May 2011 | Steve Bagshaw in Orlando
make elementary mistakes in presentations, but there are steps they can take to
boost effectiveness and impact, according to Jamie Crump, director, indirect
strategic sourcing and supplier diversity at United Rentals.
of all: “prepare, prepare, prepare”. And that doesn’t just mean know what you
are going to say. Preparation also covers lining up allies before the
presentation. Know what your stakeholders want to hear at meetings before the
presentation: “Brand for marketing. For finance, total spend, depreciation,
make v buy. And for senior management; revenue reputation, the assurance that
we are to lead not follow, return on investment and EBITDA.”
added that often when presenting to senior people there will be overruns or
changes and the 30 minute slot you were promised will becomes 10 minutes - “and
really that means six and a half”. So be prepared to know what can come out. “Have
a plan, but be ready to ditch it,” she said. “Or go to plan B.” This of course
requires having a plan B in the first place.
is a natural at presenting,” she reassured her audience at the 2011Institute for Supply Management conference.
”It is painful to do so practice until you get better. “Knowing the subject
matter isn’t enough. You have to be comfortable, relaxed and even
highlighted some frequent howlers made about slides, with the excuse, “I know
it is small,” chief among them. “If it is too small to read don’t put it up
there”. Another classic gaffe is the phrase “you don’t need to read this one”.
references the audience will understand. “Don’t talk about how great the
sixties were to an audience of people born in the eighties”. And you will
project your mood on to your audience. “Be relaxed and the audience will be
relaxed. Use the microphone and prompters as just that. Don’t read”. And “If
something isn’t working, stop doing it”.
she urged delegates to ignore the following; People coming in and out and
people on their Blackberrys or laptop (at this point your embarrassed
correspondent was making notes on his own).