I’ve been giving business presentations for nearly 20 years. The more I do it, the more I appreciate just how hard it is to do it really well. Today’s blog post features four resources to help with various aspects of speaking and presenting. Please add your favorites!
Get it Together
“Too many people structure their presentations by pulling together slides and then assembling them like a deck of cards, in what seems like an OK order. That usually means that no one except the presenter can divine where the speech is headed.
“That’s a bad idea.
“At the heart of a successful presentation is a clear structure. Which one should you use? The best structure for what you’re trying to do depends on the nature of your talk.“
Nick then shares five possible situations in the organizational world for which you might be called upon to present, with a suggested outline for each.
Present with Presence
“Taking time to think when you’re on stage makes you more interesting to watch. It gives you presence and gravitas. It fills your body with a mysterious power-electric activity under the skin.”
Who doesn’t want a little mysterious power-electric activity under the skin!
(By the way, I recently signed up for Sims’ weekly Presentation Pointers and am really enjoying them. They are brief, insightful, and usable—a great combination.)
The One “Thing” to Avoid
Patricia Fripp (@PFripp) writes about the importance of being deliberate with the words we choose in How to Sound Intelligent in a Speech or Sales Presentation.
“The one thing you should always avoid when you speak is—“thing.” What a fuzzy, flabby, non-specific word! Never be vague if you want to be believed. Use exact, precise words—words with power and value.”
Kill the Presentation Altogether
You wouldn’t treat a job interview like a sales presentation, complete with 40-slide deck, would you? S. Anthony Iannarino (@iannarino) turns our traditional ideas of how to conduct a sales call upside down in You Think You Are Presenting. You Are Being Interviewed.
“Don’t get me wrong, there are times when you absolutely must present your company using your standard slide deck and when you must share some basic history. Even then, that presentation should not dominate your time with your dream client.
“Your dream client considers you a candidate for hire. They are considering making you part of their team and giving your responsibility for some outcome. The reason they need a dialogue instead of a monologue is because they are trying to get to know you. They are trying to make a good decision.”
Goodbye presenting, hello listening.