We know the most essential components of a presentation like the back of our hand: a clear focal point, a strong flow and structure, a beautiful design and a compelling delivery. But one crucial component that presenters often forget to include in their presentation is a call to action. It’s a vital part of a presentation because it incites the audience to take action on your words­ immediately. It encourages them to do something because of what they just heard you say, and it can range from something as literal as “Buy this product” to something as abstract as “Try using this idea at work.” Here are some tips on how to give an effective call to action.

How to Give an Effective Call to Action

Tell Them How

The most important part of a call to action is simply telling the audience how they can follow up on the information you’ve just given them. Can they go online for more information? Can they buy your product? Can they implement your process in the workplace? Can they sign up for a newsletter or follow your company on Twitter or Facebook or another social media? To begin, decide how you would ideally want your audience to respond to your presentation. Then consider how you could go about making that happen. In short, tell them how. Give them all the details, all the options, all the avenues possible in which to respond to your presentation.

Keep in mind that people like interaction. The audience wants to be able to converse, interact and respond to you and your presentation. Make sure you create an environment in which the audience can have a conversation with you, whether that’s during the Q&A, a discussion after the presentation, or following up with an email a few days later. Interaction is key.

Tell Them Why

Telling the audience how to take action is the easy part. Telling them why they should take action is a little more difficult, but equally– if not more so– important. Essentially, your entire presentation is relating to the audience why they should take action on your point, but it’s important to highlight the reasons again as a preface to the call to action. Give them reasons that are highly personal and individualistic. Compel them to accept your call to action. Think of the best way to tell them why you are offering them something they just can’t refuse. People like to hear about themselves and how something will benefit them, so appeal to those characteristics. Tell them how this and that will change their life for the better.

An Offer They Can’t Refuse

Likewise, as you relate to the audience why they should take action, make sure you are offering them something that’s difficult to turn down. Obviously a lot of this depends on how compelling your presentation is in general, so make it captivating! Excite your audience with your presentation. Present them with a call to action that they simply can’t refuse. Maybe you can offer them some kind of discount, or incentive for taking action. Remember to relate the benefit of the benefit. For example, maybe the benefit of subscribing on Facebook is that they’ll get free tips on this and that, so their business can thrive as a result. Spell everything out for the audience. Don’t leave them guessing at what they’ll receive if they accept your call to action.

Lastly, a call to action can also be as simple as posing a challenge or a question that incites the audience to think further about topic you presented. Leave them with a little food for thought. Encourage them to think more about your topic and the problems and solutions it presented. But remember to always include a way they can reach out to you for more information. Be available to your audience. They’re the reason you’re there in the first place.

  • Outstanding insights as always! An effective call to action is where the rubber meets the road and yet it's where most presenters are the quickest. It's like doing a great job on the investigation to uncover the clients most critical problem, demonstrating a compelling reason why you are the best to solve that problem then NOT ASKING FOR THE ORDER!
    Well done! Tom Starr!

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