A presentation is not — or should not — be primarily about communicating information. (There are more efficient and effective ways of doing so.) A presentation is about communicating an idea in a way that makes it clear and desirable. (It’s to be hoped, of course, that your idea is a good one.)
Presentations are really about selling an idea.
Her seven hints (which she expands on in her post) are:
- Seek many inputs.
- Do your homework.
- Make the rounds.
- See critics in private and hear them out.
- Make the benefits clear.
- Be specific.
- Show that you can deliver.
I like all of her hints, but I especially like her third one: Make the rounds. Too many people assume their idea is so compelling that all they have to do is spell it out and others will instantly see its wisdom and buy into it. The truth is, people need to be sold on an idea. They appreciate being approached in person and having their concerns addressed. They are more receptive in one-on-one conversations than they are in meetings. Important decisions rarely get made at meetings: They get made beforehand and they’re simply ratified at meetings.
What do you think? Do you have any hints you’d add to the list?