First impressions "How should i open my presentation?" is a question we get asked often.…
I’m in my car waiting for the instruction to drive off. Jürgen, my driving assessor, is sitting beside me, clipboard at the ready. Like some of you, it’s been a long time since I passed my driving test. So when I discovered I had a driving instructor living opposite I asked him if he would give me a driving assessment. He said yes, of course.
I was prepared for some criticism; what I wasn’t prepared for was the extent of it. Apparently I have 3 strengths. I palm the gear lever; I keep my hands at ten to two on the steering wheel; and I drive (mostly) within the speed limit. Then came the criticism. You don’t need to know the gruesome details: it was extensive.
But he was skilful enough to make me feel that all was not lost, to the point where I booked a course of advanced driving with him (I’m sure you could see that coming!). Now I know I’m a better driver.
And so, I believe, it is with business presentations. Most of the businesspeople I meet are experienced in presenting; some of them have been doing it a long time. But occasionally someone has an important keynote coming up, or they need to motivate and inspire the team through a difficult business period.
They’re wanting to know what they can do to spice it up a bit, make more impact, or be truly inspirational.
From here it’s easy. Working with someone who knows they’re good but wants be better is usually a matter of opening the ‘box’ of advanced presentation skills and away they go.
Things like opening with impact, using good stories to pique the audience’s interest rather than relying on PowerPoint, or just having more energy.
But these skills do need to be practiced. In the same way that a skilful driver didn’t learn those skills from a book, but by actually driving while receiving helpful, honest feedback.
So if you’re an old hand at presentations and you want to be more exciting or inspirational you may not need to do a course; one to one coaching may be enough, or maybe just a conversation to get you started. If this appeals to you, let’s have a conversation and I’ll give you an honest viewpoint. You could email me or call me on +44 (0) 7889 167 486.