Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Passionate about presentations

From a presentation teaser I held this morning. Note the absence of presentation software. I showed an example of long term effects of cause-and-effect chains: A train crash in 1848 has had repercussions that made companies unnecessarily vulnerable to the financial crisis and recession in 2008. I show the complete cause and effect chain in the full talk.
I am going into the presentation business. (Just so you know: I am not leaving the management consultant business, just adding a related and much needed service.) I hold at least one presentation every week, and I hear at least 16-18 presentations per week, sometimes twice that.

Some of the presentations I see are very good, but many are not. The ability to make a good business presentation is important. I have seen companies with superior sales offers getting blown out of the competition because of poor presentations. I have seen strategy presentations which could not be understood by anyone, including the presenter.

In one survey, fear of presenting ranked higher than fear of dying. (Please don't hold me to the accuracy of this. I can't remember the source at the moment.) I do hope this is an exaggeration, but judging from reactions I see, it might not be.

And yet, Garr Reynolds, one of the worlds best presenters, hit it right on the nail when he said that most people can present. Everyone is interesting to someone. Think about it: You have friends. You may have a significant other. To get either, you must be able to present yourself, one way or another. It usually does not involve PowerPointless, but that is beside the, err, point.

You are the presenter. The presentation software is just the support. At least, it is supposed to be the support. Far too often, the presentation software is a big part of what is keeping you from presenting well.

I am running a bit short of time. Got to go and present myself, so, no presentation advice this time around, but there will be. See you soon!

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