We are very happy to introduce to you our very first Featured Pro that is not Liam or myself!
Carl Pullein is a professional presentation and English communications coach. He has worked in Korea for nearly ten years teaching Korean business people how to communicate effectively in English. Carl is also the author of a book on presenting in English, which is due to be published this year by Dasan Books, as well as the blog Present in English (www.presentinenglish.com). We hope you enjoy and learn a lot from what Carl has to teach you.
Give Your Audience What They Want
I would like to thank Liam and Carl for inviting me to write a guest blog post on their wonderful blog Presentation Expressions. It is an honour to be given this opportunity to help spread the word about how a presentation should be done in the twenty-first century.
I regularly do one and two day presentation seminars around Korea, and one of the parts of my seminar is to have students work together in groups and do a â€œbest and worst presentationsâ€ list. What I ask students to do is to write down what they especially liked about the best presentations they have been to and what they especially disliked about the worst presentations they have been to.
Time and time again I get the same list of things for both the best and worst presentations. These are:
Unfortunately, when I ask the same students why then do they not follow the best items on the list and stop doing the worst items on the list I get the same response:
â€œMy boss would not like it if I do it that wayâ€
The problem with this thinking is that your boss is not the only member of the audience. You boss is just one member of the audience and in all likelihood is not the person your presentation has been designed for. Yet, when you prepare a presentation to please your boss, you are unlikely to please your audience, and therefore your boss is not going to be happy either.
So, how do you overcome this problem? How do you please your boss and your audience?
The first step is to prepare your presentation with your audience in mind. Look at the list above and make your presentation with the best things list in mind. Then, if you think your boss is going to want you to put in more detail, prepare a handout sheet with all the extra details your boss wants in the presentation.
Show Your Boss
The second thing you will need to do is to do the presentation in front of your boss. Never just email your PowerPoint file to your boss. If you do that your boss will reject your presentation. You must show him the finished presentation by actually presenting it to your boss. This has two advantages. The first is you get the chance to show your boss that you actually do have all the details in your presentation â€“ because you are speaking the words â€“ and secondly, you get the opportunity to do a live practice presentation.
There is actually a third advantage of doing it this way: by actually doing the full presentation in front of your boss you take the focus away from your slides and onto your real presentation â€“ the words you are speaking.
By doing it this way everyone wins. You win because you will have the freedom to prepare a fantastic presentation with your real audience in mind, your audience wins because you will be doing a presentation in the way that almost everyone wants, and finally your boss wins because all the credit for a successful presentation will rebound on him or her.
So, next time you are asked to do a presentation in English (or any language for that matter) ask who your audience is going to be and prepare a modern day, interactive and visually pleasing presentation designed for that audience.
Carl Pullein (carl[at]fandcorp.com)
Present in English (www.presentinginenglish.com)