Jun 11, 2009

Early bird catches the worm

You are going to make a sales pitch or you are making the final presentation after a month long market research. The stakes are high. How your presentation goes matters to your company and to your career. You are well prepared and ready with a good presentation. What do you do next?

You arrive late at the venue and get off to a bad start!

Yes. That's whats been happening with many people who make presentations. Being a part of corporate India I get to see many presentations. From prospective business partners, creative and media agencies to market research firms, and the like.

What's common to all these presentations is that most of the presenters either reach the venue 5 minutes before or just in time. That's detrimental. If you want to present at 2pm, you need to be at the venue at least by 1.30pm.

Reaching early has multiple advantages:

1. You reduce your nervousness by settling down at the place. You get to familiarize with the venue.
2. You can set up the projector and do a dry run once just to thwart any technical snag during the presentation.
3. You can build a rapport with the audience by having a small chat with the stakeholders who will form part of the audience.
4. You can get some important pieces of information about the company/location where you are making the presentation. You can refer to these tidbits of information when you want to add humor.

So the next time you are going to present, make sure you reach at least half an hour early. That will go a long way in reducing your nervousness and make you feel confident and start on a good wicket.

Have you seen people making a mess of their presentations by arriving late? How often do you yourself reach 30 minute before? Leave a comment.