How to give a presentation: (1) the fundamental decision

One of the services that FJWilson Talent Services offers is presentation training. Here our presentation coach, Anthony Haynes, gives the first in a series of concise, practical, tips.

anthony_haynes bnu croppedSo you have to give a presentation — for example, as part of a job interview. Now ask yourself this question: “Do you want to give the best possible presentation?”

This might seem a dumb question: surely anyone giving a presentation would want to do it as well as possible!

Well, no, actually. In the majority of presentations that I observe it is evident that the aim of the presenter is not to optimise the presentation, but rather to do it pretty much the same way as everyone else does.

There is a kind of logic to this stance. If you follow the herd, you’re unlikely to be singled out for criticism.

But there’s a flaw here. If the standard of presentations was typically high, there would be no problem. But, honestly, are the presentations that you observe typically great?

The fundamental decision, therefore, when preparing to give a presentation is to either

(a) aim to follow the herd;

or (b) optimise your presentation.

It’s one or the other: it’s not possible to do both at the same time.

I have worked with a few people who, after reflection, have chosen option (a). If that’s your decision too, I can’t do much for help you — so don’t read the subsequent tips in this series. If, on the other hand, you’re an optimiser, I hope you’ll find the series constructive, incisive, and refreshing.


Next in the series: learning from others.


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