Brian O’Driscoll, the former Irish International rugby player, commenting before on the Italy/Irish game said that he thought the Italy team had a performance mindset whereas the Irish team had a winning mindset.
Whether he’s right or not (Ireland did win, though Italy were fairly close behind) it’s an interesting question when it comes to business presentations. I think as trainers we can sometimes get caught up with helping people produce a good performance whereas the goal must be to win the hearts and minds of the audience; in whatever form that takes.
Usually when I’m asked what makes a good presentation I’ll respond that it needs to be clear, relevant and interesting. Clear enough for the audience to understand what’s being said; what the point is. Relevant so that they’re saying this is aimed at me. Interesting so that there’s a take-away for them.
But that’s not enough, is it? If you’re pitching for business, or if you need to appeal for more funds for your project, or if you need to pacify your client because the project’s late, or if you want to persuade the interview panel to hire you, surely you need to be compelling, never mind about interesting.
What’s the difference? You might find the News at Ten interesting. But the last episode of your favourite box set will be compelling – you will stay up to watch it!
So how do we become compelling in our presentations? I believe it starts with knowing and understanding the audience and what it is they want. Crucially, what will it take to persuade them to your view. And that’s potentially a big topic; more on that in a later blog.
But for now, my invitation is for you to consider your presentations, and those of your team. How compelling are they, or are they just interesting? And what might make the difference? Perhaps just asking the question as your team member prepares their next presentation will be enough.
If you need any help or suggestions with that I’m happy to help. Give me a call or drop me an email.