“It’s All in the Delivery”

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You know what they say when a joke falls flat: “It’s all in the delivery.” Well, it’s true to a great extent with presentations as well.

I’ve had clients who are smart as can be, do a phenomenal job of putting together information in a thorough and logical manner and excel in creating strategies, concepts and solutions, etc., butif they don’t present their content in a style and with a confidence that matches the high quality of their material, its impact will be limited. In fact, the audience could miss much of the content because it’s not being presented as if it’s important.

For example:

You’re giving a presentation and explaining a solution to your client. You have all the facts, the data, an insightful vision, and convincing arguments. But you recite it like a shopping list. Your voice is small, every sentence has the same tone, inflection, pace and volume. Nothing stands out as more important than the rest. The hierarchy of the concepts is lost. It all seems equal when in reality some parts are bigger picture messages, others are sub-points and still others are supporting information/details.

To avoid this lackluster delivery style, you need to treat your information like it’s important and believe in it. Search yourself to find some sort of passion for it (okay, that’s relative.) Then harness those feelings when you deliver. Speak with a commanding voice, particularly when you say things you need them to remember, such as a bigger picture message. Vary your pace, your volume and your inflection to reflect the significance of the material. Pause where taking a break would help them to understand the hierarchy/structure of the information you present.

In short, you cannot rely on the content alone to adequately convey your message. If you could, wouldn’t it be easier for all involved to simply send a Word document and call it a day? When you deliver your presentation, think about when you tell a successful joke. It’s conversational, dynamic, has a varied pace and you give punch to the important points. Without those elements the joke would probably fall flat. So yes, “it’s all in the delivery.”

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