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  • 13, 14

    DEC 2017 Dubai

' The Leadership Challenge ' Workshop

workplace presentations - nothing to fear?

introduction

Without a backbone, we cannot stand! So too a presentation – ANY presentation regardless of whether it is a business report presented to the board or a thought-provoking information seminar to an auditorium full of HR evangelists. Success will depend on the three essentials – structure, story and self. Without these, there will be facts without substance, visual effect without impact and an audience without interest. Let’s earn our audience’s time and respect by bringing real value with:

Structure

Step 1, Step 2, Step 3 is a basic structure. Point 1, with Sub Point 1.1 and 1.2 is a structure. Umbrella statement with spoke 1, spoke 2 and spoke 3 is a structure. A set of practices – Practice 1, Activity 1a, 1b, 1c, Practice 2, Activity 2a, 2b is a structure.

A structure represents a framework to which the content will be magnetized. It will hold the message together and support you to present with confidence! You know that the facts have every chance to stand tall, purely because they gel together. The structure adds logic and provides check points for understanding.

Adults need to be able to digest the content given to them. Using the analogy of a baby seeing a cake, s/he will by nature grab the whole cake, push it into the mouth and promptly reject the cake as it was simply too much to consume. With adults simply being babies in big bodies, too much information will be rejected, evident in a lack of understanding, attention or interest – judge that during the presentation or even at the end by the number of questions. Alternatively, cutting the cake up into ‘bite-size pieces’, the baby’s digestion will have a chance to do its job, just as a structure will ‘divide and conquer’ a large amount of content into understandable portions of the one message.

  1. Business Reports
    Are your points in an order from highest to lowest, strongest to weakest, fully-justified to intuitive. Whatever the classification, ensure that a structure leads the audience somewhere. A staircase is a structure that transports us to a new level in a house. To where will your structured presentation of business facts take the audience?
  2. Information Session
    People attend seminars to be able to gain new facts, data or ideas whilst feeling connected to the possibility the information opens for them. The structure has great opportunity to build their confidence up incrementally. Each participant will find his own entry and exit points along the structured knowledge points according to his needs, if the path is straight, clear and concise.

Story

Allow your story to emerge through the structure, with the structure more or less forming the chapters of the story, preferably an emotive or compelling one at that.

Examples for a business report’s structure may include previous 6 months, current 6 months and future 6 months, morphing into a story of struggle, resurrection and hope! Examples for an information session about HR might include existing techniques, needs in today’s world that these techniques don’t serve, new approaches under development for a changing world. That may be a surface-level story (to which some of the audience will relate) yet in parallel, a deeper underlying compelling message might be how outsight, insight and foresight could serve others.

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Self

Why is it that when we present we feel we have to be ‘different’ or ‘better’ than ourselves. We sometimes feel the need to stand like a lieutenant, to talk like a teacher or be tech savvy like a geek! If those choices are not you, it will come across as false and dilute your message. It is most certainly a great idea to observe others’ successful techniques in presentations and attempt to embed them into yours, yet if it doesn’t feel right, simply don’t do it! Telling a joke when you’re not a joker is one of the quickest ways to disconnect an audience from yourself!

The message is clear – be yourself, yet this should apply while we also keep the audience’s most basic of needs in mind:

  1. align the language – whilst clearly English and Urdu are not aligned, the speed and level of English for an English-speaking audience needs to be. Solution – stay connected with your audience’s faces. Do you observe an expression of understanding or confusion, heads nodding in agreement or nodding off?
  2. body language – if you are presenting from a place of credibility, does your body language reflect this? Are you tall and clear about the message or possibly stooped over? Confident to move away from the podium when the message allows or hanging onto the podium for grim death?
  3. dress – times have changed. You can wear the best suit or the biggest brand yet people strip through those once your first word has been shared! If your message is strong, beyond the first impression the style of clothing will be irrelevant. To be you, be comfortable, and aligned to the environment of the message.

The great news is that these are the basics of everyday life, and come naturally to your natural self!

For a presentation to be effective, simply ensure structure, story and self exist. This will override any need to get caught in the details we often bury ourselves in. The number of words on a slide, inclusion of session starters and conclusions or even the effect of fonts and shades can and do play an active role, yet without the 3 S’s in place initially, these add-ons will simply lose their value and fade away into oblivion! Long live structure, story and self!

Debbie Nicol, Managing Director of Dubai-based ‘business en motion’, and creator and author of the ‘embers of the world’ series, is passionate about change. She works with both traditional and contemporary toolkits that move businesses and executive leaders ahead, whilst working on leader and organizational development, strategic change and corporate cultures.

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business en motion

business en motion’ is a business consultancy and learning organization which moves businesses and leaders ahead – ahead of current performance and competition.

business en motion

business en motion’ is a business consultancy and learning organization which moves businesses and leaders ahead – ahead of current performance and competition.

business en motion

business en motion’ is a business consultancy and learning organization which moves businesses and leaders ahead – ahead of current performance and competition.

business en motion

business en motion’ is a business consultancy and learning organization which moves businesses and leaders ahead – ahead of current performance and competition.

business en motion

business en motion’ is a business consultancy and learning organization which moves businesses and leaders ahead – ahead of current performance and competition.

business en motion

business en motion’ is a business consultancy and learning organization which moves businesses and leaders ahead – ahead of current performance and competition.

business en motion

business en motion’ is a business consultancy and learning organization which moves businesses and leaders ahead – ahead of current performance and competition.

business en motion

business en motion’ is a business consultancy and learning organization which moves businesses and leaders ahead – ahead of current performance and competition.

business en motion

business en motion’ is a business consultancy and learning organization which moves businesses and leaders ahead – ahead of current performance and competition.
Serving a broad cross-section of industries, we clarify organizational priorities, strengthen foundations, align workplace practices and measure results; in essence we work with the core of change.

business en motion

business en motion’ is a business consultancy and learning organization which moves businesses and leaders ahead – ahead of current performance and competition.

business en motion

business en motion’ is a business consultancy and learning organization which moves businesses and leaders ahead – ahead of current performance and competition.
Serving a broad cross-section of industries, we clarify organizational priorities, strengthen foundations, align workplace practices and measure results; in essence we work with the core of change.

business en motion

business en motion’ is a business consultancy and learning organization which moves businesses and leaders ahead – ahead of current performance and competition.
Serving a broad cross-section of industries, we clarify organizational priorities, strengthen foundations, align workplace practices and measure results; in essence we work with the core of change.

business en motion

business en motion’ is a business consultancy and learning organization which moves businesses and leaders ahead – ahead of current performance and competition.

Serving a broad cross-section of industries, we clarify organizational priorities, strengthen foundations, align workplace practices and measure results; in essence we work with the core of change.

business en motion

business en motion’ is a business consultancy and learning organization which moves businesses and leaders ahead – ahead of current performance and competition.

business en motion

business en motion’ is a business consultancy and learning organization which moves businesses and leaders ahead – ahead of current performance and competition.

business en motion

business en motion’ is a business consultancy and learning organization which moves businesses and leaders ahead – ahead of current performance and competition.

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