How to Deliver an Informal Presentation

By Bob Morrell on September 3, 2015

We attend many training events which include a presentation by a Senior Director. Usually at the beginning, this individual says a few words to get everyone ‘on side’ and then closes with something similar.

In our experience the quality of these ad-libbed presentations are pretty poor. Poorly considered, poorly designed, and poorly delivered.

Some people just can’t keep away from negativity – even when things are going well!!

So if you’re a leader who does these impromptu sessions here are the top 5 tips to a better outcome:

1. Don’t ask for Feedback unless you are ready to receive it in ALL its forms. We ask for feedback hoping for positivity, and then are stunned when we hear the odd voice of discontent. So don’t ask for feedback in public, unless you have some idea what it will be – or you’re likely to look embarrassed as you are unprepared for what is asked.

2. Why remind people of negative things? Especially if they already know them! They won’t forget difficulties or challenges so don’t rub it in – people want solutions and forward thinking not dwelling on problems which are only ever a thing of the past.

3. If you must be negative then take the piss out of yourself! You’re not perfect. By focusing on your frailties people will warm to you and be better at reflecting and working on their own challenges.

4. If you can’t tell a joke then don’t bloody tell one – not everyone can and there’s nothing worse than a group of subordinates laughing at a joke you’ve made simply because you are in charge and not because it was funny!

5. Don’t make analogies to football or cars or something you find fun – do you honestly think it helps people to understand their business through a reference to sport? It’s patronizing.

The most useful tip is actually nothing to do with the above, and it is the tip the majority won’t use – plan, write, and rehearse. Practise your presentation, even better infront of a true critic not one of your yes men, then make a few tweaks and it will be so much better! Oh sorry I forgot – you don’t have time! Please see the Time Management post!