Answers to your burning questions on public speaking
CEOs sit in a lot of meetings hence start by giving him the big picture (why are we having this presentation) in order to refresh his memory. And then proceed to reveal the purpose of this presentation (what you plan to achieve) and your approach (how to achieve). If there is a decision for your CEO to make, be sure to state it upfront.
Ensure your points are succinct and also back up your claims with evidence like statistics or testimonials. Also list down potential questions your CEO will ask and be prepared to answer them. If you are not familiar with this CEO, get help from your colleagues on the type of concerns or questions he has. The way to win with your CEO is to be clear and prepared.
Presenting at a job interview
During your preparation stage, get a piece of paper and list down ten things you want your interviewer to know about you that will put you in best light. For each of them, make sure you answer the following invisible questions in the heads of your interviewers – “So what?”, “Who cares?” and “What’s in it for us?”
Whenever you share your strengths or claims, back it up with evidence. This makes what you say more credible and memorable. Structure your evidence with he STAR formula:
Setting – When and where?
Task – What was the task you were given?
Actions – What were the actions you took?
Results – What specific results did you achieve?
To succeed at a job interview, don’t see yourself as a secretary. Instead, see yourself as a salesperson. This is not the time to be humble if you want to get the job.
Being handed a last minute presentation
Here are three critical information you need to have to excel at a last minute presentation. First, find out the objective of your presentation – are you speaking to inform, influence or inspire?
Second, who are your audience and why are they there? For a more thorough process, start by writing down the questions you know your audience will ask you during your presentation. Put yourself in their shoes and list down all the possible questions. Make sure you have an answer for each of them.
You can then drive your presentation forward by answering the listed questions either by first asking the question (“So what’s this project about?”) or making a statement (“Here’s how you can get involved”).
Third, how much time do you have? This will help you edit and prioritise the information that you need to present.
Technology failing so you have to rely on your own memory
The best way to approach this scenario is to be prepared for it! No matter how confident you are about the presentation, have a set of your slides and notes with you at all time. So even if technology fails you (which they will due to Murphy’s Law), you will still have something to fall back on.
Be clear on your roadmap too. Know how you are going start, end and move from one point to another, including key headlines and examples that you want to share. This way, in spite of the technology breakdown, you will still be able to continue eloquently.
The Author – Eric Feng