Recently, I have attended several events where people from well-known charities have spoken to ask for money or volunteers. One of the presenters asked me how she could improve her presentation. So I developed three quick tips that could help her become a more effective charity spokesperson. (And even if you're not in that role, these tips can help your presentations be more compelling and clear.)
1. Be selective with statistics. One charity spokesperson used at least twenty statistics in a five- minute presentation. The result was that the audience was overwhelmed and confused; there were too many statistics to remember and it was not clear how they related to each other or the presenter's overall message. Instead, use only a handful of statistics that are the most impactful and most relevant to your audience. For example, if you're asking for large donations, tell the audience the breakdown of how each dollar is spent.
2. Use stories. Another spokesperson shared a moving story of how he lost a family member to the disease for which the charity was working to find a cure. Even if you don't have a personal story of your own to share, tell a story representative of a typical client that your charity helps. The story should be true, short and relevant to your message.
3. Be clear about your message. What is the call to action? Do you want the audience to donate money, volunteer time or do something else? Don't leave them guessing as to how they can help. Mention your message at the beginning of your presentation, give examples or share stories that relate to it during your presentation and then remind the audience of it at the end of your presentation. Make it easy for them to remember.
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