A Presentation is a Gift

March 9, 2011

We don’t ‘do’ presentations. We ‘give’ presentations. And we should treat them as special gifts which we give to our audience.

When you give a gift at Christmas for example, you could just choose to give everyone a pair of socks. Would you really do that? Not if you want them to be truly grateful.

Instead, you would most likely choose a gift specially for each person, based on what they like and what they need, and perhaps based on what they told you they would appreciate. The best gifts are often hand-made or even made to order for a particular person.

So you should prepare your presentation in the same way. Make it the best gift you could offer to a particular audience on a particular day in a particular setting and context.

When opening presents (particularly from mothers-in-law and aunts), some people expect the worst, based on previous unpleasant presents. In the same way, when turning up for a presentation, many audience members expect the worst: a standard, boring talk. So it only takes a little effort to give them a pleasant surprise.

Don’t give socks. Make each presentation a personal gift – and your audience will thank you.

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