I absolutely love going to presentations almost as much as I love presenting in front of a crowd myself. There's just something fulfilling about conveying knowledge to a group of people who have come together to hear and learn from it.
Whether a presentation is online via a Webinar or in a room filled with people, you know it has been done right when it creates a memorable experience which educates, inspires and entertains everyone. Not only that, but they come up after to ask further questions!
Sadly, not every presenter gets it right. We've all been there, trying not to tune out or check our phones as someone attempts to take the stage with a boring, dry or completely irrelevant presentation.
This got me thinking: copywriting is a style of communication where we analyse an audience and then delivering a message in an engaging way. So, is there a way to use the rules of Copywriting to improve the content that we present?
Absolutely, and here's how.
How can the four rules of Copywriting help improve your presentation?
Rule Number One: Benefits Not Features
This is the staple first rule of copywriting: focus on the relevant benefits to the audience, and not the general features.
I've written about this rule before, in my previous blog titled 'Why does content with benefits engage your audience more than features?' Basically, it means focusing on what the project (in this case, your presentation) offers the customer, and not on explaining the actual way it works.
For example, instead of promoting your talk as: "I will be presenting about being a business owner", you pitch it as "Learn the realities of being an entrepreneur so you can start your own business and discover financial freedom." See how it's not telling your audience you are going to physically stand at the front of the room; instead, you are explaining how their attendance will benefit them in the future to achieve their personal career goals.
Not understanding this simple yet effective rule is a surefire way for your presentation to become instantly boring, and you then gaining that reputation as a result. Everyone in your potential audience has a very busy life with a very limited amount of precious time, so angling your presentation about what they will gain from you is how you will get them to pay attention.
Ask yourself: what is the core benefit that is relevant to them, which you have to offer?
Rule Number Two: Know Your Audience
I harp on about this rule in all of my classes over and over and over again. Knowing your audience literally makes or breaks your copywriting. You can write all the fancy content in the world, but if you're pitching to the wrong people, you're doing it wrong and your results will reflect this.
This is exactly the same for your presentation. If you have a key benefit that you have to offer, embedded in a particular topic, you have to ask yourself- am I catering everything specifically to them? You could have the same subject matter, but a drastically different way of conveying it, based solely on who your audience is.
If you are finding that you are presenting the same slide deck over and over to different audiences, and wondering why they aren't always engaging in the same way, it is probably because you're making them have to fit their scenario to you, rather than you fitting your subject to their requirements. Not tailoring your talk to their needs means that it's not relevant, and that's when they start to tune out.
I find the easiest way to do this right is to ask them all to interact with you. Start with the theory, and then ask them questions. When you answer them using your knowledge but in their specific circumstances, suddenly, your presentation comes to life because it becomes relatable for them.
Ask yourself: am I meeting my audience in the world that they live in?
Rule Number Three: Make A Point
Copywriting differs from fiction writing because there is always an underlying goal that the content is targeted at achieving. Sure, there's still an art and a style to it, because it's a creative art, however there is still that backbone of measurable strategy behind it, tying it down to draw a final and clear conclusion.
This means that the underlying meaning is coherent and succinct, with evidence and corresponding examples which drive home the message being delivered.
It's the same for presentations. I shouldn't even need to say this, but it's important: don't waffle on with no logical order. Make the pitch! Every enjoyable presentation is aiming to get your audience to have that "ah huh", sudden realisation moment because of a particular message you are trying to convey. So don't waste time skirting the issue: make your point and have your audience leave knowing exactly what it was.
Ask yourself: if my audience was asked what the purpose of my presentation was, what would they say?
Rule Number Four: Call To Action
After someone reads a piece of copywritten content, and they have related to the relevant benefits (Rule One), felt like the writer talked directly to them (Rule Two), and understood the point of it (Rule Three), the final objective is to prompt the right response afterwards, which brings us to rule four of copywriting: providing the reader with guidance towards the next step in achieving the benefit.
At the conclusion of your limited time to present, an engaged audience will be truly motivated to take action. Whether you do it bluntly, subtly or have a real art for persuasion, the whole point you are up there in front of the crowd is to get them to change some sort of behaviour- so tell them what to do after you leave the microphone behind.
Is it to join your mailing list? Consider your product? Employ your services? Connect with you? Whatever it is, if you present well, you will get a much higher response rate from people who are enthralled by your speech, compared to people who were just dying to leave.
Ask yourself: when I finish, will my audience be truly inspired to act upon the things I say?
It's Time To Put The Rules Into Action
So, if you're taking up the very important mantle of presenting to an audience of avid listeners, and you want to reward them for their attention (which should definitely be your goal!), then take note of the four pillars of Copywriting, and ensure you are achieving each one. It will make such a difference on the day, by not only rewarding the attendees, but also rewarding you for your efforts and time.
Share your comments and experiences in the comments section!
If you ever need help with presentations and writing content, contact me at Melotti Media Copywriting and Marketing solutions. I can help you turn your presentation from average to amazing!
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