Why so many presentations fail
July 26th, 2006
failed presentations have a high personal cost, and a high financial cost to a business.
A recent survey suggests that 80% of business presentations fail as a consequence of poor preparation, posing a real threat to organizations that may not get a second opportunity to remedy the situation. Whilst we can only hazard a guess as to the financial consequences of a failed presentation, we all can share the irritation of delayed and wasted meetings, postponed presentations or the embarrassment of paper handouts.
failed presentations are caused by a magnitude of factors, but presenters rarely consider failure due to technological or preventable human failure. As a generation, we have become too familiar with reliability, and most organizations have contingency plans for recovery in the event of floods, fires and theft. Yet, when was the last time you considered what could cause failure in an important pitch, from pc failure (9%), through to the client reducing the time available by half on the day of the event (3%). As a seasoned presenter, I have had my fair share of disasters from power cuts, through to squirrels eating through my car fuel line causing me to turn up, considerably later than expected. It is through these experiences, and I can say with authority that an unexpected event will occur 10% of the time you present.
Planning for failure is as important as planning for success. I always ask my clients four simple questions:
what happens if the technology fails
what would happen if one of your team members fails to show
what would happen if the presentation is cut unexpectedly short
what exactly would happen if you didnít reach your objective?
Rarely do I get an answer for the first three questions, but not surprisingly, I always get a huge response from the last question.
Whilst we canít eradicate the risk of squirrels spoiling your big day, we can plan for that eventuality. Start by having a backup presentation that doesnít require any technology, carry a box that has spare pens, an extension lead and bulbs in it, and ensure that another team member is well versed in your presentation. These simple things will help you cope with disaster, increasing your chances of success significantly.
Notes to editors:
The Oatmeal Group is a
More information on The Oatmeal Group can be found on the company website at www.oatmealgroup.com
Further enquiries to:
John Davies (Marketing) Ė 0843 289 1249
Working with Oatmeal opened our eyes to the many pitfalls of poor presentations. In accessible language, they showed us what to do, and what not to do, and gave us a series of practical guidelines and tools to ensure we inform, educate and inspire our audiences.
Oatmealís commitment to providing a first class service to its customer has been second to none and I have been extremely pleased with their openness and commitment to understanding the needs of Equalities training in relation to Business Support in Wales.
Since working with the Oatmeal team our staff have increased their productivity but more importantly their confidence and self worth has really improved. The business has benefited in financial terms with increased revenue coming into the club as a direct result of adopting the Oatmeal way of working.
As a company that has benefited from Oatmealís marketing consultancy I can say unreservedly that they are second to none with regard to their knowledge, flexibility, good advice and strong management.
Oatmeal opened our thoughts and got us to work in a new, better, more exciting way. The results for the business have been beyond our expectations. Our sales presentations are now twice as effective as before. We now regularly work with Oatmeal to ensure we donít lose the edge.
The level of service has just been outstanding and Johnís wealth of knowledge and experience has just shone through. The Oatmeal group not only come up with great ideas but work very closely with you to implement and evaluate them.
From the outset, the Oatmeal Group,has enlightened our views on what marketing really involves. I would not hesitate to recommend the Oatmeal Group and as a company, we are looking forward to a long and fruitful business relationship with them.
The Oatmeal Group came highly recommended to us. Their direct approach and commitment gave quick and tangible results.
John Davies of The Oatmeal Group has delivered a number of training workshops on 'Creating Presentations with Impact' for WIBF. These workshops tend to be hugely successful with an attendance of approximately 70, these events were very well presented and exceeded my expectations.