How many times has this happened to you?
There’s a group of people in a conference room, and someone is presenting to that group on a plan that they are proposing. You are not in that conference room. You are on the phone.
During the presentation, the presenter says things like this:
- “As you can see, this number indicates that we should move these things right here over to this part of the operation.”
- “Look at this number here! Quite surprising!”
- “As you can from this area, we have some work to do.”
Meanwhile, you’re not exactly sure which slide they’re on.
I have been on the receiving end of these presentations throughout my career. As a result, I’ve become pretty focused on doing the following. For the sake of your presentation’s success, I recommend you try to adopt these same practices, if you don’t already.
- As you advance the slide, give a verbal cue to listeners. “As we move to slide 14, which it titled ‘Revenue Outlook’, you’ll see that ….”
- Point with your voice as well as your finger/big stick/laser pointer. “As you can see here – callers, I’m pointing at the column titled ‘Eastern Region Results’ – you see that revenue came in at….”
- Repeat the question. Presenters are usually near the mic, while conference room attendees sometimes are not. Assume that the callers won’t hear the entire question, so incorporate the question into your response. “Susan asked if we anticipate break-even this year. Based upon the graph on slide 14 titled ‘ROI’, I project that….”.
These are simple rules, but if you follow them you’re more likely to convey your point to all meeting participants – not just the ones in the same room as you.
Also, you will be telling the callers that their opinion and participation is as important as anyone else’s. An added bonus is that you won’t only be including the callers more directly in the meeting, but the callers will be on notice that their participation isn’t taken for granted.
This leads to a more engaged and focused participant in the success of the meeting, and a better overall meeting.