Presentation Tip: Don’t Settle!

Go the Extra Mile

I heard an amazing statement from a client not long ago. A friend had told him before a presentation, “Don’t worry. You’re fine. They’re not expecting much.”

Wow. That blew me away because sadly, it’s true. Presentation audiences don’t expect much because the norm is so low. Business audiences are used to presenters who read their slides, pack too much in, and speak without energy or passion.

And to be better than that doesn’t take much. But be careful. “Fine” is not good. It’s half-way, lukewarm, average. Fine is dangerous and will:

1. Let you off the hook

2. Encourage mediocrity, and most of all…

3. Cause your client to miss your message, passion and commitment

So if you’re doing just enough to get by, you’re cheating your audience and yourself.

Truth is, the difference between a “good” presentation and a memorable one (where the human connection happens) is your willingness to go the extra mile. So push yourself and your team. Dig deep, go out of your way, and raise that bar. The results?

1. A great presentation

2. LOTS more fun!

3. No regrets

4. Personal satisfaction

5. A higher hit rate for sales presentations

6. A new level for other teams in your office to strive for

7. AND you will have started raising the norm for what audiences should expect!

Let it rip,


— Carol

Tales from the Field

Tales from the Field

Closing the Gap:

We were shortlisted for an $18 million project for a longtime customer. The trap was being over-confident since we knew them so well. We only had 15 minutes to present and were the last of five CMs.

We entered the room and noticed that it was set up in a way that seemed uncomfortable. The owner had positioned themselves at one end in a U-shaped table and then had the CM table about 20 feet away. When we entered, I asked if we could rearrange the room, and was told, “Okay.”

So we took the chairs and brought them all the way forward to create a circle with the owner’s table. We sat and chatted with them about their project. During the Q&A, they asked why they should hire us. I gestured as I answered, “It’s why we’re sitting here and not back there. It’s because of our familiarity with your organization – it feels like we’re family.”

The following week I ran into the second place competitor – a previous colleague of mine. He said he went back for a debrief and was told we won because we were the only CM to move the chairs.

Thank you, Graceworks, for training us years ago and planting the seed of how to make that human connection.

Got Bigness? Got Boldness? Email us your most outrageous leadership story, your most hilarious presentation tale, your most ridiculous communication anecdote.

If we print your story, you’ll receive half a day with a Graceworks Trainer free of charge! Send a story now »