Designing and Delivering Persuasive Presentations



Course Description

Very few individuals look forward to speaking in public. However, success in business and in your personal career often requires preparing and delivering presentations designed to inform and persuade audiences. This class provides participants with the skills and the confidence to identify the characteristics and needs to their audience, determine the appropriate message, prepare engaging support materials, and deliver the presentation to win over tough crowds. The class is very hands on: participants create and deliver numerous presentations. Accordingly, this class should be limited to 10 participants. Topics include:  

  • Identify audience characteristics
  • Determine the appropriate message to inform and persuade
  • Prepare engaging support materials
  • Overcome public speaking anxiety
  • Working with a difficult audience
  • Honing public speaking skills


A basic familiarity with the subject matter is helpful, but not required.

Course Outline

Course Outline

Lesson 1: Know Your Audience

  • Understand the Audience’s Power
  • Identify Subgroups and Their Power
  • Presenting to Senior Management
  • Define Your Strategy: Inform, Persuade, Obtain Buy-in, and Others
  • Striving for Behavior Changes
  • Common Ground and Empathy

Lesson 2: Determine and Hone Your Content and Media

  • Solidify Your Key Message
  • Plan for Audience Engagement
    • Prior to Your Presentation
    • During Your Presentation
    • After Your Presentation: Follow Up Actions
  • Anticipate Resistance
  • Using Contrast to Amplify Your Contrast
  • Designing a Call to Action
  • Consider Options and Determine Specifics
  • Organization
    • Preliminary Short Statements for Presentation Flow
    • Appropriate Slide Titles
    • The Power of Combining Logic and Emotion
  • Avoiding Jargon

Lesson 3: Storytelling

  • The Power and Principles of Storytelling
  • Storytelling Principles
  • Crafting
    • Beginning
    • Middle
    • End
  • Powerful Endings
  • Analogies and Metaphors

Lesson 4: Slide Presentations and Handouts: Content, Media

  • Determine and Design Content and Media
    • Text/bullets
    • Compare/Contrast
    • Tables
    • Graphics: Flowcharts, Diagrams, Photos, Hand Drawing, Others
    • Sound Clips
    • Movies
    • Quotes
    • Animations
    • Slide Transitions: Use and Overuse
  • One Idea Per Slide
  • Visual Clichés
  • Presentation Duration and Slide Count

Lesson 5: Delivery

  • Tell-Tell-Tell
  • Desirable and Undesirable Techniques
  • Rehearsal
  • Venue Particulars
    • Seating
    • Lighting
    • Audiovisual Particulars
  • Stage Fright
  • Start Strong and Confident
  • Pitch, Tone, Inflection
  • Body Language
  • Authenticity
  • Building Trust
  • Engagement And Virtual Presentations
  • Q&A

Lesson 6: Impact

  • Measure Impact
  • Social Media and Building Relationships
  • Levels of Feedback
    • Smile Sheets
    • Testing
    • Organizational Adoption
    • Organizational Improvement
    • Societal Improvement

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Course Code


Course Duration


Instructions Method

Instructor Led