Jim Stone's blog on issues relating to creating professional presentations for the technology industry.


 

Credibility

Posted in [All], [Presentation Structure] By Jim Stone

So somehow you have managed to get in front of an audience.  Someone believed enough in you, your company or your products to give you a shot.  Early on in the presentation, you have to make the entire audience believe that you have the right to be presenting.  

Credibility is not about how many years experience you have; it is about why this audience should be listening to you  at this very moment.  So how do you establish your right to present?

Facts
If you can start your presentation with some solid facts that establish you understand the issues they are facing.  If you use industry research, present it in a way that is personal to them.  It establishes you as understanding the industry and the issues that face their company.

Tell a Story
If you look at the books on presentation skills, most talk about telling a story.  But what about if you selling hosting for cloud computing;  where do you get the story?  This is similar to facts in that you are telling a story that is meaningful to them such as how one of their competitors addressed the same challenges that they are facing.  Again, you are demonstrating your understanding of their issues.

If you notice a common theme here, you are right.  You are only credible if your audience believes you understand them.  Once you have that out of the way, the next step is persuading them that you actually have a solution for them.

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