Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Who Likes Presentations?

Most of us hate giving them.  Many of us can't stand receiving them.  Some of us would rather have a colonoscopy than do either.

What's the solution for the presenter?

I've coached almost 3000 men and women in major global companies.  When they present, they're OK. When they talk; they rock.  What really drives their (and our) success as communicators is when we sound conversational, not presentational.

OK, but how do I do that if I'm giving a presentation and not into Q&A yet? 

You simply insert into your presentation a few rhetorical questions like ("why go down this road?") and reframing statements like ("the critical event happended in July  - let me tell you why"). All of a sudden, you're back on your home court as a communicator telling the audience a story. You sound better - your body relaxes - and we see and hear your authentic personality versus your presentation personality.

If you think it's too simple, consider this:

A veteran Wall Street research analyst talks about a U.S. company he covers.  In the morning, he presents from a research note (that he wrote) to a few hundred people "live" in a trading room.  That afternoon, he talks to a Bloomberg or CNBC reporter about the very same research (without a note) to a few million people "live" on TV from the same trading room.  As a communicator in the morning - he's not so good. Afternoon - he rocks. 

Same analyst.  What's the big difference? 

In the morning, he presented.  In the afternoon, he talked.  Don't wait for a reporter to show up and ask questions in the auditorium or room or office you're presenting in.

Create the conversation!  Talking wins. Presentation loses.

P.S.  See the five questions and one reframing statement in this blog post.  How conversatioal could you sound presenting this?

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