Employee benefits are an important aspect of employment. They are often one of the reasons people work. Usually, they are bargaining chips during hiring. Yet, there are still employees who do not take advantage of the benefits they are offered. Presentations are one of the best ways to get participation in benefits programs.
The problem with presentations is that employees are tuned out within 15 minutes. To keep your presentations engaging, try using some compelling visuals, interactive materials, some humor, and testimonials.
You should always have some visuals ready for your employee benefits presentation. Use professional presentation software to create these visuals, which should include high-definition videos and images.
Try to limit the use of graphs, pie charts, and flowcharts. These will only bore and maybe even confuse your employees if too much is thrown at them at once. Include plenty of fun stock imagery, and limit the words that appear on the slides.
Remember, you want your audience to listen to your voice and not become overly concerned about what's on the slide.
To keep your audience engaged, be sure to make the presentation interactive. Provide hand-outs so everyone can follow along. The hand-outs can also be used to take notes or write down questions.
Avoid Reading the Slides
If you created the presentation via PowerPoint, you likely have text on the slides. Whatever you do, avoid reading from the slides while presenting. Reading to your audience will demonstrate your lack of expertise, and possibly force your audience into a nap. Practice your presentation beforehand to prevent this.
Speak freely during the presentation, injecting emphasis and excitement into your voice. Make eye contact with the audience, and utilize neutral body language. Pick a few spots to move to during the presentation, but don't overdo it. Too much movement causes audience distraction.
Engage with your audience, and be attentive to their mood. Keep your conversation natural, and don't talk down to them.
Use Appropriate Work Humor
There is nothing wrong with using appropriate workplace humor during a benefits presentation. Just make sure it is clean and fun. The humor must be relevant to what you are discussing.
You can share a favorite story from your personal work experience that relates to the topic—one that your audience might enjoy or could learn from. Avoid using humor that could potentially offend or that is racial, gender, politically, or religiously biased.
Collaborate With Peers on the Presentation
It is sometimes beneficial to collaborate with others (a peer or another member of your human resources team) on the presentation. Instead of being the lone wolf at the front of the room, ask a colleague to make the presentation with you.
This will add a second voice, keeping the audience interested as you take turns presenting the information. Prepare extra time when there are two presenters, and be sure to introduce your guest presenter at the start of the meeting.
Use Short Blocks of Information
Try to avoid offering too much or too little information during an employee benefits presentation. You should provide useful information in short snippets as much as possible.
When you hit a topic that requires 10 discussion points, try to whittle them down to about 5 points if you can without sacrificing important information. In any benefits communications effort, this will help you get your main points across without overwhelming the listeners.
Testimonials From Peers
An effective way of reaching your audience is to use testimonials from employees. Find one for each of the benefits your company provides. In this way, you have an expert in each of the benefit categories providing a story of how they used their benefits.
The employees telling their story will also be able to answer many of the questions benefit specialists will not be able to. Using benefits is usually different than knowing the process of using them, so their experiences will help other employees and give the specialist information about problems using benefits.
At the end of the presentation, welcome questions from the audience. They will likely participate, especially when interested in the topic. Should no one ask a question, have some prepared that you can present and discuss.
Limit the question and answer session to around 20 minutes. Then, provide your contact information, including an email address, so that employees can follow up if they have questions or concerns.