The worst reason to give a presentation is because you were asked to or—even worse—you were told to.
The best reason to give a presentation is because you have a clear objective.
And the best way to give that presentation is in a way that achieves your objective and supports your brand.
It’s Not As Complicated as You Think
Ah yes, the five-letter word where so many people get lost: brand.
It’s not as complicated as you might think and you don’t have to be a multi-billion dollar corporation to have one.
Brand is simply the top of mind perception people have when they encounter you or think about you.
Discovering How Brand Works
Try this simple exercise:
Think about your dream car for a few seconds. See yourself driving it. Now, you get out of your dream car and look back at it over your shoulder.
Okay, what kind of car were you dreaming about? And what did you feel when you thought about that car?
It’s what people think about, what they feel, the perception they have when they either think about you, or encounter you.
Now, when it comes to brand, “you” can be an organization, like Tesla, or a department in an organization, the public relations department of a national bank, or “you” can be, well, you, your individual, professional brand.
You already have a brand—even if you aren’t aware of it—because people think of something when they think of you. The key is what do you want them to think of.
That is your brand target.
And it’s okay if you aren’t there yet. Maybe you want people to think of you as cutting edge, forward-thinking, super-sharp, and revolutionary. That’s a pretty aggressive brand. It’s bold. Maybe you aren’t quite there yet. That’s okay. Your own sense of your brand—whether organizational or individual—should be in part aspirational. That’s what drives you toward being more, toward being better.
Brands can be global like Coke (click here to see for yourself). Or they can be local, like a favorite restaurant with a loyal following where you live. Here’s my favorite Sushi restaurant. It’s not as big as Coke, but it has a great brand. I think of great thoughts when I think of them.
Get Clear on Your Brand
Once you get clear on your brand, then turn your attention to your presentations—regardless of whether those presentations are in-person or virtual. Now, ask yourself does your presentation and the way you
perform in that presentation supportyour brand or dilute your brand. Every barista at Starbucks is making a presentation when they take your order and present you with your drink. That’s a presentation. And it will look pretty similar regardless of whether you experience that presentation in Baltimore or Denver or San Diego.
Starbucks trains its people to support its brand.
Think of all of your communication and your interaction as presentations. If the way your interact supports your brand, do more of it. If it dilutes your brand, change it.
It really is that simple.
Step 1: Get clear on your brand.
Step 2: Get clear on what you want your brand to be.
Step 3: Make sure the way you perform in your presentations supports your brand.
Strong brands all have a few things in common. They know who they are. They know who they want to be. They do everything they can to make people think of them in those terms.
Building presentations that build your brand follow the same three-step approach.