Pre-Frame Your Presentation for Success

After a workshop the other day they asked for feedback to help the presenter improve his message and delivery.  There were a few challenges that came up during the talk that could easily be solved early in the presentation with the set-up.

When giving a presentation you want to make sure that everyone is engaged and following on with the material.  The more technical and data-based the information is, the more aware you need to be.  You need to know the level of understanding your audience currently has, and how to adapt to different learning styles.

It’s no use being an expert in your field and having a great and valuable presentation if your audience doesn’t get it.  There is an art to grabbing and keeping the attention of an audience and it can be up to how you set yourself up for success at the very beginning.

It’s called Pre-framing – you are setting the frame for your presentation.  You are telling your audience what your presentation IS and what it ISN’T.

At it’s most basic level, you can frame up your presentation by telling people what you are going to talk about. Then go ahead and tell them.  The idea is that your audience have an idea of what to expect from your presentation and are more likely to stay focused.

This stops the inner mind-chatter wondering what the agenda for the presentation is?

You can do more than this to set yourself up for success by framing in advance other expected obstacles or objections.

I go a lot deeper into this with Your Presentation Blueprint but let’s start with the basics here.  I want you to get started getting better engagement with your audiences now.

1. Pre-frame Objections

What are some common objections you have received in the past, that you might expect to get again?  Anticipate the objections and address them up front.  Consider common misconceptions about your topic or about presentations in general.

If you are selling something at the end of your presentation, think about how you can pre-frame that up early in your talk to avoid the objections.

In my Olympian motivational talks someone might think that they have heard my message before, just in a different form.  I pre-frame this at the beginning by acknowledging that fact and adding “…but what I have found is that many people, even if they have heard it before, they are not using it.  They are not using the steps in their lives, with all the distinctions.”

I want to set up the audience to listen for the distinctions that can make the difference to their success.  When their minds wander to think how they have heard this before, they also hear my upfront warning and what to do about it.

I have framed up the meaning of that thought and the ideal response.

2.  Pre-frame Depth of your talk

This ties in with objections if people object to you not going deep enough, or too deep.  How deep will you go and if people want deeper where can they go to get more?

It’s important that if you are presenting heavy data and facts to give your audience permission to interrupt you if you are going too fast.  Acknowledge that not everyone might be at the same pace.

This might be a problem if someone is at beginner level and can’t keep up at all.  To avoid slowing down too much, you will also want to have an alternative method for following up with them.

3.  Pre-frame Questions

Let the audience know when they can ask questions, whether it’s during your presentation or all at the end.  I also like to frame up that there is no such thing as a stupid question – if you don’t know something, take responsibility to get the answer.  I want people to leave with their questions answered.

4.  Pre-frame Participation

Do you want people to take part in your presentation?  Frame up the benefits of participation to your audience to enroll them.  Doing this ahead of time makes it easier when you call upon the audience to interact with you or with each other.

By setting up your presentation at the beginning you can keep the flow and build the rapport with the audience.

Think about how you can set up your next presentation for success.  How can you make people feel that they got what they came for….. by taking charge of their expectations?

Please comment below with how you like to pre-frame a presentation.