How to Present for Maximum Understanding

We all have to present information or an idea or a proposal and we aim to achieve a maximum understanding of our message.

This is core to presenting, but how do we do it effectively?

My holidays to France to see my Pops is always a challenge when it comes to speaking to the French shopkeeper or passers-by. My French is basic O’ Level stuff and my accent is non-existent, so I have to revert to other methods to get my message across. Sign language, using pictures or drawings, lots of smiles, sometimes slower, louder.

Here are 20 ways you can get your message across more effectively:

  1. An analogy
  2. A prop or an object to illustrate
  3. An example
  4. A quote
  5. Some stats
  6. A joke
  7. A story or metaphor
  8. A visual aid such as a diagram
  9. A sound bite, song or tune
  10. Summarising and repeating the message
  11. An acronym or mnemonic
  12. A question to elicit their understanding
  13. A step by step guide
  14. Humour
  15. A demonstration
  16. A YouTube video
  17. A testimonial from a customer
  18. A photograph
  19. Acting out a scene
  20. Showing them the real thing

I’m sure you can add some more, notice no PowerPoint.

So next time you need to get a point across, think of different more compelling ways to do so.

For my future visits to France, I’ve been shown an app for my phone that will literally translate to French anything I speak into it in English. How cool is that? But it kinda destroys the whole fun of trying my hardest, making myself appear foolish and building a strong rapport because I’m trying my hardest to communicate. And in France there are only three words you need – du vin, du pain, du fromage.