Politics apart, I think most of us agree that Barack Obama is one of the best storytellers of our time. We often look at him as a source of public speaking inspiration at all levels, especially with regards to the writing skills, tone of voice, pauses, and nonverbal communication. Over the last 20 years, he is only maybe comparable to Steve Jobs regarding performance on stage.
Recently, when asked to advise a group of US Mayors on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic, Obama said: “Speak the truth. Speak it clearly. Speak it with compassion.”. This is the best communication tip I’ve heard during the crisis we’re going through. And it has always been very present whenever I needed to address my team at SOAP Presentations to, among other reasons, explain the risks we have in front of us with regards to the economy and the plan we have put in place to mitigate them.
Speaking the truth, the whole truth, is very often seen as a risk in business communication because it may be perceived as a weakness. And we all know that businesses are typically risk-averse. Therefore, people tend to hide the negatives. But good stories always have a negative component. Otherwise, there’s no conflict, there’s no transformation. Think of the negative as the antagonist to your story. And remember, people have an antenna that detects lies. No matter how good your story is, it’s all about gaining credibility and reputation.
There’s nothing wrong about saying:
Here’s the situation,
This is where this company has been,
This is where we are now,
And this is our strategy for the future,
And if we follow this strategy, we will have success,
If we go in that direction, we will fail.
So, if you, or your company, have been affected by the economic impact of the pandemic and if you’re looking for a piece of advice for your next business update, mine is: speak the truth.
Ideally, a corporate lunch should take place in a room, with air-conditioning on warmer days, and listeners 100% focused on you. However, great opportunities do not always present themselves as we would hope – but this is no reason to miss out on them.
Your chance to talk about a new project, a change of path or innovative plan might be during lunchtime, for instance. Having meals with your boss or potential clients are recurring situations you can use to introduce great ideas, hence the importance of being ready to show how good your idea is.
Sure, unexpected issues may come up, but if you address them tactfully and train your speech properly your chances of success are huge.
We have listed six tips to help you prepare for your next corporate lunch.
Before delivering any presentation, you must know by heart your audience’s interests and needs. In a corporate lunch is no different. Carry out a thorough research about the person you are meeting with and what type of innovation and solution the company, and its specific department, is looking for to guarantee you will offer something that makes sense and interests your listener.
A corporate lunch is still a meal. Your interlocutor will be sharing his/her attention between your speech, the food and other distractions – such as the noise in the restaurant and the waiter coming to the table regularly. So, it is of uttermost importance to get his/her attention right in the beginning, assuring your message is comprehended. Be straightforward, clear and brief in your intentions.
Classify your information
Divide the information between “most important” and “least important”. If there is not enough time to discuss everything you wanted to, at least you make sure the essential message is delivered.
Avoid alcoholic beverages
Although it is lunch, the context demands solemnity. In order to have a flowing conversation, good verbal and non-verbal communication, the speaker must be sober. Otherwise, he/she might lose concentration and get lost in the speech. So, even if the other person orders or offers you a drink, decline and say, “thank you”.
Eat whenever you want, speak whenever you can
This is a motherly advice: “Speaking with your mouth full is unpolite” – and it is no different here. Obviously, we are supposed to eat during lunch, nonetheless, our focus is divided between what we see, hear, feel and do.
If you want your listener to pay attention at what you are saying, save your speech to the breaks between dishes or the coffee just after the meal, when your audience’s attention is most likely to be focused on your speech.
Bringing up your ideas during the meal is not frowned upon, after all this is a casual gathering, but remember to respect the space of your listener and to find the most appropriate moment to talk.
Should I bring slides?
The answer to this question is “No!”. The visual support is a great ally to make your presentation memorable. However, it is not recommended during lunch. It seems inconvenient to open a laptop on the table and show dozens of slides or even hand in a brochure that must be managed.
If the meeting is taking place in a restaurant that offers a private room and an appropriate place for a presentation, then you may make use of such resource, but remember: always between courses.
If you follow our tips, your presentation will stand out more than the main dish.
Willing to learn more about state-of-the-art presentations? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and check out our blog!
SOAP lives by excellence. We combine strengths and skills to achieve goals and client’s needs. We are also aware that new challenges come up, so improvements are constant.
SOAP has a new “Door” for you to knock and get information about what we do and can do for you.
Digging deep into the moto “turning complex into simple” we transformed the face and experience of our website. Making it easy to understand what SOAP does, how and with what purposes.
WHAT IT DOES?
Presentations that merge impactful visuals with business Intelligence.
We shape your ideas into reality. Your concepts into experiences
Click the image to see a Before & After of a slide. Being before a client content and after a SOAP delivery.
Deliver the message the way clients want it to be perceived. Be it a presentation, a video or a document.
Read all about our process by visiting this page.
You can watch SOAP Portfolio for presentations or video here. By clicking any presentation project on the gallery, you can choose to view a presentation on a PPT format like the one below, or on our Youtube channel.
We kept on of our most visited page, from the old version. The downloads page. Here you can find E-books with the best tips and techniques to improve the way you create presentations, and Templates to save you time and enhance your productivity. All you have to do is download and get to work.
The way to get in touch with us was also simplified. We are here to help you achieve your goals right from the very first moment. Call us or email us in one click or touch of screen. Visit the contacts page and see how easy it is.
With SOAP blog we try to keep you up to date, with all that has to do with presentations. Be it tips on performance, design and software tools that can help you create impactful presentations, news from the brand and marketing world, or the cutting edge technology used to boost creativity on presentations. Check out the latest posts.
SOAP keeps the community close to heart, which is why we value their time and attention. We only want to reach to you in your terms, and only when the content is really worth your engagement and interest. We now have a choice in the way you want receive information from SOAP. Our newsletter will become a quarterly newsletter instead of monthly. You can subscribe to the new format by clicking here, and submitting your info.
Tell us what we can do for you. And remember, excellence is work in progress.
Malcom Gladwell is a Canadian journalist, speaker and writer of the best-sellers, The tipping point, Outliers, Blink, What the dog saw and David and Goliath.
For this post we will focus on the 10.000 hours rule that Malcolm Gladwell talked about in the book “Outliers”.
The catch phrase “Practice makes Perfection” is often used on the presentations activity. It has been proven, that to boost your confidence and assurance that your message does its purpose, you should practice and prepare the most you can. In front of the mirror, in front of cam-recorder, to friends and family, to colleagues, to anyone that can help you improve your performance and presentation.
A presentation can be a powerful tool when it is efficient. In other words, to have an effective presentation, means to transform your audience. In the end, the success of your presentation will be measured by what they take of the information you are giving them. To do so with confidence, requires you to be concise, with your content, interesting and straight to the point with the visuals that support your information, turn the experience into a conversation and be reassuring with your body language.
These behavioural aspects differ between speakers. Below you can download a #soapfreebie about the anatomy of the presenter, to get an idea of what we are saying.
Click the image to download
Although practice plays an important role in a presentation, PREPARATION in our opinion needs an even more important role. Imagine the following scenarios: The technical support team at the event you’re counting on to display your presentation, let’s you down and don´t show up in time. How are you going to address your audience? There was misunderstanding with the schedule, and now you have to keynote to a totally different audience that you practised for, or the speaker before you took more time in his presentation than expected, and your time was cut, from 30 minutes to 10.
In all the scenarios mentioned above, without Preparation all the practice seems short. Even if you apply Malcom Gladwell’s rule, “that popularized the idea that 10,000 hours of appropriately guided practice was “the magic number of greatness,” regardless of a person’s natural aptitude. With enough practice, he claimed in his book Outliers, anyone could achieve a level of proficiency that would rival that of a professional. It was just a matter of putting in the time”.
SOAP’s experience in the presentation field, has proven that the person’s natural aptitude reflects one’s performance, that is why we use “Preparation makes perfection” rather than “Practice makes Perfection”.
For more free downloads visit our downloads page.