How To Give Technical Presentations: Features vs Benefits

by Carl Kwan on May 19, 2011

In this week’s tip, you’ll learn the importance of discussing benefits in a technical presentation and how to do that. This can also apply when you have to present a lot of data, such as for a research presentation or academic presentation.

Presenting technical data or information is very common for many people. This can be sales figures, research results, product specifications, etc. Not always the most exciting, but often times the most challenging.

Why?

Because that type of information and data can be very dull and boring. Think about it. Unless you’re directly affected by that particular information, you’ll likely get bored pretty quick. And the challenge for you as a presenter is to make that information interesting and memorable to the audience.

How do you do that?

The simplest and most reliable way is to always talk about the benefits of your features. You can introduce a feature, but you should immediately explain how the audience benefits. The thing you have to remember is to show benefits that directly relate to the audience. You will most likely have to adjust your presentation to suit the audience.

Also, when explaining benefits, you have to use language that is easily understood. For more about that, check out the video from this week’s Featured Pro, Scott Schwertly of Ethos3.

Learning to present technical information is important because the big mistake many people make is just showing all the data, thinking the audience will easily understand and remember everything. Sadly, this just isn’t the case. Even if you are presenting to people with knowledge of your topic, you might not create a very strong or memorable impression if you just show them the data.

To really stand out needs a different approach… As with all things in life.

Check out the video to learn more…

 

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Lance April 5, 2012 at 5:03 am

Well done, I’m presently giving a video demonstration on equipment and I was wondering if you would have time to give some constructive critisism.

let me know

Thanks

Carl Kwan April 5, 2012 at 5:33 am

Hi Lance,

Thanks for watching and taking the time to comment. Sure, I’d be happy to have a look at your video. Send me an email with a link to your video at presentationexpressions[at]gmail.com and I’ll check out.

All the best.

Carl

camzeh April 7, 2012 at 1:32 am

Dear Carl,

I am very interested in your videos on the instructions of presentation. Could you tell me how I can download them into my cell phone, so that I can listen them when I walk freely.

Thanks.

camzeh April 7, 2012 at 1:38 am

Dear Carl,

I have saw in your answer to the question of interview from a PHD, in which you mentioned FAB: features, advantages and benifits. I can not grasp the points well, could you explain them for me in detail.

Thanks.

Carl Kwan April 7, 2012 at 10:09 am

Hi camzeh,

Thanks for your message. It’s much appreciated. If you would like to download the videos, go to iTunes and subscribe to our Podcast. Almost all of our videos are there :)

Thanks again and have fun listening and walking… but watch where you’re going :)

Carl

Carl Kwan April 7, 2012 at 10:21 am

Hi camzeh,

Which parts can you not grasp well? Here’s the FAB…

Features: Something technical, that is a fact. For example, a car has a 300HP aluminum engine.
Advantages: Something that is good about the feature. For example, the engine above is light and powerful.
Benefits: Something that the features and advantages help you to do. For example, the engine above will last much longer so you will happy saving money on maintenance. You will also have one of the fastest cars on the road, so you can feel like a professional race car driver every time you drive to work.

Notice that the benefits are more detailed and explain feelings that the features and advantages can provide. Are these real? Yes, if you think in terms of the audience and what they would find important.

Another example is from Harley Davidson, the motorcycle company… They say they don’t sell motorcycles, instead, they help 40+ year old male office workers wear a leather jacket, put on dark sunglasses, and go around feeling young and tough, scaring old ladies on the weekend :)

Does that help?

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Carl

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