared. Here’s my deck.” I try not to look miserable at this point. The “deck” is usually mind numbing data-filled slides with a billion factoids/graphs/charts/bullets/paragraphs on their organization.

What’s missing? Engaging information about the audience’s organization. What’s in it for THEM? How you can help them – specifically.

Today’s huge blog tip: Find commonality with your audience. Do some homework and figure out what your organizations share. Do you have the same philosophy? Same type of mission statement? Same love of cats/horror movies/scotch?

You may be thinking, “I have a limited amount of time for this meeting/presentation/seconds on the elevator. I won’t be able to add this stuff in.”

Two ways to overcome this objection:

  • You don’t have time NOT to do this. It’s killer content because they will admire you more, resonate with you, and be impressed that you went this extra mile.
  • You will not spend much time sharing your commonalities. You will add it in to your introduction section with a short phrase or sentence.


  • “We understand that both of our organizations value philanthropy. Your work with March of Dimes parallels our commitment to United Way…”
  • “Dan, as CEO of XYZ, we find it fascinating that you still have time to do gourmet cooking…”

Again, if the ship misses the harbor, it’s rarely the harbor’s fault.

Stay tuned to additional blogs in this series on how to give a presentation and what to do next.

Karen Cortell Reisman, M.S., author of 3 books and President of Speak For Yourself®, works with organizations on how to communicate to make more money. It’s all in how you speak for yourself. Read more at www.SpeakForYourself.com/blog/




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