5 Changes to Improve How You Present Your Business

At the March Valley at Work meeting, Alison Driver of Metis HR gave a wonderful talk on this topic. Here are the ‘cheat’ notes:

Decide what you are going to speak about

  • Something you are interested and enthusiastic about
  • Something you know about in detail
  • If you’re not interested in your topic, your audience won’t be either!

Decide how you are going to get your message across – remember there is no obligation on the audience to listen to you, it’s your job to make them want to listen

Think about your audience

  • What are their worries/anxieties?
  • What would you do if you were in their place?
  • What would they like to know about your topic?

Start by engaging minds

  • DO NOT stand up and say that you’ve not had time to prepare or you don’t know your topic very well
  • Use a hook, a reason for the audience to stay engaged. Facts and figures are useful hooks.
  • Consider a “jaw-dropping moment” but if using shock tactics take care.

What do you want your audience to feel?

Tell stories to physically connect with your audience, we know that our brain waves change when telling and listening to stories

Don’t sell a list, make yourself stand out by giving actual examples of things on the list

A couple of different ways to construct stories:

  • P.A.L. = Pain, Aspirin, Legacy
  • Why, How, What (not What, How, Why)

Make you stories REMARKABLE. People need to Remark on them and be able to Remark (retell) them.

How will you deliver your presentation?


No notes – allows you to connect much more directly with your audience

  • practice but don’t over-rehearse
  • use high-level summary notes if you must

PowerPoint – has its uses but should not be the default choice.

  • Font size – average age of the audience doubled!
  • Maximum of 7 words on a slide or use 1 word as a mnemonic
  • PowerPoint is a passive presentation style

Don’t sell – it is a violation of trust. 

Commit to improving your presentation technique – visit www.ted.com . Grab every chance you get to speak.

“An amateur practises until they get it right, a professional practises until they can’t get it wrong!”

Alison Driver www.metishr.co.uk Twitter @metishr

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