Presentation Skills Coaching – Choose engaging & entertaining stories and your audience will put away their devices

It’s an old joke, but a good one concerning public speaking –

“If you have not struck oil after ten minutes, stop boring.”

Recently I sat through one of the most boring speeches I’ve heard in a long, long time. This speech had me and those around me wanting to be anywhere but where we were at that time.

This very senior leader was telling us he was pitching this business plan to his board the next day and looking for their approval and funding to implement his strategy.

He hoped the presentation of the plan would be accepted as it was a critical aspect of a significant national Government organisation and to the people of Ireland.

I have my doubts, as they were unlikely to still be awake at the end of the presentation and those that were would be checking their phones and looking for an excuse to be somewhere else.

“I do not object to people looking at their watches when I am speaking – but I strongly object when they start shaking them to make sure they are still going.”
Lord Birkenhead MP and lawyer (Attrib.)

Regularly when I’m out socialising, people ask me what I do, I explain that I coach business leaders to present and pitch their business ideas to win support, sales and funding.

They then say to me, in this day and age, is there still a need for this?

I then ask them to think of the last conference they were at and how engaging were the speakers?

Having refreshed their memory, I get a resounding YES, there is a need for presentation skills coaching.

Will the business leader I described above do anything to improve his presentation style? Probably not as his dull monotone style is the norm for his sector.

Will he have learned anything from watching the other speakers who present that evening? No, as he arrived late in a rush and left immediately afterward. No doubt was rushing off to avoid any chance to engage with his audience and perhaps get some reaction/feedback to his speech.

If you as a business leader are wondering why people are not buying into your ideas, and you are not winning the support of your senior colleagues, could it be how you deliver your message?

“Spontaneous speeches are seldom worth the paper they are written on.”
Leslie Henson

I can help you capture your business story and give you the confidence to tell it or sell it.


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