By Joey Asher

Category: Content

As we embrace the spirit of Thanksgiving, let’s take a moment, on behalf of listeners everywhere, to give thanks to great presenters.

Thank for you for taking a position rather than simply presenting both sides of the issue and making me decide.  As a listener, I like to be led.  I like to be challenged. Sure, I may disagree with you. But if you can defend your position, I’ll respect you and see you as a leader.

Thank you for telling stories.  I’ve never heard a great presentation without stories. When discussing the risks of doing a new deal, don’t just enumerate the possible problems that could arise.  Tell me a story about how that very problem occurred in the past and how we can avoid that same problem.  That’s interesting. That’s what makes people say, “That was a great presentation.”

Thank you for keeping your messages simple.  I’m just a businessperson with average powers of concentration.  I’m doing my best to follow you. But I also have other things on my mind, like my own presentation that is due this afternoon. If you can keep your message to a few points, then your presentation will be easy to follow. And I’ll love you like a cousin.

Thank you for not reading your slidesI can read. I don’t need you to read to me. And if I’m stuck in a presentation where someone is reading slides to me, then I fall into a vortex of despair and wonder how I’ve gotten myself in a job where corporate toads read slides to me.

Thank you for your passion and intensity.  If you get excited, then I get excited too. Intensity sells.  Look at The Home Shopping Network. I once bought a “Fry Daddy” because the pitchman on television was so excited about the onion rings he was cooking that I couldn’t help but pick up the phone and dial.  The onion rings were delicious.

Thank you for addressing my needs.  See here’s the thing. The only thing I care about are my needs.  So, if you’re not addressing my needs, I won’t care about your presentation.  If you’re topic is “The Latest Internet Viral Threat” you better focus only on the things that are relevant to my business, like how can I protect myself.  Otherwise, I won’t listen. Sound selfish?  Sorry.  But if I’ve taken the time to attend your presentation and you don’t speak to my needs, then who’s the selfish one?

Thank you for rehearsing.  I can always tell if you’ve rehearsed. I can tell if you’ve just flipped through your slides a few times and are “winging it.” And I can tell if you’ve taken the time to go into a conference room and hone your message out loud so that everything comes across smooth like a well-rehearsed play.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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Speechworks is a communication and selling skills coaching firm. We teach professionals how to craft and deliver complex messages in a simple, persuasive manner. Since 1986, through workshops and one-on-one instruction, we have helped countless individuals become better presenters and communicators. You can reach us at 404.266.0888, speech@speechworks.net or on the web at www.speechworks.net

Joey Asher

Joey is the President of Speechworks, a communication and selling skills coaching firm. He has worked with thousands of professionals, helping them learn to communicate in a way that connects with clients and audiences. He is also the author of four books on communication skills: “15 Minutes Including Q&A: a Plan to Save the World from Lousy Presentations,” “How to Win a Pitch: The Five Fundamentals That Will Distinguish You from the Competition,” “Selling and Communication Skills for Lawyers,” and “Even A Geek Can Speak.” He can be reached at 404-266-0888 or joey@speechworks.net.

Mar2020

Joey Asher

By Joey Asher Category: Practice With the world in Coronavirus lockdown, we’re all using teleconference technology more than ever.   So how can we conduct teleconferences so that they seem as “normal” and “in-person” as [...]