Five top tips for delivering HR event presentations

HR ADVICE: From human resource (HR) conferences to corporate training programmes, HR professionals are invited to conduct presentations and participate in discussions about their profession. When the presentation touches on the most pressing issues in the HR community, it is important to deliver the right content and share insights that interest the audience.

HR presentations are more than just disseminating information. It could create an impression about the quality of an organization's employee-related processes, such as recruitment and talent management. Here are five top tips for delivering impactful HR presentations.

1. Know the target audience

Who will be listening? What are they interested in? What information do they need? Why do they need your content? These are some of the basic questions to consider before going to the drawing board. When developing an outline for a presentation, HR could apply the AIDA Model in marketing. AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, Action and aims to identify what keeps the audience hooked and prompts them to act on their interest.

2. Establish the main topic and objectives

Determining the key message will shape the content for each sub-topic throughout the presentation. Research about the latest trends in HR and the common issues being faced by workers. Some examples are employee well-being, the digitalization of HR systems, learning and development, office engagement, workplace management, and employee compensation and benefits.

3. Incorporate visual elements into presentations

Aside from choosing the suitable presentation tool (whether it’s Google Slides, Keynote, or PowerPoint) after developing the messaging, add in visual content, such as videos, infographics, and photos. Use eye-catching and high-quality visuals to retain the audience's attention and showcase professionalism. If the topic is about clients, put their portrait or an example of someone with a similar profile. If it is about a working case, use company photos. To lighten the mood, memes may also be useful.

Animation can engage the audience but do not overuse effects to avoid distracting readers from what is truly important in the presentation. Fonts and typefaces could add emphasis or creativity to the presentation depending on the degree of formality of the event. They must also match the theme of the project.

4. Apply non-verbal cues

A stylish slideshow is not enough. Nonverbal gestures send a message to the audience. According to a study conducted at the University of Glasgow's Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging, the human brain can interpret a facial expression and assess a person's emotional state in 200 milliseconds. Making eye contact and using one's hands while delivering a presentation could help increase audience engagement. Choose the parts of the presentation where emphasis is crucial and practice hand gesture in front of the mirror.

5. Set the final tone

Grab everyone’s attention at the title slide and make the audience remember the last slide. Formulate a call-to-action as the last point. End with a question and answer session, if applicable.

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