The time to be convincing and concise in your speeches and presentations is now. You can’t expect someone else to do it for you, and you definitely can’t expect your audience to listen to your blabbing over and over again.
Even the most experienced executive needs to convince a board during a presentation.
“The key to brevity in the boardroom is to always start by asking, what does the board already know?” says Elie Maalouf, an experienced business executive and chief executive officer of The Americas at InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG). “You really must have a good feeling for what the shared platform of information is. It’s vital to first understand that common ground.”
If you think about it, the same is true for sales presentations, or any kind of presentation. Instead of wasting time introducing yourself and your company to clients who already have access to basic information, focus on convincing them why your recommendation should merit their support.
Focus on sharing only new and meaningful information, and your presentation will transform in a conversation.
It’s Time to Be Convincing and Concise
Timing is crucial when delivering a presentation to your boardroom members, or a sales pitch to your clients, when pitching your business idea to investors, or when you want to get your employees to adopt a new initiative.
You need to make an impression of the value you will deliver in the first five minutes of your presentation, and you can do that by being convincing and concise.
You also need to observe how your statements affect your audience by studying their body language. You can easily tell if the information you’re sharing is sinking in, or whether somebody wants to stop and dive in somewhere.
“Speaking slowly and sensing the mood in the room will give you command of the situation. You’ll also be able to stop where you need and to take a question. Because when people are festering on a question, they’re not hearing the next 10 pages you go through,” Maalouf said.
Be Prepared to Condense Your Speech
Whether presenting in front of a boardroom or pitching a new client, you always have to be prepared to condense your pitch. Something can happen at any moment of your presentation: Your client might have an emergency to take care of, his or her schedule might suffer drastic changes, and from two hours of presentation you might find yourself with only 30 minutes.
“Brevity should not be conflated or confused with lack of information,” Maalouf warns. “Give your audience brevity and assurance.”
Remember, the key to successful presentations and pitches is to be convincing and concise.
Want to know more about being brief? Check out The Brief Practitioner, an online course from The Brief Lab that teaches executives how to avoid information overload and become lean, effective leaders and communicators.