You may have heard about a book that was written by McKinseys called ‘The Killer Mind’ which was published by the management consultancy back in 2001.
Presentation skill was described as ‘the killer skill we take into the real world. It gives us an almost unfair advantage’. We would all agree that this is often true, but what about the reverse situation, when people present… but don’t do it well?
Last week, I was invited to be part of an event where we heard two presentations. The first presenter was not good. She clung to her lectern, turned her back on her audience and read her slides out for us. As a former incredibly nervous presenter – I felt huge sympathy and compassion for her situation – but she was representing a big law firm and did no credit to them or herself with her performance. It was a very dull 15 minutes and I remember nothing except for the mental ‘to do’ list that I was thinking about as she spoke. It sounds damning – but that was probably what everyone else in the audience was also doing instead of listening.
The next presenter was fantastic. She had great content to share with us, she stepped out onto the platform with energy and started with a question that immediately got us listening. By the end of her 15 minutes, she had a small crowd around her wanting to find out how they could buy her workshop or employ her services for their business.
I experience this all the time – business presentations that we sit through out of politeness without any benefit to the speaker – and it often comes down to either nerves or lack of knowledge about how to do it well.
Presenting well is a skill which we can learn. Few people are natural at it. Like any skill, learning it comes down to having a bit of knowledge, the right level of practice and ongoing experience. It is so worthwhile… because once you learn to love presenting, you will have the ‘unfair advantage’ forever.
Like more help from Caroline?
Let me know how I can help you with your next presentation by getting in touch with me here.
I have helped many people, who were once nervous and rambling to become confident and engaging public speakers. Giving presentations, like driving lessons, is a skill you learn so you can get somewhere… and with my help you will get there in no time.