As consultant, I have the opportunity to speak in public regularly: workshops, trainings or presentations. All of them require different kind of preparation, based on the content, the purpose and the audience. Regardless all the above, I need PREPARATION.
Some months ago, I was invited to give a presentation about a certain product. I was informed about the purpose and the audience, so I prepared the content accordingly. In the meantime, the expected audience decreased significantly, till point that I thought it would be cancelled.
They decided not to cancel, but I agreed with my colleague, to give a more personalized presentation and a Q&A session for the 2 inscribed attendees.Those were our customers. As you can imagine, my preparation-time also decreased.
D-DAY has come and to my surprise:
- There were not 2, but 10 attendees.
- There were not only customers, but also external people. Thus, no knowledge about the product.
I started to present and I saw uncertainty in some faces. I thought it was my accent, but no. It was the topic. They knew few -or nothing- about the product and my content required more than a basic level of knowledge.
At the end, I survived. I made some “parenthesis” of basic information to balance the knowledge in the audience, but the structure of my presentation it was not the ideal.
Honestly, I was not prepared for contingency.
Some insights here:
- It doesn’t matter if only one person will attend to your presentation. THAT person deserves the same attention than 20 or 50.
- Imagine that at least one person doesn’t know about your topic. What would you do to let her enjoy your presentation?
By the way, the picture above was in that presentation. I look more prepared than I really was 😉
Prepare yourself and have fun!