A while ago we said that we give presentations to make money. Today I want to make another sweeping and controversial statement.
Each presentation we give is an exercise in leadership.
Leaders have one aim. Make other leaders. To make other leaders, you need:
- A vision
- The ability to share the vision
- A definite direction to follow in order to realise the vision
Put away all the books about what makes a leader. Instead, get out in front of people, give great presentations and test your leadership muscles.
Start each presentation with a vision. By this, I mean before you have even put pen to paper or opened up your laptop, get a clear idea of what you want your presentation to acheive. A big part of this should be that you want your audience to spread the messages and stories you tell them. In other words, you want to create other leaders. Therefore, keep your vision simple, clear and concise.
When it comes to sharing the vision, be original. Take people out of their comfort/slumber zones. Give them analogies. Tell them interesting stories. For instance, Fred Perry played in his first Wimbledon final with a badly injured knee, but before he took to the court he had already decided what his victory celebration would be. As soon as his winning shot hit the turf he performed a cartwheel and jumped the net, just as he planned in the dressing room. Link that to your current situation at work – how to play through the pain barrier, how to stick to a vision against the odds, how to execute against a plan. Give a prize to anyone wearing a Fred Perry shirt. Whatever you do, give people a reason to follow your vision and share your ideas.
Every presentation you give from now on should be a workout for your leadership qualities. You have them already. Go and use them.