“Your presentation is not about you, it’s about your audience. They have to see themselves in the story.” This quote is from Richard Mulholland’s book Boredom Slayer. A Speaker’s Guide to Presenting Like a Pro.
The author and entrepreneur’s most recent launch provides strategies that rookie public speakers can use to deliver great presentations. The book also explores when you should hire a speaking agent, how to deal with technical issues and whether you should do free speaking gigs in exchange for exposure.
Presentation skills are critical for any entrepreneur who has to spread a particular message or sell their business, whether it is win over investors or to pitch to customers or clients.
For those who may not be familiar with Mulholland’s work, he is a serial entrepreneur who founded what is arguably the country’s best presentation firm, Missing Link and co-founded 21Tanks, SA’s first perspective lab, which specialises in identifying and solving problems within organisations.
Below is Mulholland’s advice for putting together a killer presentation, according to quotes from his book.
1. Work on your presentation skills before you need them
“You write a good presentation long before you deliver one.”
2. Don’t wing it
“We need to get out of the habit of waiting for the big event to get skilled in the art.”
3. Remember: your pitch isn’t about you
“Your elevator pitch shouldn’t be about the thing you do, or the solution you provide. It should be about their problem.”
4. Consider your audience
“Any time you find yourself wanting to shortcut this process, stop and consider how many hours of attention the audience is paying you.”
5. Be yourself
“Be yourself. Hard. Be the version of yourself your dog thinks you are.”
6. Be relatable
“Your presentation is not about you, it’s about them. They have to see themselves in the story.”
7. Storytelling is key
“[It’s about] give and tell… Give them a reason to care… Tell them what they need to do…”
8. Don’t blame your failure on the tech
“What you put in, is what you get out. Blaming PowerPoint for a bad presentation is like blaming a pan for a bad meal!”