Have you ever endured a boring business presentation?
When I ask audiences this question, the response is the always the same. They laugh and commiserate by raising their hands to say yes.
Before they put their hands down, I ask them to look around the room.
“Look at all the hands,” I’ll point out. Every hand raised is a missed opportunity. A business could have improved. An organization could have taken a step forward. The world could have possibly been blessed through that idea as a result. Instead, your hand is raised representing a missed opportunity. We’ll never know what could have been.
This is the price we all pay when an idea is communicated ineffectively. It’s why communication is paramount to the role of a leader. The ability to communicate with clarity and inspiration is vital. It's why leadership eventually comes with a microphone.
At some point, the leader stands up and says, “Here’s where we’re going… Here’s why we’re doing this…. Follow me.”
The better you communicate, the better you lead. It’s that simple. It’s that hard.
While speaking and communicating comes easier to some than to others, it’s not an easy process. Part of the reason for that is we’ve never been taught how to prepare. Proper preparation is the key.
For the last 20 years, I’ve helped business leaders and pastors with their presentations. The #1 mistake the people I work with make isn’t a lack of passion, ideas or strategy. It’s not understanding the proper preparation required to craft a presentation. It’s not their fault. They’ve just never been taught how. The good news is that we can all learn how. And the pay-off is powerful: The better you prepare, the better you present.
To get there, we need to first evaluate your current preparation process. Here are four questions to help:
1. What does your typical preparation process look like?
Do you write it out word by word? Do you write an outline by hand? How far in advance do you begin on a presentation? There isn’t a right answer. The point is to reflect on what your current process is in order to improve upon it.
2. Do you have someone who gives you feedback about the presentation before you deliver it?
If so, how does this help? If not, why not?
3. Do you practice your presentation out loud before you deliver it?
4. How much time do you spend practicing your delivery versus developing your content?
My experience is that most presenters spend more time developing their content and little time on practicing their delivery. How about you?
Take five or ten minutes to process through these questions. Then, download our Personal Brand Assessment by joining the Elevator Pitch waitlist (it's free!).
One of the reasons this is important is because of something we believe about you at Launch Youniversity. We believe there is an idea (or ideas) in you that could help improve your organization, and as a result, improve the world. For this to happen, you need to communicate that idea effectively. And when you do, you lead us. After all, leadership does indeed come with a microphone.