Back in the days before we had satnav systems to guide us, we used to plot out long journeys by a series of way points. We knew that as long as were on a certain road heading towards a certain place that we were on course. We then knew where we were headed after each landmark until we reached our destination.
"It takes me about 3 weeks to write a decent impromptu speech"
People sometimes need a bit of convincing when I tell them that the key to delivering natural and apparently unrehearsed presentations is to rehearse them; over and over.
‘If I over-rehearse it just won’t seem natural,’ they tell me. They’re almost right in one respect: standing up in front of your presentation slides and saying the first thing that enters your head certainly won’t look like you’ve rehearsed.
It also won’t look natural, as you will be stressed. You’ll be prone to ums, errs and verbal stumbles as you struggle to dredge up the important points you need to make from the depths of your increasingly panic-stricken mind.
Many people I work with say they don't want to lose the spontaneity of their presentations by over-rehearsing them. I sometimes wonder if this is just an excuse or whether they really believe it. The great Mark Twain certainly understood that impromptu and ‘natural’ speeches and presentations need preparation and practice – and plenty of it.
I have many years of senior sales and account management positions.
This experience taught me how to interpret exactly what clients are seeking, and what they need and expect to see and hear from the successful bidder. We draw on this experience to give your team an additional competitive advantage by building on their existing strengths while improving their team-working and self-awareness.
About Hugh Graham