Author and business innovation expert Melissa Kennedy recently completed a feat that would make many shudder: she gave 29 business presentations in a period of 30 days. Whew! That’s a monumental challenge, but as you might guess, one that yielded phenomenal results.
As a business professional, do you frequently face situations where you need to “say a few words” without time to prepare? It might be a meeting, conference call or request to fill in for another speaker, to name just a few scenarios. For many, these situations can induce more anxiety than making a prepared presentation. As a result, you may find yourself rambling, filling your sentences with “ums” or, in the worst case, completely drawing a blank. When that happens, both your point and your credibility are in jeopardy.
Whether you’re facing your first presentation opportunity or your fiftieth, chances are you will experience some level of apprehension. Even seasoned professionals who have been presenting for many years (your truly included!) have to manage their nerves leading up to the event.
Have you ever received a pivotal piece of advice that changed your thinking, influenced your actions and helped you succeed? “Aha” moments like these frequently come from tuning into the wisdom of our colleagues. If you’re looking to improve your business presentation skills, today you’ll learn the secrets of how some top executives did just that.
Most people watch TED talks to be inspired by the “idea worth spreading” and entertained by the speaker’s engaging delivery. As a business presenter, you probably watch with a sense of admiration and a deeper purpose: to learn how these talented communicators do it. After all, these speakers are at the top of their game.
When you’re tasked with giving a persuasive business presentation, there’s more on the line than making yourself understood. Your goals are bigger: winning new business, shifting the direction of your business, or adopting new tactics, to name a few. To achieve the results you’re after, you must move your audience to take action. Doing that requires a different skill level than simply conveying information. How can you step up your presentation game accordingly?
Senior executives are accustomed to being at the top of their game. That’s why it can shake your confidence a bit when you face an important opportunity that’s outside your wheelhouse—like a high stakes media interview.
If you have the opportunity to present at a conference or industry event, congratulations! It’s a wonderful chance to share your expertise, promote your perspective as a thought leader, boost your reputation, and elevate your company’s brand.
When you have an opportunity to pitch for a new piece of business, there’s a palpable sense of excitement, isn’t there? Yet that excitement can quickly turn into disappointment when the presentation doesn’t go as planned.