Presenting to Business People
Talking in front of a huge crowd can be very scary, but everyone in their lifetime is going to have to present in front of a group of people. Whether you are a geek, suit, or anything else it is important to know how to present to business people.
The Geek Leader’s Handbook lists the five step process for presenting:
1. Clarify your goal
2. Get into their heads
3. Craft a transformation (write it)
4. Present, connect, and resonate
5. Conclude with a call to action
Geeks are good at thinking of problems and solutions, so by carefully thinking about the problem they can come up with the goal or solution they want to be solved by giving a presentation. Some of the most important parts of presentations are influence decisions, manage expectations and share status, leverage opportunities, and leverage technology.
The next step is get into their heads. The most important factor in this is getting in touch with the emotional side of the audience. Some important questions to ask yourself is what do they really need to know?, and what do they need to feel?
Crafting a transformation can be difficult, but as the presenter you need to learn how your audience wants to be communicated with. This is the step in which you want to use stories to your advantage. Stories help the audience imagine themselves in the story, feeling the emotions of the characters you describe.
Present, connect, and resonate is described as how well you are giving the presentation. Are you enthusiastic and emotional, or are you distant and boring? Give exciting verbal cues, be honest, and pause and look.
Conclude with a call to action is important, because your presentation may be great but if you do not follow up with some form of action than the whole presentation was for nothing. The last slide of the presentation should have a specific call to action.
I chose this video, because Steve Jobs is the biggest geek of them all, but he shows all five steps clearly in this video. He is a programmer, but he is also very good at presenting to a ton of people. He is inspirational which makes him an effective public speaker. Along with being inspirational, he was super confident which makes it easy for him to attack the emotions of his audience, which results in them wanting to buy his products.
The most nerve racking presentation I have had to do was in professional business leaders class when me and two others presented for twenty minutes in front of about fifty people. I am an introvert so this was a challenge for me. My group literally waited until the last minute to do their parts, so this stressed me out even more. Some of the most important parts of presenting is to make sure you are not just feeding them a bunch of useless information, you want to speak to their emotions using stories or personal experiences.
In my speech class back in high school, I did fairly well just because I got to choose a topic that I was confident in. When I gave my speech I was able to cover all five steps in presenting. I mainly presented on baseball, because I have been playing since I was four years old. I had many stories to choose from whether it was sad or a happy one, I had the tools to get into their heads. The most important part about presenting is to be confident and enthusiastic, so if you are not the best public speaker the things you can work on to be better are being confident and enthusiastic.
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