Experience is a valuable teacher.
Recently, I had the opportunity to be a part of a meeting which could have translated into a few million dollars of revenue. With such high amounts at stake, needless to say, putting in your best would be a must.
But then, human beings are known to falter. And falter we did, leaving me with a few lessons about presentations in such important meetings.
Print It Out
The scene went as below.
The beautiful presentation was projected on the wall for the entire audience. In some time, The audience started taking pictures of the presentation on the wall, with their i Pads, tablets etc.
It was not an impressive sight, believe me.
A few print outs of the presentation, handed over to the audience, before the meeting would have ensured better focus on the meeting and made the audience more comfortable.
To add, if the soft copy would have landed in their mail box before the meeting, it would be the icing on the cake.
Talk The Correct Language
How about speaking in Swahili in England, or Hindi in the US? It wouldn't break the ice.
Similarly, for business presentations, it would be important to talk the language (figuratively) which the audience wants to hear. Talk about them, their problems, how you can help them et al, rather than some generic ideas.
Love happens when someone knows you understand them. Business, too, happens when you understand someone.
Good old engineering days taught me about the importance for feedback for amplifiers. A well designed amplifier works on a sound feedback system.
Similarly, to amplify your vision and proposal, get an early feedback about your presentation and communication.
A crisp 5 minute feedback break, cleverly structured in the presentation, can help you understand if you are on the right track and if you need any course correction.
Don't Defer Questions
The presentation often sparks interest among the audience, and they ask questions mid way. Don't defer them, telling the answer would be revealed in the coming slides.
If a child studying in Class 1 asks his parents, "What is 10+ 12?", does the parent say, "Son, you will learn it in Class 2. Please wait".
Rather, provide a crisp answer then and there itself. A fulfilled mind is much better than one which is struggling with unanswered questions.
The Ticking Clock
Nothing is worse than a ill timed presentation. If you have 2.5 hours with the audience, complete your talking within in 1.5 hours.
Keep the rest of the time (at least 33% of the total time) open to the floor to ask questions, discuss ideas, understand challenges, and showcase your real skills.
Too much content resulting in a time spill over would prevent you from gaining valuable first hand insights.
Often, in such important meetings, you have one chance to make an impact. A few hours to pitch in your organisation for a new deal. A few moments to create an everlasting impression.
These were some of my leanings, or my interpretations from the interesting meeting. Hope they are helpful for someone facing similar situations.
Presentation Ideas Reviewed by Vyankatesh on Thursday, May 14, 2015 Rating: