Creating An Effective Business Presentation – The First Thing You Should Do

The ability to present in a variety of situations is a key skill for accountants and professionals.

Like all skills it’s something that you can learn and get better at throughout the course of your career.

Despite what people may tell you or have you believe, there is no such thing as the person who is just born a great presenter.

I became really aware of the importance of being able to present effectively back in 1986.

I had just moved into my second job.

The role I had moved into was as an Internal Auditor.

I’m sure if you asked most people they would say that the prospect of internal audit doing a review of your process or department was about as attractive as root canal at the dentist.

I would carry out in-depth reviews and then have to present findings and recommendations.

I was 21 at the time.

Most of the people I was feeding back findings and recommendations to were much older and much more experienced than me.  They also had differing levels of readiness to accept what was being recommended.

Since then I’ve done many presentations and trained and coached others in presenting.

What I’ve noticed is that the temptation among many accountants and professionals is to start in the wrong place.

They open up their slide software and start creating slides.

What’s the problem you might ask?

If you are going to create and deliver an effective presentation you have to start with getting clear about one thing.

What do I want to accomplish as a result of this presentation?

Clarity on what you want to accomplish will help you decide what you need to make sure you include in your presentation.

It will help you focus on your core message.

The alternative approach is to have a vague idea.

Sadly this rarely results in you delivering the type of presentation that gets the result you want.

So next time you have to present, start by getting clear what you want to accomplish.  You might just be surprised at the difference it makes.

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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