Three Sure-Fire Methods to Win the Job
Winning business and building credibility through presentations is no joke. Much like a standup comedian, presenters hoping to show their stuff must prepare wholeheartedly beforehand, know how to best present to their audience, and set the stage with visuals.
Practice Makes Perfect
A presentation goes from “just another dog and pony show” to game-changing and contract-winning via rehearsals. Just as comedians workshop material, speakers must also polish their material. Practice a handful of times to get a feel for timing, and a chance to workshop ways to end the presentation on a high note that closes the deal. Remember, your comfort level as a presenter is the key to a smooth delivery.
Know Your Audience
Perhaps most important for a presenter is knowing the audience. A comedian performing in a bar at 1AM will feel different from one entertaining vacationers on a cruise, just as a presentation given to the owner of a small company versus a decision-making board for a large corporation or to a roomful of industry peers will all have different requirements. Consider the sophistication of your audience, the information you need them to understand, and the format. Will you choose a persuasive speech, a lecture, an informative speech, an interactive assessment of a project, or something in between? PowerPoint or physical boards? Each has its merits to consider.
Set the Stage
Where visual aids are concerned, remember that they should complement the spoken presentation, not compete with it. Focusing visuals around a theme will create an association for the audience and help them concentrate on and connect with what is being said. Ultimately, however, your success depends on the content of your presentation, not the visual aids.
Although speeches, shortlist interviews and job presentations may not be all fun and games, take a few pages out of the comedian handbook to give your audience a presentation that will inform, persuade, and ultimately, sway them to your side.