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The A, B, C, D of Introductions.

Giving a presentation may be a nerve-wracking experience, but it can actually be an excellent opportunity to further your reputation at work. As your career develops, there is a greater likelihood that you will have to present to an influencing audience: you might be asked to make a presentation as part of your application for promotion; you might be required to present at a team meeting; or you might be asked to make a presentation at a retirement do.
 
The thing is, in some of these situations you might not be given much notice; therefore, it's important to have the skills ready so that you can really maximise this opportunity. We'd like to introduce you to the A, B, C, D of Introductions.
 

A is for Attention.

Never take it for granted that you have the full attention of your audience. It's quite likely that they are thinking about what they need to pick up on the way home for their dinner. You need to be able to get people to tune in to what you are saying.
 

B is for Benefit.

Be crystal clear about what the benefit of listening to your presentation will be to your audience, in other words, "this will be useful for you in the future because" or "this will make your life easier because".
 

C is for Credibility.

Explain why you are good at what you're doing; how long you've being doing it, and the breadth and depth of your experience. But keep it short; after all, they haven't come to hear your life story.
 

D is for Direction.

Your presentation isn't meant to be a magical mystery tour. Your audience will want to know that you're going to cover x and y, and that you're going to finish off with z.
How to tackle nerves
 
It's fair to say that most people get nervous when they stand up in front of an audience. However, by the time you've followed the A,B,C, D of introductions, your nerves will have faded and you'll be ready to dive into the content of your presentation. It's also useful to remember that most of the people sat down in front of you are just really pleased that they're not where you are. And they're on your side, they are not the enemy – 99 per cent of them want you to be successful.
 
Posted on 03/10/2013