Presentation lessons from Sam Allardyce

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015 by Simon Morton

Being a Premier League football manager is tough.

The egos, the press, the fans…they all seem to conspire to make your life hell.  The last thing you need is your presentation adding to the woes…which is exactly where ‘Big’ Sam Allardyce, current manager of Sunderland, found himself a few years ago.

Imagine the scene a few years ago.  In the wake of a tough World Cup campaign, Big Sam had been given the opportunity to go for the top job – England Manager.

This is the stuff of childhood dreams, allowing him to wave goodbye to the heady heights of managing Bolton Wanderers and taking his beloved national side to glory.

So he did what ever aspiring manager would do, spending hours, days, weeks creating the best blinking PowerPoint deck you could imagine.

“”I wanted to do a real knock-your-socks-off interview for the FA, so I put together a PowerPoint which looked at every single detail.

“There was nothing missing. Nobody but nobody was going to beat it”

A big PowerPoint file from a big man for a big opportunity.  Well done Sam…or maybe not.

Only problem was that the Football Association (the much loved FA) didn’t have a projector or any means of showing off Sam’s PowerPoint masterpiece.  They couldn’t even print it off.

Oh dear.  The rest is history with the dream job going to Steve Mclaren (albeit briefly).

Lessons learned:

  • If you rely on technology to tell your story, you’re fighting with one hand behind your back before you’ve even started. (ref. Eyeful Training)
  • Always have an alternative option or 2 up your sleeve (ref. Blended Presenting)
  • Think about your audience and their expectations first (ref. Audience Heatmapping)

I think that’s enough ref’s for now…Sam is not a big fan.

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