If your heart is beating fast, your palms are getting sweaty, and your stomach is not feeling so good, then perhaps you’ve been asked to give a presentation. Maybe you are normally quite calm and easy going when giving presentations; however, this time around the stakes are just a little bit higher (is the CIO/CEO are going to be in the audience?). Man, if ever there was a time for a mentor to take you aside and sit you down and tell you what you need to do in order to make this presentation the best ever, this is it! Got any suggestions on how to get out of this bind?
How about if I reach into my bag of world-class great business communicators and ask them to come on over and have a talk with you. We’ve already had two batches of these folks whisper in your ear. However, we are all motivated by different things and perhaps you have not heard that one tip that you need to make YOUR upcoming presentation the best ever. With your permission, I have a final batch of four great communicators for you to listen to. Sit back, relax, and read away – these folks really know what they are talking about:
- What would Rudy Giuliani tell you to do?
Rudy Giuliani was the mayor of New York City when he became world famous. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks he appeared on TV and was able to maintain his composure. His presentation style then and always has been to show true leadership style. The reason that Rudy is so good at what he does is because he is able to make a real emotional connection with his audience. One of the primary ways that he does this is by using eye contact to lock in with his audience and make everyone believe that Rudy is just talking to them. Rudy’s tip for you would be to spend 90% of your presentation making eye contact with your audience. This is how you’ll be able to communicate your emotional message.
- What would Klaus Kleinfeld tell you to do?
Klaus was the CEO of Siemens and is now the CEO of Alcoa. His key leadership technique is to create a single vision, set very clear goals to get there, and then communicate the plan to everyone throughout the organization. Whereas there is nothing revolutionary about this, it’s HOW he communicates it that makes him unique. Klaus gives off an almost insatiable curiosity about everything: his staff, his firm, and the ecosystem in which he does business. Klaus’ tip for you would be to take a fresh look at the material that you are presenting. Has your audience heard it all before? If so then reinvent it and present it in a fresh & current way.
- What would Larry Ellison tell you to do?
Larry Ellison is the billionaire founder and CEO of Oracle. He spends a lot of time in the bright spotlight of the media whenever he is buying another company, sailing his huge yacht, etc. Larry wins audiences over before he even begins to speak by looking and playing the role of a successful leader. Unlike many of his Silicon Valley peers, Larry always looks like a million (billion?) bucks: Italian suits, etc. Larry’s tip for you would be to dress just a little bit better than everyone else in the room. If you look like a leader, then you won’t have to prove it during your presentation and you can focus on your message. Let your wardrobe do some of the talking for you.
- What would Richard Branson tell you to do?
Richard Branson is another one of those billionaire entrepreneurs who always seems to be in the news. He started with Virgin Music and then moved on to Virgin Airlines and has continued to expand from there. Richard is well known for liking to have fun and the lengths that he’ll go to in order to encourage his staff. Richard’s tip for you would be to be very generous with praise during your presentation. Make sure that employees, customers, and colleagues all get more than their fair share of praise. This will make them feel valuable and make them want to care about your presentation.
Whew! There you go – four more suggestions from the crop of the world’s best business communicators. Now go out there and knock ’em dead!
Have you ever had a chance to hear one of these great business communicators speak? How was it – did they wow you? If you had to choose just one of them to help you with your next presentation, who would it be and why? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.