Whenever you get up to speak you will make an impression on every member of your audience, you can’t not make an impression, even though you may not mean to. You’ll always leave some trace or memory of you with them, because while you think your presentation is about the content, the audience thinks that it’s all about you. Over time, the impressions you make when you speak to your bosses, peers and subordinates, will become your reputation.
People infer all kinds of things about you, just from the way you make a presentation. They’ll decide whether you’re good at your job, whether you’re funny, attractive, intelligent and promotable, all from just watching you speak. The truth might emerge after they find out more about you; and often first impressions are wrong, but why not take every opportunity to make great impressions at every opportunity you have.
Think about the last time you saw a really bad presentation. Did it leave a positive impression of the speaker? Of course it didn’t. If you think of every occasion that you’ll make a presentation as an opportunity to impress, you’ll begin to build the kind of reputation that you want, rather than the kind of reputation you get saddled with when you don’t take those occasions seriously.
Presentations in corporate life tend to be set-pieces that get attention. They are the formal occasions at which things tend to get reviewed, decided and done. They tend also to have the right people there. They are great opportunities to build your reputation and a real chance to show the influential and important people in your organisation that you can be trusted to take on more responsibility than you already have.
The standard of presentation in corporate life is generally so low that even if you’r a bit better than the norm you’ll stand out like a beacon in the glooom, and there’s a lot of gloom around. If you can say something relevant, in a short amount of time, and have people remember the point the day afterwards then you’re destined for greatness. That’s why you should bother.