I recommend everyone have a list of things they would like to accomplish, both personally and professionally, in their lifetime. Call it a list of possibilities, call it a bucket list – call it whatever you want – just have one.
Presenting at the Pennsylvania Conference for Women was on my list and on October 2, 2019, I was able to put a check next to that item. The Pennsylvania Conference for Women is a non-profit, non-partisan, one-day professional and personal development event for women that features more than 100 renowned speakers sharing inspirational stories and leading seminars on the issues that matter most to women, including health, personal finance, executive leadership, small business and entrepreneurship, work/life balance and more. I had the honor of being invited to run three small business round tables, 30-minutes each and limited to 10 participants per session. Attendants were excited to dive in. There were 20+ people per session – standing room only.
Owning your Presentation was the title of the session. So why was it so popular? Here is what the participants were looking for and coached on:
- Catching the eye of another department
- Pitching a new perspective
- Feeling more comfortable
- Telling my story, my way
- Advocating for my team
- Pitching a new product
- Growing sales
- Sharing why I am different
- Making sure I don’t bore my audience
- Demonstrating my leadership abilities
- Being more concise
- Being more persuasive
These last two topics were most requested. My advice is to prioritize your points. No one wants to hear a long list of topics. Based on your audience’s goals and objectives, what one or two key points could you share with them? And then make your point – confidently. Avoid “I hope this helps.” Instead, state confidently: “This is what I recommend.”
Being a great presenter and owning your presentation isn’t a soft skill and it isn’t optional. Presenting is a mandatory skill to succeed in business. It may not seem like it on the surface, but these elements are all tied to being a successful presenter.
So, what’s on your list? If you don’t have one, start now! What are you going to do today to move you toward putting a check next to one of your boxes?