Rudi had the energy and build of a scrum half. He bounced into my office and thrust his hand out to shake mine. He had teeth and over the ear hair that advertisers dream of. But he wasn’t smiling that day. He was a customer and he wasn’t happy. By a strange quirk of fate I had ended up running a group of companies in Germany. One of them made wooden windows and doors. Rudi and his small team of 5 were resellers – they sold windows and doors in a 150 mile radius, bought them from our company and fitted them for a day rate and a small premium. The problem was – the margins were so small that you if you had to go back to fix something you would make a loss. If you had to go back twice it soon became expensive. And he was having massive problems with our products that were costing him money.
Presentation Coaching – We Are All Amateurs and Armchair Experts
“I bet he didn’t get any presentation coaching.”
X Factor was the first big show to turn us all into armchair experts. Then followed all the other instant celebrity shows. When I visited the amazing Olympics in London, brilliant explanatory videos and introductions to each “show” taught us spectators how to be instant and superficially, knowledgeable critics who knew exactly what to watch out for.
We have all seen presentations. Some of us have occasionally even seen ones that are passable or good. We all instinctively know what makes a cringeworthy or ineffective presentation. Boring facts, reading from a list-laden Powerpoint presentation, showing the audience your back, having technology issues, not knowing your stuff, lack of eye contact. The list goes on and on.
It is easy to say what is wrong with a presentation. It is not so easy to coach presenters so that they give less bad, better or even good presentations. Reading a book or a blog is all very well.
But what usually happens when your palms are sweating and your face feels flushed and the audience are rolling their eyes? You feel blind, primitive fear. You want to run out of the room, tell your boss that you are sorry for losing the client before you even know that you have.
The last thing on your mind is the content and the words in the presentation folder or blog or book that you read last week. You may know exactly where the book or the folder is – even what shelf they are on. But you cannot, for the life of you, remember what those pearls of wisdom in them are. Let alone apply them to your current awful situation.
Books make you more aware, on an intellectual level, of what to do and not to do in presentations. Presentation coaching makes you more able to give good presentations.
P.S. I offer presentation coaching!