You’ve been offered a spot as “Member in Focus” at a Chamber event. What
a great opportunity! Do you relish the chance to stand in the spotlight, in front of 140 people? Or do you shrink from the thought of being up there
on your own: exposed, vulnerable and tongue-tied? Perhaps you leap at the chance initially and then wonder what on earth am I going to say?
Whatever your adrenal system is shouting at you, this is a rare chance to stand up in front of a friendly crowd, where there might be some potential new
connections and opportunities that come through being seen and heard. There is also a platform provided for you, to share something of value that could
positively impact some people. Even those who already know you, could discover something new - about you, your business and how you help your clients
– or perhaps even about themselves!
Then, just as you have warmed up to the benefits of doing this and begin to put some ideas together, you realise that you have strictly 2 minutes to deliver
ALL of this. It’s clear in the communication from the event manager that you need to be on time and you should practice beforehand to ensure that your
presentation fits into the production schedule. Now this is getting serious! A whole new wave of emotion is mobilised – frustration, annoyance, panic
or even laughter!
That’s how it was for me when preparing for my Partner in Focus spot at our Chamber’s recent Celebrating Women in Business function. I am an experienced presenter to groups of various sizes and I knew how to prepare myself as I always do and as I teach to my clients. The challenge was to convey a clear and impactful message about myself and my company, while also offering value.
After my 2-minute presentation, Anthony Moss enthused that I had ‘nailed it’ and other seasoned presenters congratulated me as well. Anthony asked me to share with members how I approached this challenge and to offer training or coaching for members who would like to hone their own 2-minute Member-in-Focus presentations. Hence this article.
Below is a summary of the steps I took in getting ready. Believe me, with the number of new conversations already scheduled since the event, the additional
confidence I’ve enjoyed thanks to the positive feedback, a deeper connection with the events team, meeting two amazing speakers and the satisfaction
of producing an important new piece of content - it was well worth all the effort involved!
It's truly a wonderful developmental experience for anyone, to learn the discipline and commit to the practice required, in getting to the point! Here
are the 7 things I did:
1. I began with content I already had, to avoid reinventing when I could reuse
a. I pulled together about 15 slides and created a few more
b.The final culled version 5 had 8 slides, #1 was just my logo and the last slide was ‘thank you’.
2. Asked my ‘angels’ - trusted advisors: What to include?
a. I asked my close network of fellow coaches, and people I’m doing a public speaking course with.
b.Also my MyBoard team and my marketing coach.
3. I checked out and connected with the other speakers. This is a team effort!
4.I studied the agenda, where I fitted in and was mindful of balancing consistency with the event theme, with my uniqueness and message.
5.The final cut:
a. The ‘angels’ all said that in such a short window I should focus on ONE message idea only, with a relatable offer:
i. My key message was: “Leadership is an inside job”. I spoke about the need for business owners to manage their mindset and their energy well, so that they can be the fully-present and inspirational leaders they need to be
ii. My gift for the day (that people could sign up for) was a copy of my new e-book “Its not just the Flu that’s Making You Tired: 12 Common Energy Drainers and How to Deal With Them”; and/or a complimentary business and energy health check with me.
b. Since people can read my bio and company profile on my website, I pointed to it on a slide but did not reiterate what's already there
c. I include some storytelling that was personal and relevant
i. I shared in 20 seconds, how I came up with the name and branding Iris Group for my coaching business
ii. I shared one client’s story using images and quotations from her testimonials; also a conceptual graphic, showing how I work.
6. Practice with a timer until you have control of this beast!
a. I rehearsed each version of the presentation, using the voice recorder on my phone, then playing back and noticing where I was still waffling
b. I used a combination of scripting/reading and then highlighting keywords until I no longer required notes
c. Developed a clear structure as to how my 120 seconds were to be allocated across the slides
d. Reached a stage where I could fully trust myself to deliver on time.
7. Manage your energy:
a. Have a clear intention as to how you want to connect with people and the impression you want to generate
b. Organise yourself so you can be in that energy on the day (well rested, handouts ready, well hydrated, early/on-time, clear calendar so you don’t have to rush off afterwards)
c. Relax and enjoy your moment!
If you would like a personal session with me to help you with presentation skills or delivery please email me here and we can discuss timing, fees, etc.
If you are interested in attending a group training session run by me on behalf of the Chamber, please contact Amanda – admin@sydneyhillsbusiness - to register your interest.
About the author: Sue Tsigaros is a business coach and mentor, Director of Iris Group, and SHBC silver support partner.