Don’t waste your 15 minutes of fame
When you have an opportunity to communicate with executives, it’s important to recognize that this could be THE MOMENT, which changes the course of your career.
Not every presentation will be career-changing, but you never know which one could be.
So it’s a good idea to treat every opportunity to communicate with executives as, well… an opportunity.
It’s also important to realize that executives are judging YOU as much as what you are saying.
And they are impatient, so you don’t have a lot of time to hit the mark.
Here is a story about how one presentation became a make or break moment in my own career, and what happened…
Learning and Preparation
I was able to hit the mark because I prepared — a lot. I first learned what they truly cared about, and then used that to craft my opening line — which I then practiced.
I created a strategy to try to win them over in seconds, with no slides, by starting with the right HOOK — The thing that was already most relevant to them.
The preparation for an executive communication is as
or more important than the delivery.
How will you use your moment?
Will you take full advantage of it?
Here are some things to think about as you are preparing:
1. Who is your audience?
Specifically. Names. Roles. Key responsibilities and concerns.
2. What do they care about?
Remember, the stuff they really care about might have nothing to do with you.
They only care about what they already cared about before you walked in the room. They don’t care about your thing.
Your #1 job is to get them to care
If you don’t know yet what they truly care out. Find out.
3. How do they talk about what they care about?
What are the exact words they use to describe it?
Trick: Use only their words to create a dictionary of the words you are allowed to use in the first moments
You have 1 minute
Before you prepare any presentation, think about what would you say if you only had 1 minute.
By the way in reality, you really do only have 1 minute. If you don’t win them over in the first moments, you have lost the game.
Don’t let your own need for details, data, completeness and showing your work shoot you in the foot by developing a long presentation.
You need to sell your ideas, not just document and present them.
Use your opening moment wisely. Don’t miss your opportunity.
Want to deliver a better executive presentation?
2 Free Resources
I’m excited to share a couple of very useful FREE resources with you.
One is my 10-slide Executive Presentation Template. Use this template to craft your next (brief and compelling) presentation to get your point across and hit the mark right away.
Another is a webinar on Mastering Executive Communications.
And good luck!
What do you think?
Join the conversation about this on my facebook page.
Patty is available to speak at your company, annual meeting, or customer event. She can also deliver a custom workshop on Leadership or Strategy Execution for your leadership team. Contact Patty.
Or if you would like some personal help on your own professional development, check out her Executive Mentoring Group. It’s filled with insights, resources and support to build your executive confidence, advance your career, and includes direct mentoring from Patty.
MORE ABOUT PATTY:
Patty Azzarello is an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/Business Advisor. She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35 and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk)