Posted by Ajay Tejwani | Posted in Social Media | Posted on 02-19-2010
Tags: audience, backup, conviction, idea, presentation, success
When you fail to impress the management at the only chance you get at a corporate presentation platform, you walk empty handed with low self esteem placing the blame on your idea. Has it ever occurred to you that each and every idea that crosses your mind is brilliant? If that is so, you may wonder, how come none of your “brilliant” ideas are accepted.
Think about it for a moment: if you speak in Japanese to a non-Japanese speaking Spaniard what would be the outcome? This is the same thing that may be happening when you present ideas and that may be why; none of your “brilliant” ideas have been accepted so far. Well, the real key is YOU and your follow through on the idea.
All ideas, big or small, carry the same importance as soon as it hits your creative mind. But what makes it “brilliant” in the eyes of the people that are trying to understand it is your presentation skills. An idea is primarily a thought that crosses your mind. When this phenomenon does occur, it is a novel experience for you, let alone for the people you are trying to explain it to. Therefore, sometimes you may find that words don’t come out quite right.
If you know how to resolve your internal conflicts of self expression, then you will do a pretty good job at making other people understand your ideas. But the crucial thing to remember in this process is that you ought to make life easier for your audience rather than expecting them to be empathetic on your novel ideas.
So here are a few steps to follow in presenting your ideas:
Trial Runs – it is always important to rehearse what you will be presenting. It is even better if you could rehearse in the presence of a group of people from whom you could seek opinions.
Talk to Friends – Talk to some friends at work and get their opinion on your idea. All the challenges they tell you, make sure that you have some answers on them. Treat this as rehearsal dinner and make sure you are ready for the wedding.
Practice Self Expression With Confidence – when it is a novel idea that you have in mind to present, it is easy for you to feel insecure about it without proper grounds. This is why; you need to socialize your idea or concept among friends, first. Do it in such way that you don’t give out your innovative idea for someone else’s benefit. So that is why friends and family becomes a good sample criterion for your rehearsal sessions. Get them to ask as many questions as they could and counter attack you in as many ways as possible.
Conviction Is The Key – When you speak, do it as if you truly believe in what you are saying. If you fail to portray such confidence, your audience will not believe in a word you say. Back it up with industry findings and any analytics data.
Understand Your Audience – it is no point presenting ideas, if you are not in the same wave length as your audience is. If you are a medical representative, and if your audience is full of IT professionals, medical jargon will not make any sense to them. So cut down the complicated words and speak to your audience in the same language that they would have spoken to you.
Establish A Connection – Your body language is as important as your verbal abilities. So add energy to the session through body language as much as you try to add energy through your voice. Trying to sound enthusiastic while looking bored will surely not win you the world. Remember that eye contact is essential. So be confident enough to maintain it with your audience.
Add presentation Extras – the number one presentation extra that is most popular is humor. Never hesitate to lighten up your story or idea a little bit if your audience seems to be a little indulged in it. Other useful presentation extras that could be used are audio-visual aids and handouts.
Backup Plans – always go equipped with back up plans. Know what to say and do in case if your audience does not seem to keep track of where you are trying to take them. Always go equipped with plenty of examples and alternatives routes on how to put your idea across.
If you go unprepared, you’ll be wasting your time and that of others, while letting your brilliant ideas go in waste. So be prepared to face the moment of truth only after you’ve done a fair share of home work on presenting your idea. Finally, remember that the best ideas sometimes don’t click due to bad timing, so keep a record of ideas and any unanswered questions and come back at a later time with it…..but also know when to quit and move to another one.