One for the managers, presenters and meeting leaders

· September 6, 2016 · 5 minutes to read

I need to sound off and rant here!

Now the reason for writing this blog is because approximately 3 hours ago I finished a speed awareness course (yes I got caught doing 64 in a 50) and 1 of the presenters was quite possibly the most flat, unentertaining, non-engaging and boring people I’ve had the misfortune of having to listen present and speak. Now don’t get me wrong I can appreciate it’s difficult for people to get excited and worked up and passionate about driving to the speed limit and being Mr or Mrs safety person on the road, but OH MY GOD! Minimal attempt was made to engage with an audience of 13 people (granted 100% probably didn’t want to be there) it was strait into business and 4 hours, yes 4 hours of speed awareness training felt like 40. Now, I appreciate that I’m not a world class famous presenter yet, but the seminars and meetings that I have delivered I’ve made sure that my audience has been engaged and not bored.

How do people get these jobs presenting to the public that are so flat and boring?! To be fair the content of the course was actually pretty interesting, particularly when they got going about momentum, impact speeds and stopping distances with physics but then I’m a bit of a geek and love that kind of stuff… but the delivery was just so hard to buy into. For me personally I’m quite an auditory type person and respond to tone of voice really strongly, if the person speaking is excited about what they’re delivering, generally speaking, the audience will be too.

My personal experience

Aside from being bored stiff by said presenter today, started when I had to give my 1st staff meeting when working for a big gym chain, and I can tell you it stunk! No staff excitement, no staff engagement just all about how the business doing. Gradually over time as my confidence grew and my general manager back then encouraged me to get my emotions involved in the business and allow my passion for the product to come through then the meetings started to take on a different energy all together. By the time I left the big gym chain, almost 4 years later my fitness meetings had the whole club attending! We’d play games, we’d run through team building, I’d let the team set their own goals and targets for what their vision and the behaviour culture they wanted in the club should be.

Granted a lot of this energy came with my own self confidence built through experience. But also came from the time I took outside of my 60-80 working week to study leadership, motivation, building effective teams and behaviour change. However once the team had the buy in amazing things started to happen at every club I worked in. When I transferred this across to delivering my own seminars again I studied and studied the best guys in the business, Anthony Robbins, Tim Ferris, Muhammad Ali, Oprah Winfrey, Jordan Belfort, Luke Leaman to name but a few.

All these guys had 1 thing in common, passion! Passion for what they’re talking about, belief that what they’re saying is worth hearing not being afraid to be assertive and strike up a little controversy. I took the lessons from these guys and applied them to my own seminars and the level of excitement, engagement and intrigue in the room was incredible. Now don’t get me wrong you’ve got to know your stuff! You can’t just make shit up on the fly and expect people to buy into what you’re saying. Knowing your stuff, plus having passion about what you’re talking about is a match made in heaven and people will want to listen to what you have to say.

So in the spirit of giving information, what this entire blog is all about.

Here are my top tips for meetings and presentations

  1. Be prepared! You have to know the content of what you’re talking about and the flow of how you want to present it. Particularly if you’re talking business and need to discuss KPI’s, bottom lines, P&L’s etc. If you need to talk about people and managing change then you need to know what you want your team to be doing in the future and what they’re doing now that you want to change and how you lead them to discover the answer for themselves.
  2. Know who you’re talking to! You have to know your audience, are you talking to experts in a particular field that want the technical language? Are you talking to front line staff on a minimum wage, how are you going to motivate them to change? Are you dealing with the general population who you have to assume know nothing about the subject that you may be an expert in? How much are you going to have to break down the information? Are you going to need to use pictures? Know who you’re talking to and half the battle is won.
  3. Have belief and conviction in what you’re saying. People may not remember the exact words that you tell them, they may not remember things that they did within that meeting or workshop but they will remember how it made them feel! This point is so so important I cannot emphasise it enough! The only reason I’m writing this blog now is because I feel slightly pissed off that a person who needs work on their presentation skills is doing it as a full time job and that winds me up! People remember emotions more than words, if you have belief and conviction in what you’re saying people will respect you and buy into what you’re saying/doing/delivering or changing.
  4. Engage with the people you’re talking to! In the 1st minute of your meeting/presentation/pitch/interview or whatever it may be, you want your audience to be saying in their head “me too” not “so what” strait away this means that you’re building rapport and people are relating to you immediately off the bat and they’re not sat there thinking “this is boring, all their talking about is themselves or the slides”
  5. Do not be afraid to be yourself! People in general from my experience respond better to other people rather than robots. Allow your personality to shine through, if you want to crack a joke, tell one. If you want to tell a relevant story then tell one (great tactic when the room starts going flat). Before now I’ve delivered a seminar and half way through I’ve moved people around the room just to mess with their comfort zone and to change the energy in the room, I need that mostly after talking about insulin and diabetes… The more human you are, the more people respect you, the more you’re approachable, the more buy in people give you and the result of that is all positive, if you don’t know an answer to a question then say you don’t know but you’ll find out in the break. People love it! I’ve been a robot and I’ve been a human in giving meetings and talks and let me tell you that I choose to a human every time!

 

Ok I’ve ranted and taken up enough of your day, I hope that you’ve found this blog a little entertaining and not too heavy. But more importantly I hope you managers, particularly the middle managers and head’s of departments can relate to a little of this and can make a few changes with my top 5 tips J If you want some more details or some consultation time about meetings and presentations then please email me on [email protected]

Much Love

Dean.

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