Submitted by: Nora Barry, Bridge View Media
January kicks-off both the Hollywood awards season and the corporate event season. One of the most painful aspects of each is watching unprepared presenters. Highly paid movie actors stumble without prompters, just as well-paid executives put their audiences into a trance state with unprepared presentations.
And thanks to social media, these cringeworthy moments live on. But where Hollywood has a phalanx of PR strategists and paid Tweeters to auto-correct a bad performance, corporate execs can only hope their audience was too bored to hit “record”.
If you’re going to be memorialized, why not take the time to make it memorable?
Many presenters wait until a few days before their talk to start getting ready. Then they “jot down some talking points” or ask their staff to “pull a few slides together.” Sound familiar?
The art of naturalness takes considerable practice, and off-the-cuff comments can go through four rewrites before they sound spontaneous.
If you’re getting yourself—or an exec on your team—ready for an upcoming presentation or speech, take the time to make an investment in:
- An experienced speechwriter and coach. Even if you prefer bullet points, having a writer script out the overall narrative will help with flow and, as importantly, with transitions. Awkward transitions lead to “ah’s” and “um’s” and dead air. You can avoid both with a writer on-board.
- A good designer. Eventually there will be a health insurance code for “death by power point.” You can help stop the spread of this disease with strong, visual slides that support your presentation, instead of dominating it.
- A speaking coach. You don’t need to look and sound like an actor on-stage. But a good coach will help you be a better version of yourself. You’ll benefit from tips for what to do with your hands, how to make better eye contact and how to engage your audience.
An investment of just a few hours with the right speaker support professionals can help you polish your presentation and turn in a killer performance—one that will burnish your image, instead of burning it.