Whose Presentation Is It Anyway?

by Phil Waknell

When I visit companies to speak about presenting, I don’t give the same talk to every company. I don’t even give the same talk to every function in a company. They are all different, and while a standard talk would meet their needs, you should be more ambitious than just meeting their needs. You should aim to delight them.

A presentation is a gift. You could just give everyone a pair of socks for their birthday. Would that make them happy? Unlikely. Likewise, personalize your presentation for your specific audience and they will be delighted.

Does it take more time to personalize your presentations to your audience? Yes. But it’s worth it. 

A standard presentation is equally irrelevant to every audience. If you don’t care enough about them to personalize your talk, why should they care about you and what you are saying?

A personalized presentation will make a much better connection, and therefore has a much better chance of achieving your objectives. If you’re going to take your own time, and an audience’s time, you should at least invest that time well and give yourself a chance of success.

The audience is the first magic ingredient of every presentation. It should be prepared for them, address them specifically – and the part about you is only to show how you can resolve their problems, needs or desires.

After all, it’s not your presentation – it’s theirs.

This article contains extracts from Business Presentation Revolution, by Phil Waknell, published in July 2021. Download the introduction free at https://www.ideasonstage.com/business-presentation-revolution/book/ and join the revolution!