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Monday, April 7, 2014

Seven Keys to Stunning Presentations. 2. Strength at the Starting Gate

  Strength at the Starting Gate

Many of us are fooled into thinking that if we put in hours of research, do loads preparation, write plenty of notes and create an amazing PowerPoint that we are all ready to go.  In lots of ways you are prepared but there is so much more you should do before you even walk into that room to present.

In my opinion you have to slice things up three ways. 
33% facts, figures, researched content an show them your REASONING. 
33% connection with your audience, talking to them, stories that they can relate to and show them your PASSION
33% information, style and that confidence that shows your credibility- Your CHARACTER

Perhaps you can think about how many of us have been sucked into buying something we don’t really want or need just because we like the sales person. We like the way they made us feel and we like the way they connected with us, he was wearing a sharp suit and was well groomed and was confident in his delivery.

Here is my example:
Knock at the door- standing there is the guy that wants you to change power company.

1.       He looks smart, smiles at you.  He doesn’t have the facts about how much you will save.  NO SALE
2.       He has all the facts, clearly knows what he is talking about but you notice his shoes are dirty and his jacket is covered in cat fur. NO SALE
3.       He is smartly dressed, knows his stuff but starts asking you about your teenage children (when you have none) NO SALE.
4.       He looks smart, smiles, asks about your day, knows his stuff and talks to you about what your concerns are about your power bill and then shows you how you will save- SALE

These examples are a little bit black and white but I am sure you get my point.  In order to give yourself the very best chance of succeeding you need all the stars in alignment. 

Take me as a case in point- I often speak about effective presentations.  Now anyone knows that there are literally 1000’s of books on this topic and that people have be writing and teaching this topic for centuries.  Why then do they keep on rocking up to my presentations?  I risk sound like an egotistical maniac but the truth is- it’s because of ME. I’m not introducing a ground breaking strategy for brain surgery here or teaching people to breath underwater, it's public speaking, that’s it. They come along because they have heard of me or because the course has been recommended. They leave knowing  I like them, they like me, they connect with me and they learned something from that connection.  It’s all about the value and importance of human connection.

It is often said that it takes 8 seconds to make a first impression!  If you make the wrong impression you do have the ability to fix it but it could take up to 8 minutes! Often we are not even speaking for that long and time is wasted while your audience is trying to “figure you out”.

They will be asking themselves things like:
“Does she know what she is talking about?”
“Is there anything new in this for me?”
“I wonder where he bought that suit-it’s terrible”
“Oh, I like her”
“She has made me laugh, that’s a start”

In short, they are trying to get you sorted out and popped neatly into one of the baskets they put people it.
What impression do you want to send? 

I recently attended a seminar with about 50 other people.  As we arrived the presenter was nowhere to be seen and then miraculously appeared right on the start time.
In the breaks she disappeared and on one occasion she sat by herself in the corner working on her phone.
When she was in presentation mode she was energetic and engaging but when we was off it was clear she had no interest in us.  At the conclusion of the half day, she waved her magic wand and disappeared.  I was indeed left wondering if she was real or perhaps she was a 3D version of herself beamed in for our convenience.

How hard would it have been for her to mix and mingle a little, to smile at us as we arrived or to say goodbye as we left.

If people like you they will forgive any flaws, they will remember what you have said and they will recommended you.

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