Win, Win, Win More Work!

By Nanette New­bry, Stu­dio 2055

SMPS San Diego wish­es to thank event spon­sors Ran­dall Lamb and Pso­mas, and our year­ly spon­sors The San Diego Dai­ly Tran­script, Mike Tor­rey Pho­tog­ra­phy, and Scant­ech Graph­ics.

laverne-presentation-jan2015-1On Jan­u­ary 14, mem­bers, spon­sors and future SMPS mem­bers met to learn how their firms could win more work in the last step of the pro­pos­al journey—the final inter­view. Lav­erne Cac­eres of The Pro­fes­sion­al Voice packed the room and revealed prac­ti­cal strate­gies with “Improve Your Short-list Inter­view Skills,” based upon her expe­ri­ence study­ing TED (tech­nol­o­gy, enter­tain­ment, design) speak­ers.

With over 10 bil­lion users, TED pre­sen­ters bring their bril­liant ideas and pas­sion­ate enthu­si­asm while show­ing us the “how” on deliv­er­ing a mes­sage.

TED speak­ers prac­tice for six months and mem­o­rize their eight-minute speech. They want to con­nect with the audi­ence. How do they do this?

  1. They tell a sto­ry.
  2. They rehearse relent­less­ly.
  3. They make it per­son­al.

Ten Steps to Better Presentations

Hav­ing set the tone for her pre­sen­ta­tion, Lav­erne broke down her full-day work­shop into ten steps that when applied will great­ly improve a firm’s chances of nail­ing the project.

laverne-presentation-jan2015-2Step 1: Pop the Top
Your first move sets the tone for the entire pre­sen­ta­tion. Say­ing “We’re hap­py to be here” just won’t cut it. Deliv­er gen­uine enthu­si­asm and com­pelling mes­sag­ing right off the bat.

Step 2: Project Pas­sion
Give specifics about your knowl­edge of the project, your firm’s approach, and the final out­come you envi­sion.

Step 3: Build a Bridge
The respon­si­bil­i­ty of the speaker/team is to devel­op con­nec­tions with the audi­ence and to make tran­si­tions that give your audi­ence a break.

  • Review and pre­view
  • Engage the audi­ence
  • Con­nect speakers/participants with ideas

Step 4: Make the Infor­ma­tion Stick
The reten­tion lev­el of an audi­ence is around 25%. Tell sto­ries and give exam­ples that will stick in their minds. Be rel­e­vant, con­cise, per­son­al and humor­ous, and always leave them with a hap­py end­ing. At some point, turn off your slides and talk direct­ly to the audi­ence. This tech­nique helps you best con­nect with your audi­ence.

Step 5: Prac­tice Ear­ly and Often
Get past the idea that your team doesn’t need a coach. Often, the lead­er­ship team is very uncom­fort­able with mak­ing a pre­sen­ta­tion. A coach will help dis­pel “I can’t present” myths along with sug­gest­ing valu­able tools for the team.

Step 6: Per­son­al Start and Fin­ish
Strate­gize about the performance’s open­ing and how the team wants to wrap up the pre­sen­ta­tion. Com­bin­ing per­son­al anec­dotes with project strate­gies and goals make for a win­ning com­bi­na­tion.

Step 7: Build on the Ben­e­fits
Part of the sto­ry telling is to “build the burg­er.” Give the audi­ence a set of com­po­nents that build on each oth­er and illus­trate how they work togeth­er.

Step 8: Use Your Instru­ments
Your voice is 41% of your pre­sen­ta­tion, while your visu­al pre­sen­ta­tion makes up 51%. This gives the team an oppor­tu­ni­ty to vary the rhythms of their voic­es. The voice and ani­mat­ed ges­tures need to match the presentation’s con­tent.

Step 9: Point Out Peo­ple
Name drop. Use indi­vid­ual names as well as oth­er stake­hold­ers who may not be present at the pre­sen­ta­tion. Plac­ing table tents in front of par­tic­i­pants gives every­one a chance to make it more per­son­al.

Step 10: Pow­er Through Pos­ture
When­ev­er pos­si­ble, phys­i­cal ges­tures keep the audi­ence atten­tive. Lav­erne illus­trat­ed the “bread bas­ket” use of the hands and encour­aged pre­sen­ters to point north, south, east and west. This helps the body relax and be nat­ur­al. Using ges­tures is an easy way to fill the space and have author­i­ty in the room.

Final Bonus:
Pre­pare for the gotcha. Prac­tice with the team the easy, tough,  and “what if” sce­nar­ios and ques­tions. You want to have the last word.

To wrap-up the lun­cheon, Beth Bate­man led the Q&A.

Ques­tion: How many peo­ple should go to the inter­view?

Answer: Find out how many peo­ple are on the pan­el and how much time you have to present. You don’t want to have more peo­ple than the inter­view team.

Ques­tion: How do you tell a pre­sen­ter polite­ly to “shut-up” who might be going in the wrong the direc­tion?

Answer: This indi­vid­ual is known as a “bleed­er.” It’s a lead­er­ship prob­lem. The PM needs to stand up and go to the “bleed­er” and say some­thing like, “Joe is so excit­ed about the project and we want to have time to answer all your ques­tions.”

Lav­erne A. Cac­eres, M.A., is a nation­al­ly rec­og­nized pre­sen­ta­tion coach with 25 years’ expe­ri­ence.  As Direc­tor of The Pro­fes­sion­al Voice, she works with firms and indi­vid­u­als across the coun­try, help­ing them win projects, attract new clients and secure con­tracts. Learn more about Laverne’s firm on www​.pro​fes​sion​alvoice​.com and ask about receiv­ing TPV’s month­ly pre­sen­ta­tion tips and strate­gies.

View all of the event pho­tos on our Face­book album.

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