Whilst it may not be top of an executive “what keeps me awake [every] night” list; preparing for, putting together and presenting presentations for shareholder or board meetings or pitches regularly turns executives into a sweaty mess.
The pressure to get the message across in their designated time, in a fashion that doesn’t draw snores of boredom, nor require the magnifying glass of Inspector Watson to read, is heavy.
Some executives outsource their presentations to a marketing team or support staff. Whilst it provides brand consistency, “on the fly” editing at 3am can be a challenge if you don’t know what to do.
Others choose to take on the development themselves and do the best they can with the limited knowledge, often resulting in late nights altering their presentation in the days prior or lamenting over the fact they didn’t start planning earlier.
Whilst others simply re-use a previous presentation changing all the time sensitive references to suit the new circumstances.
I know it has probably never happened to you but reality is, when the spotlight shines on you, the executive, it’s pretty embarrassing when a link doesn’t work or the words “…I know you probably can’t read this but…..” come out of your mouth.
Personal development guru Jim Rohn is credited with saying “Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.”
Executives are crystal clear that their time is Money!
They also know the value of a first impression, be it with a client or at the start of a presentation.
I recently worked with an executive who had delivered many presentations on the organisation’s growth and financial results to his board. Whilst his presentations were adequate, he knew they could be much better.
The first thing we did was a stocktake of what he knew:
- The presentation contained way too much data.
- The data was sensitive, so the presentation couldn’t be circulated as a report.
- That the presentation wasn’t engaging, but he didn’t know how to fix it, nor did he have or want to spend HOURS trying to work out how he could make it better.
What followed was a one on one conversation and some coaching that combined gap filling of some PowerPoint tips, gap filling of presentation skills and enlightening him on the principals of adult learning to enable him to get his message across in a more engaging and compelling fashion.
In less than an hour we reduced the size of his presentation from 45MB down to 5MB. We created a framework to quickly rebuild current information and provide a framework for future presentations that aligned with the organisational branding and styling.
Rather than taking the slow train to success, he fast tracked it.
The only reason he had the ability to fast track it was because he had knowledge, some experience to know what he did and didn’t want, he just needed help putting it in “packaging” that he could easily reuse in the future.
One of my favourite quotes is from former NBA Coach of the Los Angeles Lakers Basketball team, Pat Riley who says, “If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse.”
When was the last time YOU took time out and invested in getting better with your presentation skills?
Donna works with executives and their teams to increase productivity and performance with everyday technology.
Contact Donna for help firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.donnahanson.com.au for more information.