Giving presentations can make or break a leader. Poor presentations
suffocate good ideas. In business, often form is more important
than substance. Consider speech expert Bert Decker's line
that "You've got to be believed to be heard."
This is not fair. Get over it. It's not fair that tall
guys receive more promotions and beautiful women earn higher
salaries. You can't change your height but you can dratically
improve your ability to make presentations. Some great speakers
are born, but most of them are made. Trust me on this.
When I graduated from business school, I was a crummy speaker:
rushed, nervous, shaky, sweaty palms, quavering voice. My
job required me to make presentations to groups in Silicon
Valley, most often fifteen to sixty people huddled together
after work in an auditorium or the company cafeteria. I
read Dale Carnegie and Dorothy Sarnoff. Before long I looked
forward to speaking. II got good at it. My sessions led
to successes at NASA, IBM, Fairchild, Memorex, Ford Aerospace,
Atari, Stanford, Berkeley, Shugart, Aeroject General, McKesson,
Fireman's Fund, and Bank of America.
VCs backing a start-up where I was managing marketing &
sales called in Valley legend Jerry Weisman to help our
chairman and president beef up their national road show
presentation. Since I was preparing the descriptions of
our services and the "slide package," I got to
sit in Weisman's famed coaching sessions; my notes follow.
As my career progressed, I had the opportunity to take
the Decker Communications two-day course on presentations
with its video feedback. I enjoyed it and it stayed with
me for a while.
Years later II fell off the track. Colleagues told me my
presentations were confusing and rushed, even a bit strange.
With two major speaking engagements directly ahead, I went
back to my sources and practiced on anyone who would listen.
While I hiked in the hills around Phoenix, I thought over
different ways to engage my audience and get my ideas across.
Off the top, the most important advice that springs to
tell stories, not what appears on a PowerPoint slide
use pictures -- graphics and mental images -- to convey
put yourself in the listener's shoes first, last, and
practice, practice, dry run, practice, revise, practice,
talk with one member of the audience at a time
Techniques that are good enough that I've shamelessly ripped
them off are:
present a series of "objects," not a fully
structured presentation; let the listener choose the sequence
before the presentation, ask individuals in the audience
what they want to/expect to hear
put the questions at the beginning, not just the end.
notes from Jerry Weisman
VISUAL & VOCAL/VERBAL
form more important than substance (unless substance is truly
Reagan the "great communicator."
"Before" video: best business accomplishment
OBESERVATION AND JUDGEMENT
If visual/vocal contradicts verbal, negative audience empathy
Consider the inner game.
George Bush before coaching as example of how not to do it.
Silence is deadly.
Groups are different from one to one.
Don't ask "How am I doing?"
Rather, ask "How are they doing?"
Turn the focus outward.
Connect with the audience.
POWER OF PROJECTION
Sighting Trajectory Projection
POWER OF PHRASING...AND PAUSING
Deliver one-on-one packets of information.
Deliver a full phrase before turning.
Don't shift in mid-phrase.
Breathe between phrases.
analogy to garden hose
Cite mutual examples.
Say "you and me."
video practice: personal resume
STRUCTURE OF PRESENTATION
1. Attention-getting opener
2. Tell 'em what you're gonna tell 'em
3. Tell 'em (using examples)
4,. Tell 'em what you told 'em with a memorable close.
Good presentation requires unlearning in order to be
spontaneous, natural, authentic.
Use a karate mindset: let your opponent lead, use his strength
as your strength.
Play the inner game by visualizing yourself as a true believer
who is here to share a secret.
This will foster contagious enthusiasm, fervor, vigor,
Goal: sound conversational and maintain eye contact as if spontaneous
Method: become familiar by reading over several times aloud,
see words in group and then speak in phrases.
Tape and check timing, clarity, continuity, vitality
Development of a point: state, explain, give examples, prove,
Before uttering a word, take a very deep breath, scan the crowd,
and repeat in your head the Dorothy Sarnoff mantras:
I'm glad that I'm here.
I'm glad that you're here.
I know that I know.
I care about you.
Great meeting opener: You have three minutes to explain to
others in your group everything that happened to you since
high school that led to your being here today.
Then each introduce one another.
1. I will not waste
2. I know who you are.
3. I am well organized.
4. I know my subject.
5. Here is my most
6. I am finished.
To ask a difficult question, separate yourself from the interviewee's
critics, "Some critics say that..." or "Your
opponents claim that..
"Why do you say that."
from Dorothy Sarnoff's Never
Be Nervous Again
editing: strike out every third word; use lots of you, your,
we our...make it conversational
look at the listener 90% of the time. Kennedy would shift from
one eye to the other--planting his message in each.
a benevolent face says I understand.
never have any empty seats.
Draw a mind map to organize and remember your presentation.
Stanford Alumni Magazine on Jerry Weisman:
Talking the Talk
Think of it as CEO charm school. Jerry Weisman
takes high-tech bosses and teaches them how to gesture, how
to talk -- and how to pitch their companies to potential investors.
Weisman, ’52, founded Power Presentations Inc. in Santa Clara,
Calif., in 1989.
At the time he was broke after spending three
years working on his second unpublished novel. That’s when
his college buddy, Ben Rosen, ’55, chair of Compaq Computer
Corp., suggested he give some presentation pointers to Compaq’s
CEO. The lessons were so successful, he says, “I decided there
might be a business in this.”
Since then, Weisman, who spent 10 years as a
public affairs producer at WCBS-TV in New York, has coached
more than 500 executives, prepping them for the all-important
“road show” -- the tour that usually precedes a company’s
initial public offering. His four-day course runs $20,000.
Corporate Acting 101
If your company is considering going public,
here's a resource you may want to consider to help you shape
your message to analysts and investors: an acting coach for
"So many MBAs talk like Valley Girls -- they'll
say, 'this is like a totally hot IPO,'" one such coach, Jerry
Weisman, told The Wall Street Journal.
For about $20,000 each, Weisman offers four
days of basic training to help CEOs "allay the fears and stoke
the greed" of analysts and institutional investors. "I teach
them Aristotelian concepts of dramatic structure -- the call
to action -- plus a few tricks," Weisman told the Journal.
"I don't tell them it's Aristotle. Instead of quoting Shakespeare,
I quote Henry Ford."
One pupil told the Journal that Weisman's advice
includes focusing on "the three most influential words in
the English language: 'you,' 'money' and 'save.'"
Timothy Koogle, CEO of Yahoo!, learned to loosen
up and ease up on the "podium death grip." In addition to
his fee, Weisman often insists on the right to buy as many
as 1,000 shares of a company's offering at the insider price.
But after teaching Koogle, "I only bought 250 shares of Yahoo!,"
Source: The Wall Street Journal Posted: May