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