Monday, 31 October 2016

Why bother turning up to give your business presentation? Take a tip from the demise of the ‘Top Gear Experience’

“If you’re just going to stand there and read it out, you might as well send it in by email and save your audience a lot of time and effort.” 

Now, I have never actually given feedback like that in my Presentation Skills sessions – I like to think I have a reputation for giving tough advice in a kind and constructive way – but there have been occasions when I would have liked to!

A great presentation is all about the person giving it, possibly enhanced by some well-chosen aids. YOU and only you can bring the subject alive, make it memorable and make your audience do something as a result.

So it was no surprise to me when I read last week (see here) that the ‘Top Gear Experience’, which enables Jo Public to live out what they have seen on the TV screen, has gone bust.

Now, I’m asking for a slight leap of imagination here, but look at it like this. Without Clarkson, Hammond and May, the so called Top Gear Experience is just an old airfield in Dunsfold and some scruffy sheds. And ‘Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car’ is ‘Me in a Reasonably-Priced Car’ which, actually, is just Me Living Out My Ordinary Life, but on an old airfield used by Top Gear. It was that Terrible Trio that made the old airfield and scruffy shed seem like magic, helped along by their particular visual aids – exotic cars that only they will ever be able to borrow! And, while the new team still deserves a chance to settle in properly, we don’t (yet, at least) really aspire to driving like Chris Evans, the bloke from Friends or any of those other people, some of whom appear to have the makings of star quality.

Coming back to the world of business presentations, one of my trainees left a session last week with the personal objective: I am going to put much more focus on myself and what I say and do in order to engage the particular audience on the day. Only once I have cracked that will I think about the aids that might support me.

That is getting
priorities in the right order. And here’s looking forward to The Grand Tour: 

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