First impressions "How should i open my presentation?" is a question we get asked often.…
The young man sitting in front of me is intently reading a book entitled Arrive Alive. This week I’m lucky enough to be in Florida and I’m on a bus going into Orlando.
From what I can see the book is similar to the UK’s Highway Code which sets out the rules of the road. It also looks like he’s studying for an exam. I later find out that it’s part of Florida’s Highway Patrol’s road safety initiative,
How sensible that people should pass a test before they drive. Allowing anyone on the road without at least a test of their knowledge would be madness, surely?
But what if we, as presenters, had to pass a test before we gave a presentation? Maybe we’d be a lot better earlier in our careers, with the consequent impact on our jobs, job prospects, our reputations, reduction in worry and stress, and even, our business.
My early days as a presenter were awful. I had no idea about how to structure a presentation. Even after completing the brilliant Dale Carnegie course, which taught us how to construct and deliver 2-minute talks, I didn’t know how to put together a 20-minute pitch or a motivational talk.
I was very nervous at that time, mostly because I didn’t know what to say or how to structure it. Now, I realise that one of the keys to a good presentation is knowing what to say.
Obviously how you say it is also important. But you have to start somewhere. And a great place to start is in the structure. Like an actor learning lines; they learn their lines first, and only then can they add the emotion which brings it alive.
So my thought for today is to have a look around at your colleagues. Would they benefit from some tuition on presentation structure? Particularly the younger ones.
Why not ask them how they would structure a pitch, or a motivational talk? And if they’re not sure, then give them some help. It doesn’t need to be a test, but it does make sense to make sure they know what they’re doing before you let them loose on your best prospects, doesn’t it?
Why not get them to give me a call on +44 7889 167486 or drop me an email and I’ll talk them through it? Or even get them to attend our next 1-day course which will give them presentation skills as well as the knowledge.