Presentation Fails and How to Fix Them #13: Personality

What’s the best way to make a good first impression in a business scenario? You want to look credible and professional, right? In which case you probably want to leave all the odd personal stuff behind; there’s no need to mention your obsession with Star Wars and the late eighties hip hop you were listening to this morning. However…

Funny People

…the very first thing a comedy club audience wants to know about each comic is their persona; are they a geek, snob, fool or an intellectual? What makes them tick? What do they love and what gets their goat? Once they know this then all their material is much easier to ‘get’.

Secret Character

I believe the same is true of any new person we meet, and that includes people in any business scenario, especially a presentation. I always think ‘What’s the presenter’s ‘thing’?’ I want to know:

  • What excites them?
  • What annoys them?
  • What’s their relationship to the subject they’re presenting?
Stay on Target

Now, I know that there’s a time and place for all this stuff and you’ll have to gauge your audience and the situation appropriately, BUT I think that if you can show your ‘why’ (and especially why you love your subject) then you’ll deliver a presentation that resonates with your audience even if it’s not something that they thought they’d be interested in.

Human Being, Being Human

It all comes down to people:

  • The best communication makes a personal connection.
  • The whole point of a presentation is the opportunity to connect in a human way, not to make a really cool slide deck. Have a think about that one, it’s extremely important.
  • Companies aren’t abstract structures and bureaucracy, they’re groups of people (that’s what ‘company’ means, remember?). People don’t leave companies when they resign, they leave people.
Special Powers

I train a lot of people who think that they and their subject simply aren’t interesting. Having a child-like curiosity about the world, I usually disagree with them quite strongly; I want to know all about their expertise and experience, because it’s different to mine. Convey your character, qualities and abilities and you’ll engage your audience in the best way possible.

Related Posts

A video on my YouTube channel, also on the subject of personality.

Be Yourself – Be Someone Else

Super-Ego! (or ‘Play a Role to Be Yourself’)

Get Over Yourself

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