13 Secrets of Effective Presentation Skills – Secret #2

Secret #2 – Be understood and remembered positively – talk a language everyone can understand

Do you ever find yourself on the receiving end of a presentation about a subject you know well – and wonder what on earth they are talking about? Or maybe you do this to your own hapless audiences!

It is SO easy to fall into the unhelpful trap of speaking jargon – technospeak, banking speak, legalese. Every sector and every organisation often delights in creating its own unique collection of three letter abbreviations and a language and phraseology of its own. These are not only baffling and irritating to clients and outsiders, they frequently baffle, confuse and mislead partners, team members and colleagues.

Example : I worked with one of the star fund managers of a major investment bank. He was technically brilliant at what he did, but reticent and shy in promoting his ideas, as well as using far too much investment and banking jargon. After just 3 coaching sessions together, he made a major presentation to fellow fund managers, directors and any bank personnel who wished to attend. The marketing director of this bank, an American lady, was part of the audience and was observed saying afterwards “ That’s the first ******* presentation I’ve understood in this bank for 2 years!”

A good rule of thumb is to imagine that your audience is about 17 years old, extremely intelligent and with a very low boredom threshold and doesn’t know a great deal about what you do. If you can hold the attention of an audience of 17 year olds for the length of your presentation, then you’re doing well.



Best wishes