Winning the High-Stakes Presentation

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Winning the High-Stakes Presentation

businesswoman-617127_1280-300x212Playing the public speaking game 

Most of us have to, at some point or another, make a presentation before an audience. Any form of public speaking can be daunting, to say the least. But, what happens when you’re faced with the challenge of giving a “high-stakes” presentation? You know, the kind of presentation where something more than just audience “engagement” is your ultimate goal. Perhaps your company is going after its next really big contract; maybe you’re trying to land a high-profile speaking engagement; or it could be that you’re facilitating a board of directors planning retreat. Whatever, the reason, this type of presentation requires more planning, focus and practice than other presentations. Are you ready? Do you know what to say and how to say it?

 

Powerful high-stakes presentation tips

When sketching out a high-stakes presentation, remember to keep things simple. Less is often more in this scenario. You may be tempted to pad your presentation with lots of technical jargon, facts, figures and the like. Don’t! Giving a clear, concise presentation that hits on key points is always preferable to a lengthy, data-packed presentation. An audience left wanting more will ask for it, but the confused audience will remain just that, confused. And, more often than not, you’ll lose whatever it is you’re betting on with that confused audience.

Research your audience, then remember them as you craft your presentation. Ultimately, your presentation is not about you. This is true even if you’re a so-called expert in your field. Your presentation is about your audience. What core point(s) does that audience want and need from you and/or your organization? Once you know the answer to this question, speak to it. Odds for winning the high-stakes presentation game are on your side when you take an audience-focused approach.

And, finally, the Accent On Business golden rule for high-stakes presentations:

Do not allow your PowerPoint or other presentation materials/props to do your job for you – period!

Remember that it is YOU or your organization with whom your audience wants to connect, not your PowerPoint deck. Simply put, never rely on your slides doing the “talking” for you. Nothing is going to replace you and the information you impart to your audience via your voice, stories, mannerisms, and the like.

This brings us to our final point about high-stakes presentations. As with all public speaking, at Accent On Business we recommend you keep your presentation authentic and personable. Use stories and examples that will engage your audience.

Coaching is key to winning high-stakes presentations

High-stakes presentations are no game, really! Your reputation, your organization’s reputation, and sometimes even the bottom line are, well…at stake.

Do you want to win more high-stakes presentations? If so, you need what every winning competitor has: a coach. To be more specific, you need a coach who wants to see you win those high-stakes presentations and knows how to make that happen.

Our approach to winning high-stakes presentations involves a detailed, personalized strategy for honing public speaking skills; crafting key messages, examples and stories; asking for and getting valuable presentation feedback; and much more. We like to think of it as “laser coaching” – we target the areas most crucial for your success and then assist you in polishing them with absolute precision. The result? Consistent “wins” on your high-stakes presentations!

Take the next step toward winning your high-stakes presentations with laser-focused coaching. Contact us today: info@accentonbusiness.net

About the Author:

Ellen Dunnigan founded Accent On Business in 2001 specializing in public speaking, communication skills, and executive presence for leaders in business. She has 25 years of experience with professional and nonprofessional speakers in healthcare, media, politics, engineering, sports, and other industries. Ellen’s coaching in speaking skills gives established and emerging leaders greater confidence and credibility. Her leadership programs in accountability, alignment, difficult conversations, and organizational communication have helped leaders expand their influence. Ellen is known for her practical “how to” style.
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