Boardroom Presentations – Sweat Like a Horse

Maybe you heard that horses sweat, men perspire and women glow. But in the boardroom everyone who presents sweats – some more than others. If you are in management or want to be, you will need to present in the boardroom. This is the worst place to present. First understand why it is that way. Then use these techniques to be more successful when you present in the boardroom.

Beware of Boardroom Landmines

Culture

The boardroom is a place of punishment. It is where management and executives go to thrash the last bad quarter results and beat up somebody. Whoever presents today in the boardroom is the target for today’s flogging. Hence just entering the boardroom stirs up a defensive and offensive attitude in most meeting attendees. They are ready to defend their own performance and at the same time attack someone else just to escape. A boardroom is not a place to birth new ideas – it is a place to crucify suspected sinners, torture under-performers and kill dreamers.

Physical

The physical step-up of the boardroom is adversarial. Meeting attendees face each other across the table. They are not facing the speaker. In fact to face the speaker they must turn their head and expose themselves to the physical discomfort of a kinked neck.

Hierarchy

There is always a power position at the table. Even in King Arthur’s round table the strongest positions were those closest to Arthur. The presenter will usually speak opposite the power position – thus having the weakest physical position on the table.

History

If you are relatively new to this board meeting the ones with history will play their seniority card against you. They can bring up past issues, insider jokes or unwritten rules that put you down.

To succeed in the Boardroom

Before the meeting

Learn who will be there and learn their hot buttons. Meet with all or at the very least the key decision makers before the meeting and get them on your side. Never introduce new ideas in the boardroom. That is the surest way to kill your new ideas.

If the meeting chair is an abrasive type, meet with him before the meeting. Explain your ideas and demonstrate how your ideas support his visions and goals. And ask for his support to make it work. Tell him that you cannot make it happen without his critical support, which implies that if it fails he is responsible. Tell him what you want to accomplish and ask for his advice on how to get everyone else onside.

The more people you have taken into your confidence and who know about your presentation in advance – the more will support you when the vote comes down. If you don’t surprise them they won’t surprise you. When you meet with them ask them for their support.

Speaking in the Boardroom

Get into the boardroom before the meeting to get comfortable with the room – to make it your room. Test your presentation equipment. Sit in a few of the chairs to see the perspective of the attendees. Beware that the others are evaluating you the whole time – before you present, while you present and after you present. So appear calm and confident.

When it is your turn to speak, calmly take the power position of the room. Stand. Pause while you attain everyone’s attention. Then begin your presentation.

Speak to everyone in the room. Make a point of talking and looking at every person in the room. Move your eyes across the table in imperfect x’s. Don’t be fooled into only talking to the one with the most power or the one who engages you. And don’t be lulled into staring at the broad expanse of the boardroom table.

State your position clearly and strongly. Never apologize. Look to your allies for their support. Make it clear what you want them to do because of your presentation. Repeat your purpose. State the purpose early and be prepared for interruptions as well as your presentation time getting cut short.

Seek to gain one key point that moves them in the direction that you want. Don’t try to sell and close all the details in one boardroom presentation. Boardroom meetings are either to confirm earlier discussions or to suggest new directions. But seldom are they for details.

Your Boardroom Success

Accept the directional win and next step. Be willing to work out the details later. People are more defensive in the boardroom. Don’t try to nail the whole project in one boardroom presentation.

How to Start an English Language Presentation For Second-Language Speakers

Many ESL speakers, when tasked to make presentations, commit the mistake of making everything sound too formal. Truth is, much of English has gone the informal route – including getting up in front of people and giving the details of a report.

Most audiences, in fact, prefer a relatively informal delivery. That’s because it’s less stuck-up and more natural. The more comfortable they are, after all, the less of a hindrance it will be to impart your message.

However, informal doesn’t mean unstructured. Presentations, after all, are best accomplished when everything is organized for the audience’s benefit. When starting a presentation, make sure everyone is clear about what’s going to happen. However, be vigilant about keeping everything brief (use your language software to help you if you’re struggling). Here’s how you do it:

1. Get their attention. Project your voice and pipe up: “Let’s get started.” If you have a more fitting “call to action,” use it.

2. Welcome everyone. Greet your audience and welcome them to the presentation. It’s small talk, yes, but it breaks the ice and gets the ball rolling.

3. Introduce yourself. Make sure the audience knows who you are by giving your name and a short blurb about your qualifications (company, position and such).

4. Announce the purpose of the presentation. Tell them flat out what the presentation will be about. What are they going to learn? What should they get out of it? Keep it tight, though.

5. Tell them how you want to deal with questions. This is huge. People raising their hands in the middle of a presentation can be distracting. Different speakers have different preferences, so make sure you tell everyone how you’d like questions to come.

Tips And Ideas For Creating A Personalised Present

People often associate gift giving with time, stress, and money, but this does not necessarily have to be the case. By using a little creativity and considering the needs, desires, and preferences of the recipient, finding the perfect personalised present can be simple.

The first thing to consider are the hobbies, interests, and activities of the person receiving the gift. What their favorite color is, what they like to do in their spare time, and what kinds of activities they participate in can all lead to gift ideas that, otherwise, might not be considered. The old adage “It’s not the gift that counts, it’s the thought” is only partially true. If the recipient likes to knit, but receives a golf club as a gift, although appreciated it will probably never be used which makes it less memorable.

Just by knowing what type of activity the participant likes best can lead to many options. This is because most pastimes require many accessories. Those who actively participate in favorite forms of entertainment regularly probably already have the needed items associated with that activity. However, frequently they fail to purchase the “luxury” items that can make it that much more fun. This can lead to great gift-giving ideas.

Most activities have luxury items and some of the best accessories can even be homemade. For instance, if you knit and are giving a gift to a golfer, knitting club covers with golf balls sewn onto the front that have funny faces can not only liven up a game, they can also become the talk of the course.

Although you may know of the interests of your friends and family, you may not be familiar enough with the activities to know what accessories would be most appropriate. By searching the Internet, everything you’ve ever wanted to know about any pastime can be easily found. In many cases shopping sites specialize in accessories and, once known, many can even be made by hand making the gift all that much more special.

For baby showers any gift can be personalized. Embroidering the baby’s name or initials onto quilts, blankets, shirts, or jackets can add an extra special touch. The same can be said for wedding gifts. Adding the wedding date and names of the young couple often serves as a trophy in the new home as well as serving as a great reminder of how special their big day was.

A personalised present is a great way to ensure recipients know how much you really care about them. By understanding the interests and preferences of those you are giving a gift to it is much easier, and much less stressful, to find the perfect gift. Better yet, for those who have skills in sewing, carpentry, or any other artistic areas, the joy of giving something homemade that didn’t break the bank often makes the effort well worthwhile.