Corporate Presentations – Time to cut the B.S.

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011 by Simon Morton

Everyone has the misfortune to hear “it”.

The use of “it” is rife amongst all businesses today.

It” is jargon.

BS Free ZoneCall it what you want – catchphrases, buzzwords or business speak – either way, it’s completely incomprehensible and certainly damaging to presentations.

Indeed, the use of business speak has become so prevalent that campaigns have been set up to try and prevent the use of such jargon. There’s even a yearly online award for the worst offenders.

It is time to stamp it out!

Next time you write a presentation, we implore you to look closely at what you’re saying and how you’re saying it.

Then spend time to re-write it as simply as possible. After some soul searching, you’ll see that a very large proportion of your slides become more focussed and to the point. More importantly, they become easier to engage with and therefore much more likely to be understood.

As a rule of thumb, if you find yourself replacing “let’s run it up the flagpole” with “without leverage we won’t synergise” then you clearly need our help!  If not, read on for some common mistakes and how to tackle them.

Missing the point

Long words and incomprehensible sentences cloud your message. These tend to be used by people who are desperately trying to jazz up a presentation (you know who you are!).

Remember – the most effective way of communicating is the most basic.

Over complicate and over promise

The hard sell just doesn’t work.

Business people are generally intelligent folk. If you show them the facts in a clear, consultative manner, they can see for themselves the benefits of your proposal. 

Go on…show you audience some respect and give it a go.

Boredom

A presentation is about getting a message across.

The more attentive an audience, the more of the message will be absorbed. Now we’re not for one minute suggesting you perform magic tricks or show off with some juggling…just remember that long-winded business jargon is a surefire way of terminally boring the audience.

In Summary…

Your presentation is an opportunity to communicate, convince and instigate change. It’s a priviledge that shouldn’t be underestimated by the presenter.

Your audience are a captive audience, at least at the start of your presentation. The best way to lose them is to overcomplicate the delivery.

Tell your story in simple ways and in your own style – this will ensure you really get that message across

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