Presentation Skills, The Apprentice and Mark Wright

Yesterday Mark Wright, winner of last years BBC Apprentice, launched the website for his business with Lord Sugar. It got us thinking about his most memorable moment on the show, which wasn’t storming to victory in the final, but this:

Throughout the series, Mark came across as a confident, self-assured, presenter. Yet when it came to a task where he had to present to a small group of four supermarket executives he choked – literally. So, what made a seemingly capable person become ineffective at presenting themselves?  One of the most common reasons is simply a lack of preparation. Not just in terms of putting your notes together, but in focusing the presentation itself. Even if you are about to do a less formal presentation, maybe even one to one, ask yourself:

  • Who are you presenting to?
  • What is the point?
  • What do they want?
  • What is the culture of the group you are presenting to?

Once you’ve answered those questions try visualising the presentation in your minds eye. Imagine how you want it to go. Imagine it going well. What will you see? What will you hear? And what will you feel when it’s going well? Doing this may sound a little strange, but it is proven to have a positive effect by sending messages to your conscious mind.

The biggest tip is to be passionate about your topic and let that enthusiasm come out. Yes, you need great content. Yes, you need professional, well designed visuals but it is all for naught if you do not have a deep, heartfelt belief in your topic. The biggest item that separates mediocre presenters from world class ones is the ability to connect with an audience in an honest and exciting way. Don’t hold back. Be confident. And let your passion for your topic come out for all to see. In the Apprentice final Mark presented about a topic he was passionate about and gave a convincing enough presentation to win the competition.

You can find out a whole host of other presentation gems on our one day Presenting With Confidence workshop.

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