Now for some CPD (you are keeping a log aren’t you, if not, download one in the secure accreditation area for members), I came across this useful article written by one of our accredited practitioners, and coach of the month, Isla Baliszewska who offers us some tips and idea to improve on making that all-important great first impression.
This message is timeless; it’s something the majority of us fear or shy away from, yet as professional coaches selling ‘Me PLC’ we all have to, at various times, present, speak in pubic, network, train or be interviewed. These are all scenarios I like to think of as ‘just generally facilitating a good coaching conversation’ – that makes it less scary already doesn’t it!
So, iff we only have 4 seconds to make an impression (the average attention span in 2000 was 12 seconds, in 2015 it was 8.25 seconds!), then let’s learn how to make the right impression first time.
Firstly, to make the right impression, you need to be prepared. And making the right impression is something you will be wanting to do at different times of your life, be that in an interview, with your customers, with your colleagues, in a business pitch, making a presentation, ore even on a date – goodness knows there are many opportunities.
Delivering a good presentation doesn’t mean standing in front of an audience – you are presenting yourself all the time. Whether that’s in the queue at the supermarket, at a party, or at work. Before you freak out and think you can’t step out of the house without a 3 piece suit on, or full battle make-up, take a step back and think about what skills you already have that makes you interesting and someone others will want to listen to and engage with. Whilst we don’t have time right here to work through that in more detail, I can at least give you some practical tips and ideas to develop.
Master the art of your presenting…
1. Make sure you are clear about what you want as a result from your presentation or your ASK. If you don’t have a proper objective, you’re likely to go off piste, flounder and lose your focus.
2. Practice – practice – practice. Unless you are one of those lucky people who is great at impactful improvising, prepare your presentation in advance, rehearse it until you feel fluent and comfortable, and practice it out loud! If possible, get feedback from someone that you trust before you launch yourself on your audience.
3. A top tip from the master of Apple – Make it all about your audience, whether it is an audience of one or millions. Know who you are going to be addressing, think about them as you would your ideal customer, how can you give them some benefit and what hassles can you relieve them of.
4. “The success of your presentation will be judged not by the knowledge you send but by what the listener receives.” (Thank you Lily Walters). Back to the preparation and practice piece. With an added peppering of good clear language so there is no confusion or possibility to misunderstand your intentions and your message. Be sure the message you are giving out is the message they are receiving.
Finally, some ideas that could help you….
* For an impactful opening – A discussion of traditional and modern roles within a relationship recently revealed “Oh, we have always had a great arrangement; I make all the small decisions and my husband makes all the big ones.” Shock horror around the table until the speaker continued “And all our decisions are small ones” (accompanied with a wry smile).
* For a good compelling finish – “We are sure you can now see how much your contribution will improve the lives of ….. Before you go, tell us how you would like to make your donation…”
* And some humour, the right sort at the right time, relevant and properly delivered – “ At the very start, let me say that we both have something in common. You don’t know what I’m going to say… and neither do I.” (Thanks to Robert Orben from his Speaker’s Handbook of Humour).
You can find out more about making the right impression by learning from Isla here https://coach-accreditation.services/directories/find-an-accredited-coach-or-mentor/entry/96/