Presenting in business meetings is a challenge

For decades presenting in business meetings has been far too lacklustre.

I’m generalising of course, although I’m not exaggerating.

Despite the widely acclaimed power of storytelling, presence and mindfulness, professionals still insist on donning their corporate spokesperson cloaks. The result of which is that many lose their sense of selves and tell their audience what they could have read in a fraction of the time for themselves.

Far too often, presenters tell their audience what they already know when presenting in business meetings.

Two examples of presenting in business meetings

1. The sleep chamber

Picture this:

– Fourteen senior managers crammed around a table so small that not everyone can fit around it.

– Most of them have travelled long distances to attend the gathering in London; one flew from Ireland.

– PowerPoint slides shared which are documents, reports or spreadsheets. In other words, ‘Death by PowerPoint.’

– Each manager taking it in turns to read his report out aloud to the rest of the room.

– Everyone staying seated.  No one looking up from their reports.  Everyone sounding exactly the same, depressed.

2. The long, slow walk

Picture this:

– Ten head of departments and executives seated comfortably around a huge mahogany board table in a state of the art room.

– A laptop positioned at one end of the long table.

– Managers taking it in turn to get up and walk to the laptop to sit down again and begin presenting.

– Every presenter reading every word from the screen.

– Every now and then someone waiting outside of the meeting room being beckoned in to present.

– Each newcomer enters the meeting room, stands still, then takes the long slow walk to the chair.

Sound familiar?

If not, then count yourself extremely lucky because this is more than common.

These are just two very real examples of the many that we see each month.

The result

In both examples we witness a room full of highly intelligent, responsible and talented senior managers demonstrate 5 things, each entail their ability to:

– Read

– Speak in a monone voice

– Talk for too long about information most of the room aren’t interested in

– Craft complex slides and compete to see who can have the most bullet points

The impact

This is happening in meetings rooms across the globe every day.

– Many professionals don’t like presenting in business meetings. A large number dread it.

– Most business presentations and meetings could be done in at least half the time.

– Many attendees will forget 90% of what they heard by the time they return to the desk.

The challenge

All your audience want from you when presenting in a business meeting is for you to:

– Capture and keep their attention, interest and curiosity.

– Cut out the ‘noise’ by making sure that everything you say and show to them is relevant and valuable.

– Not tell them things they already know, could easily find out or read for themselves.

– Respect and value their time and give them something worthwhile in return for it.

– Ditch the superfluous data and to stop making them work so.

– Get straight to the point.

– Be yourself not like everyone else.

– Connect with them emotionally as well as intellectually; to make them feel something.

Being professional doesn’t mean we have to be deadly serious, boring and repetitive when presenting in business meetings. The truth is that all your audience really wants from you is to tell them something that really matters, in a way that demonstrates that you care.

Mindful presenter has the key to presenting in business meetings with confidence, clarity and impact.

Connecting is everything

If you need help presenting in business meetings:

– Book yourself onto a powerful public speaking course.

– Invest in some really good one to one public speaking coaching.

– Get yourself some excellent presentation training

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