Why the focus on presentations?
Because the quality of your presentation is the easiest way to differentiate you from your competitors. It’s the point where their brand, their advertising, their reputation is tested in the experience of the clients in room. It’s where all the bullshit and bravado stops. The questions in the clients’ minds are simply-
”Do these people sound like capable, rational, likeable professionals that I’m prepared to pay and let loose in my business…”
In my experience, the bigger the firm that’s presenting, the lazier they tend to be in preparing and delivering their pitches. They often think that their reputation alone will win the day for them, and sometimes it does. Often it doesn’t, and even more often it makes them seem arrogant and ‘generic’ to their potential customers. That’s the canny smaller businesses’ opportunity to win the day. Be better prepared, more human and more relevant to the human beings sitting in the seats. I’ve never had the luxury of pitching with a big brand behind me, so I have had to find ways of making me and my colleagues stand out when we stand up to speak.
This blog is my start at answering the question based upon my own attempts to become an engaging and successful presenter over the last 20 years. That’s what I’ve been doing for the last 2 decades, and I’m happy to say that as well as the clients listed above we now work regularly with the likes of RBS, Mercer & MMC, RSA, JP Morgan, Barclays Bank, Ford, Mitsubishi, Grifols SA, Capita, Nissan, and many others, all over the world.
What have I learned in all of that time? All those presentations? Pitches? Successes? Failures? Loads of stuff that all boils down to one thing: there’s no ‘right’ way to present or pitch. It’s too complex a subject to be so certain and I would beware of every trainer, book or article that suggest there is. But there are themes that work in most places, for most speakers, with most audiences. Here’s my take on a general overview of how: Fit, Focus & Flair.
I hope you find ideas here that you can use to help you develop as a really persuasive speaker.