'Next slide please' - The Presentation Skills Nightmare that is a Downing Street Covid Briefing.
If you were giving a broadcast to the nation that relied on slides, what would you do to make sure the presentation ran smoothly? Would you; a) Ask someone to move the slides on at your request, making you and the presentation look poor quality and totally amateur in delivery, b) Use one of any number of remote controlled slide clickers which allows you to move the slides on when you are ready, (I use a Logitech) or would you, c) Use a paper based flip chart that negates the need for a digital screen at all?
Additionally, when being asked to present to the nation would you rehearse what you are saying in advance, or just trust your luck, hoping that your glib, upbeat and baseless taglines, made-up on the hoof, will be forgotten almost as soon as they are uttered?
3 Big Tips.
- Practice your presentation in advance at least once.
- Consider your words. What do you want to say? What do you want to mean? And if you mean to say nothing then you’d be better off saying nothing.
- Examine the speeches and presentations of Obama, Churchill and Steve Jobs. They’re all selling something – what are you selling?
The fundamentals of decent, meaningful presentations are being lost because the most powerful and important people currently tasked with steering us through, have forgotten the basics - skills that are so important, they would make the difference between strong and trusted leadership and a total loss of trust between people and government.