Persuasive Presentations

While scrolling through the Harvard Business Review Magazine (, I found a few “how to” guides at the bottom of the front page, and the one that caught my eye was the HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations. I have always been a little shy and nervous whenever I’ve had to step in front of a crowd and give a presentation, so I am always looking for quick tips and tools that will teach me to get over my fears. Nancy Duarte, the expert who wrote this how-to, explains that this guide will show the reader how to “win over tough crowds, organize a coherent narrative, create powerful messages and visuals, connect with and engage your audience, show people why your ideas matter to them, and strike the right tone, in any situation.” Naturally, I downloaded the free chapter so I could get a good look at what type of content would be in the entire book.

The chapter they gave me was called, “Create Something They’ll Always Remember.” It highlighted four major ways to help the audience remember your presentation. The first topic was “Shocking Statistics,” which focused on how to amplify your stats so the consumer, audience, etc. will understand how astonishing they really are.

The next topic was “Evocative Visuals.” This section stressed how audiences will “connect with emotionally potent visuals,” so it is imperative to have an engaging image, something other than text so the audience is willing to donate, participate, purchase, and endorse your product.

Next came “Memorable dramatization” which was how to “bring your message to life” which really encompasses the other tasks I have mentioned thus far. For example, we are all familiar with the Proactive commercials that show before and after pictures of the participants faces’ who chose to use the product. This would be an example of how “memorable dramatization” can assist in an audience wanting to purchase a product.

And linked to that is an “Emotive Anecdote,” which is the final point in the chapter. It is a personal story that assists in encouraging an audience to buy, endorse, purchase, donate to your cause/ product/ etc. With Proactive, they tend to use famous people to endorse their products, someone that the audience will be able to relate to because they have gone through trying to get rid of acne as well.

By reading this free chapter, I now have a slightly better understanding of how to give a memorable presentation that will leave the audience wanting more. It gives a great summary of how to approach an audience and how to break them down so that they are will to take part in your product.

With as helpful as this chapter has been, would you recommend I purchase the entire book?

Click here to get the free chapter too!

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