On the fifth day of Christmas,
CPM gave to me
Five golden rules (of presentations)
Presentations are usually part of the recruitment process for sales jobs and also quite common for other types of roles. Being able to present well is very important to succeed in most careers.
Presentations are critical moments of truth where we persuade potential employers to hire us, new or existing clients to purchase products or services, or colleagues and managers to support our ideas and plans.
Rule #1: Don’t give your presentation tool centre stage. This is the biggest mistake that a presenter can make and it’s true whether you are using a presentation folder with slides, a Powerpoint presentation on a laptop or any other tool. A presentation tool is designed to enhance a presentation … not be the presentation. Never forget that you still need to be in centre stage and command your audience’s attention.
Rule #2: Rehearsing is essential if you want to make a presentation that connects with your audience. Memorise the first three things you are going to say, practise ‘spontaneous’ moments of humour and sweat the details. If you want to deliver a winning presentation preparation is key.
Rule #3: Know your audience. Do your research in advance of the presentation. Do your best to find out what makes them tick and gauge their knowledge of the subject. However don’t ever underestimate your audience’s intelligence.
Rule #4: Anticipate the five toughest questions you could get asked. Being prepared for these will give you confidence while you are presenting.
Rule #5: Finish the presentation with a call to action. You delivered the presentation for a reason. You want your audience to buy something if it is a sales pitch, you want them to hire you if it is in an interview, you want their approval or feedback if it is an internal company presentation. Essentially, you want them to do something and the best way to get it is to ask for it! You might not get a “yes” straight away but your audience will come away from the presentation with a clear message.
During the presentation be sure to make good eye contact and gauge your audiences’ reactions. Be aware of your timing and be sure not to go over the allotted time. How annoyed would you be if you were to be cut short with the grand finale yet to be delivered?