Public speaking skills are a career accelerator, especially in social media marketing. According to the 2023 Sprout Social Index™, more than half (61%) of marketers agree the most effective way to share social metrics with executive leadership is through in-person presentations or meetings. Whether you’re on Zoom or in a meeting room, you have to speak on your data if you want to get ahead.
If that makes your palms sweaty, don’t panic. Skills can be learned. It just takes time and practice.
If you’re ready to start giving more compelling social media presentations, you’re in the right spot. In this article, you’ll find a list of the essential elements of a social media marketing presentation, expert advice on speech delivery and templates to speed up your deck creation process.
What is a social media presentation?
A social media presentation is a speech, lecture or pitch in which elements of a social media strategy are shared and explained to an audience—senior leaders, internal stakeholders, clients, etc.
Like a snowflake, no two presentations are the same. Every social media marketing presentation is tailored to the needs of a specific situation or goal. Broadly, these presentations can be categorized into the following:
- Pitch presentations: Here, the speaker aims to persuade the audience on a strategic initiative. This could involve pitching services to a potential client in an agency setting, or in-house teams pitching a new tool or process.
- Update presentations: These presentations keep stakeholders informed about the progress of a strategy—wins, opportunities, lessons learned, etc.
- Knowledge-sharing presentations: The speaker aims to educate stakeholders on insights gained through social media data collection.
Each of these presentations has the power to give your social media efforts new meaning. They clarify the return on investment (ROI) of your social media strategy by creating more tangible connections between your work and its results.
The 4 elements of a persuasive social media presentation
It can be difficult to tell when a presentation is ready to share. After spending hours developing a talk track and creating a deck, the lines between critical information and fluff can blur. The following list will help you plan and audit presentations to ensure they’re well-received every time.
1. A cohesive narrative
Why are you delivering your social media presentation?
Behind every exceptional presentation lies a central thesis—a significant idea or perspective that you intend to convey to your audience. Even routine performance updates should have a driving purpose.
Starting from this point will align all of the information you incorporate—from your opening hook to your concluding thoughts—to create a cohesive, compelling story.
2. Succinct slides
Each slide you present should be simple, focused and void of unnecessary distractions. According to Paul Jurczynski, a TED Talk coach and cofounder of Improve Presentation, “The golden rule is to have one claim or idea per slide. If you have more to say, put it on the next slide.”
3. Compelling data visualizations
Social media marketing presentations often come down to proving ROI for stakeholders. Data visualization like graphs and charts are a compelling way to make your case.
In data journalist David McCandless’s TED talk, he explains that the beauty of data visualization is “that we can see the patterns and connections that matter and design that information so it makes more sense, it tells a story or allows us to focus only on the information that’s important.”
Don’t get bogged down in mapping out every single data point you uncover during your research. The best graphs are simple graphs with takeaways that are quick to spot.
4. Room for conversation
Engaging your audience goes beyond simply presenting great content. It’s about fostering a connection with them. It’s not enough to ask “any questions?” at the end of your presentation. You need to create space for everyone to absorb and interact with their newfound knowledge.
Create space throughout your presentation to seek feedback on crucial concepts or areas of concern. Tailored questions create engaged audiences.
Expert advice for delivering your next social media presentation
If you’re looking for presentation advice, who better to turn to than a salesperson? That’s why we went to John Barrows, CEO of JB Sales for his guidance on presenting. Barrows provides professional sales training to companies like Salesforce, LinkedIn and Amazon, plus he has over 25 years worth of presentation experience.
We asked him for his expert advice on giving exceptional presentations. Here’s what he had to say.
Know the ins and outs of your business priorities
A great presentation is all about delivering value. You need to draw distinct lines between the content and its business value. Otherwise, you risk losing your audience’s attention right from the start.
“We have seconds to get people’s attention these days,” says Barrows. “A person’s most valuable asset is their time.”
You can give more engaging presentations simply by staying up to date on company goals and priorities. Get to know what’s top of mind for senior leaders and other stakeholders so you can tailor your presentation content accordingly.
On sales calls, Barrows does this by asking each individual attendee what they’d like to get out of the meeting. You can mimic this approach by setting up regular 1:1’s with team members to stay up to date on their priorities.
Practice, practice, practice
According to Barrows, practice can and will make perfect. “Public speaking is one of the biggest fears that most people have, but a lot of it comes down to confidence and preparation. The more prepared you are, the more confident you’ll be in your presentation.”
Barrows refers to confidence and preparation as the art and science of giving a good presentation. The art can be seen in skilled delivery and a snazzy deck, but it’s preparation that keeps everything on track. “If you come in unprepared to a meeting and you get one curveball of a question, you tend to fall apart. Preparation gives you the confidence you need to adjust on the fly.”
Watch your playback footage
It may make you cringe, but the best way to improve your presentation skills is to record yourself and watch it back.
Barrows figured this out after taking a presentation skills course, but not through instructor feedback. It was watching himself back on video that showed him everything he wanted to fix. Common public speaking issues—like overusing filler words and standing with closed body language—are easy to spot on tape.
The good news is, in increasingly distributed workforces, you don’t have to set up a camera during your Monday morning stand up to get footage of yourself speaking in front of an audience. You can just watch the Zoom recording.
Remember you’re a person speaking to people
This is especially important to keep in mind when talking to business leadership. You may look around and see a group of senior executives but at the end of the day, it’s really just another person.
“When I was first starting out in sales, I would get nervous presenting in front of CEOs and people who I perceived to be smarter or more important than I was,” says Barrows. “Presenting can cause imposter syndrome. But, if you take a minute to connect with your audience, you’ll see they’re not that intimidating.”
We can all agree “picture your audience naked” is universally bad advice. Instead, picture your audience as your friend’s dad or a neighbor. Thinking of people as who they are in their daily lives can be a powerful way to fend off nerves.
3 social media presentation templates to build off of
It happens all the time: You set aside 30 minutes for deck creation and an hour later, you’re still trying to figure out the layout of your third slide. A good presentation deck takes time, but that’s time you could be using to practice.
Instead of stressing over your design chops, try one of these pre-built social media marketing presentation templates. Update them to match your brand guidelines, fill in your information and you’re all set to present.
Social strategy workshop template
Download the 2023 Sprout Social Index™ Report for a customizable deck template that will help you align stakeholders around key opportunities for your social strategy. Use it to lead conversations around how your business can maximize the utility of:
- Emerging technologies, like AI and automation
- Changing consumer engagement preferences and patterns
- Team structures and collaboration norms
- Revenue impact from social
Social media strategy pitch template
This leadership presentation deck will help you pitch a compelling vision for your next campaign, initiative or annual strategy. Update it with historical performance insights to bridge the gap between raw data and direct business value.
Social insights analysis template
Your social insights can’t do anything for your business if they live and die within your marketing team. This social insights analysis deck template will help you synthesize findings from social media listening to provide key stakeholders with actionable insights to inform work across the org.
Your next social media presentation will be your best one yet
It’s perfectly normal to feel nervous before speaking in front of a group; most people do. Some of the world’s best public speakers get the same increased heart rate and sweaty palms as the rest of us. Thankfully, now you have everything you need to give great presentations despite those nerves.
Go prep for your next presentation, and use insights from the 2023 Sprout Social Index™ Report to infuse even more value into your work. With it, you’ll get a presentation-ready insights deck that you can tailor to further establish your expertise.
5 overlooked B2B market research methods for understanding your customersPublished on December 11, 2023 Reading time 10 minutes