By Dick Stark
Excellent presentation skills are essential for almost all of us. Whether you are in Sales or Operations, a single presentation may determine whether or not your organization wins a new job, or whether you kick off a new job successfully. The good news is that you don’t have to be Steve Jobs to be a great presenter. Here are a few tips from a two day Mandel class that I completed last week at BMC.
Have a Plan. At Mandel, that plan is known as the Mandel Blueprint Process. Begin by setting building specifications, build the core message using SCIPAB (see below), add detail, and finish with color spots. Effective communicators plan in advance, develop a compelling story, and make it easy for listeners to follow the narrative. Remember we do not sell ITSM software. We improve efficiency and reduce the overall cost of service management.
- Situation is “person chained to a railroad track.”
- Complication is a challenge, “train is coming.”
- Implication is the result, “she is going to die.”
- Position is our solution, “free her before the train arrives.”
- Action is “run to get the bolt cutter.”
- Benefit is “a life saved and no cleanup required.”
SCIPAB applied to a Remedy 8 upgrade. I understand that you have Remedy version 7.1. I further understand that Remedy is heavily customized, cumbersome, expensive to maintain and doesn’t really meet your needs anymore. What’s complicating the situation is the mix of contractors and consultants that have worked or attempted to work with Remedy over the years. As a result, your users are not happy with the slow response times and it is clear that Remedy is not meeting all your requirements.
Remedy is like a Ferrari parked in the garage, and by upgrading to version 8.1 you can get your Ferrari out of the garage and onto the super-highway. Let’s make this demo session is interactive—RightStar will show you how the new Remedy can better meet your needs with the end result — lower cost, improved efficiency, and excellent customer satisfaction.
What I learned. During the two day class we each gave seven presentations, each one videotaped. It’s amazing what we learned by watching ourselves and listening to feedback from others. For example, I’m working to improve my eye contact. I’ve found that, especially in a small group, it’s important to look everyone in the eye, not just the key decision makers. (Look at each person for a thought, three seconds or so, and then move on to someone else.). I’m also trying to improve how I work a room. (The actual process is look, move, and plant.) This takes practice, especially if you’re like me and have trouble walking and chewing gum.
One of the best ways to practice is to join a Toastmasters International chapter. This is a professional speaking organization with thousands of chapters all over the world. Meetings are normally every other week and there is a nominal fee to join. I’m proud to say that I’m a certified Toastmaster, having successfully completed ten speeches. If Toastmasters won’t work for you, then invest in a video camera with a stand.
Of course, watch out for clutter words like and, um, ah, so, you know. And don’t talk to the audience when your back is turned…