‘Scratch the surface in a typical boardroom and we’re all just cavemen
with briefcases, hungry for a wise person to tell us stories’
Alan Kay, Vice President, Walt Disney.
As an Executive Coach my role involves working with clients to help them perform at their best for whichever major event they may be preparing for, whether it’s a key note speech, boardroom pitch or TV interview.
I’ve recently had the pleasure of collaborating with the fantastic Peter Nunn who has more than 20 years’ experience as a Broadcaster, Journalist and Presenter with the BBC – and when it comes to the ‘Art of Presenting’ really knows his stuff.
Here’s Peter’s expert advice on how to ‘Present Like a Pro’:
1) If you are doing a ‘Talk’- know your story. Not the company story (trust me it’s boring) but your story. People will listen to, remember and be inspired by your story; how many widgets your company made last year will be forgotten in a heartbeat. Focus on how you want people to feel about what you are saying.
2) Never Present – just be yourself. Everyone can present, they just don’t always know it! Being yourself makes it easy to be conversational and authentic with your audience. They deserve no less. Smile and have eye contact – you will earn their attention.
3) Expect minimal feedback from your audience. The normal rules of 1-1 interaction don’t apply when presenting to a large audience. You won’t receive the nods of approval and smiles that we rely on in our every day exchanges. People behave differently in large groups. They sit, fold arms and look at you blankly whilst you are talking. Is your presentation actually a lecture? If your audience is texting and getting the snacks out, then it may be. Remove jargon, deflate any corporate speak and shift to a conversational style to re-connect.
4) Give your audience time to join in your ‘conversation’. Improve connection with your audience by giving pause points. This makes the audience feel like they are being spoken to, rather than being lectured. Pauses also give your audience time to absorb what you are saying and recognise how you are making them feel.
5) Ramp up the volume on your energy. You will need to radiate tons of energy. If energy levels in conversations were rated 1-10 (with 1 being ‘borderline asleep’ and 10 ‘buzzing with excitement’) your presentation needs to be 8-10. Worried about energy overkill? Practice in front of a small, trusted audience.
So whilst you may not be on TV anytime soon, there’s no reason not to present like you are.
Now go own the room!
Yvette Jeal is an ICF Certified Executive Coach with 20 years’ corporate experience. She works with C-Suite, Board Level Executives, Directors and emerging leaders in the UK and internationally. Her clients include major organisations in finance, banking, aviation, engineering, healthcare and legal sectors.
To find out more about how Executive Coaching can help you in your career – get in touch and contact Yvette at:
T: 07879 602286