You wouldn’t turn up to an important meeting, interview, or pitch wearing an old pair of jeans and a scruffy T-shirt. You may have heard it many times before, but the ‘you never get a second chance to make a first impression’ cliché stands up to scrutiny, especially in a business context.
Why, then, do so many companies let themselves down with presentations that are the equivalent of turning up in a pair of torn jeans and a scruffy T-shirt? The sad truth is that this happens more than it should. So much so that we’ve given it a name – the Presentation Paradox.
It’s a paradox because when asked, businesses recognise that presentations play a vital role in the pitch process, from that invaluable first impression through to communicating the messages that differentiate you from the competition. They’d be appalled at the thought of their team turning up looking scruffy, yet, be it due to lack of time, in-house skills or an innate sense that ‘winging it’ will see them through, they let presenters deliver to audiences with materials that are simply not up to scratch.
Presentations are a privilege.
Never forget how much hard work went into getting the opportunity to present in the first place – the countless phone calls, emails and courting of the prospect that it took to find yourself sitting in front of them ready to present your offering. In this context, it makes absolutely no sense to turn up with a muddled presentation that looks like it’s been dragged through a hedge backwards – it can only hamper the opportunity you’ve worked so hard to create.
So, what to do?
1. Take time to prepare for your presentation. Ask yourself, what is your message? What is it you want your audience to remember?
2. In terms of the content, are you sharing the most relevant and valuable information? The much maligned ‘Death by PowerPoint’ is the result of too much content noise rather than dodgy PowerPoint skills.
3. Visually, will your PowerPoint skills deliver impact or do you need a makeover (the equivalent of swapping out of jeans into a smart suit)?
We’re here to help. We’ll stress-test and develop your message. We’ll show you how to be brave in content selection and story structure. We’ll give you and your slides access to our team of experienced, skilled and innovative presentation designers.
In short, we’re on hand to ensure your business presents the right impression to your audience (suited and booted – smart, focused, engaged) and doesn’t fall foul of the Presentation Paradox (scruffy and unkempt – muddled, confused, flippant).