You don’t have to be the best presenter to be the right presenter - The Pickering Group

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You don’t have to be the best presenter to be the right presenter

A lot of books out there focus on the leader’s duty to deliver inspiring messages, unite teams, and drive people towards a common purpose. But what about the presentations that happen at every level of your organisation? What do you do when you’re trying to persuade your people, and you’re not at the top of the heap?

It turns out that this position can work to your advantage.

While everyone can be a great presenter, not every great presentation is going to come from the head honcho or the most bombastic, energetic speaker. Let’s look at why not being the “best” for the job might actually make you the right person.

Lived experience is everything

I’ve spoken a lot about storytelling lately, both here and over on LinkedIn. Stories have the powerful ability to link theory to practise – but they can have a very different impact, depending on the mouth it’s coming from.

Hearing a message from the survivor of a car crash will resonate very differently from the CEO of the company who made the safety features. The people who designed a piece of software have different knowledge than the product’s salespeople.

Lived experience counts for a lot, and you can use that to your advantage. When you’re preparing for your next presentation, consider a personal or professional story that can act as an example or metaphor for the message you’re trying to convey. Or if you’re organising speakers for a larger-scale event, ask who can best illustrate the point. 

Being the pro might not be everything

I love the way a professional speaker can light up a big room. They often know the techniques to engage their audiences, speak clearly, and know how to build a really effective presentation.

But for those weekly presentations, or those one-on-ones that we are far more likely to have to prepare for, big room styles aren’t necessarily going to be the right fit – in the same way that a detailed, technical presentation may not work at a town-hall meeting. That’s where you need to be able to access a more authentic, genuine version of yourself that’s the right size for the audience.

Those with the most presentation skills often put their hands up first to speak, but just because they’re the “best” presenter doesn’t mean you should be presenting in every situation. Instead, think about how you can bring your own experiences and stories to a role and offer a different perspective and approach. Plus it’ll give you a chance to grow your skills.

There’s a time and a place for the leader, the specialist, and the person on the street

There’s always going to be a place for the leadership team or the most experienced presenter to speak. But consider what impact you could have as someone speaking passionately and authentically from your experiences on the ground. 

Some of the best presentations come from the people you least expect – and it’s often us that we put at the bottom of the list. 

You might be surprised at what happens when you put up your hand, and take the opportunity to practise purposeful communication in your own way. So what are you waiting for?

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