Stand out from the corporate crowd- wasted opportunities in business life

Most corporate presentations we see are too long, with too much detail and not enough interest and relevance for the audience. That’s my experience and here’s a great deal of other ‘horror stories’ from around the world.  Each one of these horror shows is a crying shame for the audience and for the presenter.

For the presenter it’s always a missed opportunity to help you to stand out from the crowd and to make a massive positive impression on your peers, clients and bosses.  How so?  Because of the little-known judgmental flaw people have called ‘Fundamental Attribution Error‘. (FAE)

FAE at its simplest level is the habit that we have of attributing skills and character traits seen in people in one context, directly and simply to the same person in another context entirely- without evidence. So if we see someone do something brilliantly (like making a presentation) we infer from that context that the person will display similar confidence, skills, charisma and humour in other areas of life and work.  So if you’re good in the presentation, people will think you’re good in many more areas too.

Unfortunately, the opposite holds true too.  If you’re barely competent as a presenter people will assume, without evidence, that you’re barely competent everywhere else too.  Unfair maybe but true.

The real shame is that presentation standards are so poor in corporate life, that even if you’re just a little bit better than the norm (shorter, more interesting and more relevant) then you’ll stand out and build yourself a great (and undeserved) reputation for being better than the crowd in everything you do.

For a full article on the theory of FAE and how it works in business, from the brilliant Malcolm Gladwell (He may not be but I’m basing everything about him on this article – FAE!) click here.

How do we get just a little bit better than the crowd then?

There are many useful presentation resources & blogs that will help you develop as a good presenter. My aim is to help you to move way past competence, to help you become one of the best presenters in your field. To show you how you can stand out from the crowd.  I’ll show you how you might:

1. Rethink your approach to the presentations & pitches you make

2. Develop shorter, simpler and more focused speeches

3. Make those short, focused presentations more relevant and interesting to every audience you encounter

‘Stand-out’ presenters have a real competitive advantage in their field because they differentiate themselves from their competitors in a visible and concrete ways.  They ‘add more to the room’ than other people do. They tend to have more:

* Charisma (a learned skill)
* Relevance (the stuff of due diligence for a presenter)
* Empathy (a sign of preparation and understanding)
* Connection

And their audiences always notice. So great presentation skill is a multiplier of your real skills. Whether you’re an accountant, actuary or animal rights activist, world-class delivery allows your genius to show more clearly.

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Jim Harvey, Oundle, UK.

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