There are times in professional life when it is necessary to make a personal presentation that encompasses your achievements, emphasizes your qualifications and captures the interest of the client or investor in question. The problem is that many of the opportunities that come up are at very short intervals of time. It may sound impossible, but if you practice your proposal until you master the presentation, you'll be confident enough to deliver a good speech and further achieve that goal.
Part 1 of 3: Establishing the Main Points
Step 1. Start by saying who you are and what you do
It is not advisable to start a presentation without introducing yourself initially. Starting out by telling the story of how you got your titles and qualifications will leave your listener confused and surprised, to say the least.
- You can start your speech with a “Hello, I'm Fulano da Silva. I just graduated from UFRJ in advertising and marketing” or “Hi, my name is Beltrano dos Santos and I work as a retail sales representative”.
- That way, your listener will know your name and the information that interests them most at the time, which is what you do.
Step 2. Tell us what your goal is
Now that you've formally introduced yourself, it's time to say what brings you to the occasion you're in, whether it's a job opportunities fair or the elevator in an office building where you've just turned in a résumé.
- For example, if you are at a trade show, your goal is probably to find work. In that case, say “Hello, I'm Fulano da Silva. I just graduated in advertising and marketing at UFRJ and I'm looking for a job in the creative area”.
- Another option would be to mention something like “Our auto parts production is in full swing and our goal is to reach a new level of sales in the company's history”.
- Following this logic, your listener will know who you are, what you do and what you intend, all in a simple sentence or two.
Step 3. Talk about your achievements
If there's anything that can convince your interlocutor that you'll reach your goal, it's knowing all the goals you've already achieved, so talk about your background. One structure that can help you is the CAR – çcontext, Theaction adopted and rresult of the action.
For example, let's say your achievement was to ramp up sales in the last quarter. The context would be the department's stagnation and its desire to improve this scenario. Its action could be a meeting with the team to re-elaborate sales strategies and the result, as expected, was the intensification of sales in the last quarter
Step 4. Talk about your skills
Now that your interlocutor knows how you might have been of use to others in the past, complement that information with your skills. Talking about your talents is the way your listener will know how you can eventually be of use to them. Talk about your technical skills and academic achievements, but don't leave out social and behavioral skills, such as your good interpersonal skills and talent for leadership.
For example, you might say "I have an MBA in marketing and worked for eight years as a sales assistant for a smaller competitor and my superiors have always described me as persuasive and eloquent."
Step 5. End the presentation with a proposal for action
A good ending to your presentation is to offer or request (depending on the situation) a meeting to seal this new contact.
For example, say something like “We can schedule a meeting to discuss how I could improve your company's sales” or “I think I could make incredible improvements in your sales department. How about we exchange our contacts and talk better in a meeting?”
Part 2 of 3: Keeping the Caller's Interest
Step 1. Make eye contact
Don't stare at the floor, ceiling, or anything else other than your listener's face. Look him in the eye when you're talking and he's likely to identify with your professionalism more easily.
Step 2. Be confident
Approaching a stranger to introduce yourself and talk about your achievements may make you uncomfortable, but if you have self-confidence this feeling will pass faster and your listener will have a better impression of you. In order for him to believe that you are capable of fulfilling the role you set yourself, it is necessary before you believe in yourself.
Step 3. Use catchy and expressive terms
This is a good technique to keep the listener interested and entertained by what you have to say. In general, using terms that are too bland makes the person sound discouraged.
Some examples of expressive words are "immediate", "guaranteed", "instantly", "impressive", "unique", "impressive" and "bold"
Step 4. Watch your physical posture
You must be friendly, engaging and open during your presentation and your posture can reinforce that image. Face your listener, put your hands in your pockets and stand up straight.
Step 5. Talk about your motivation
A key to personal presentation is getting the speaker to agree with your cause, and to achieve that, you'll have to talk about it.
- For example, you can say that you want to intensify auto parts sales because you think a good company should provide a decent service that contributes to the quality of life of its customers. Showing that you care about others, and not just about promotions and money, can be the little push your listener needs to convince themselves.
- Say something like “I spent a few years studying in India and seeing how those people live without access to clean water made me see how fundamental this is to a decent life. I want all homes to have a water purifier in their kitchens, as this will improve people's quality of life.”
Step 6. Don't use the jargon of your area
It's one of the easiest ways to lose your listener's attention during a personal presentation. Your interlocutor will not understand what you are saying and will lose interest. Prefer to use simpler and more direct words.
Step 7. Show interest in your listener
Don't monopolize the conversation and walk away afterwards, listen to what he has to say. If he has any questions, be available to answer them and, to make him more comfortable, ask something personal. For example: “Where did you go to school? How did you develop your career?”. This will turn a simple presentation into an informal chat, more enjoyable for both of you.
Part 3 of 3: Practicing Your Speech
Step 1. Time your time
When you see that your presentation has a solid outline, count the time it takes to speak it out loud. Use your cell phone's timer or an alarm clock, start counting when you start talking and stop when you're done. Then see if you've covered all the relevant points in a minute or two.
If it takes longer than that, don't rush. Speaking too fast will make it clear that you are delivering rehearsed speech and he will lose interest when he senses you are synthesizing information out of nervousness
Step 2. Review your presentation
Once you get the perfect timing for your speech, it's time to trim the edges. Review your speech, see where it can be cut or emphasized. Also, it should be updated according to your new experiences, skills and goals from time to time.
Step 3. Adapt the speech to each situation
The idea is not to format a standard speech for everyone you talk to, occasions and people will be different. Whenever such an opportunity arises, practice your speech, even if the foundation is already in place.
- At an opportunity fair, for example, it would be best to emphasize the objectives related to your area of expertise and the skills that make you the perfect choice to be the new member of a team.
- In an event to develop a network of contacts and expand the customer base, the best thing would be to focus on goals related to customer retention and skills that influence prospecting for new customers.
Step 4. Don't rehearse too much
You should practice enough to feel like you know everything there is to be said by heart and sautéed within a limited time, but overdoing it can make your presentation stale and tedious. Know what you want, but say it in an engaging and personal way.
Step 5. Ask your friends for their opinion
The next step is to make your presentation to friends and family and ask for feedback. This will help you figure out if you're going too fast, if it sounds like a rehearsed speech, and if it's interesting enough.
- Don't sound like a pretentious person. It's one thing to act confidently, but thinking you're better than others is another. Ask your interlocutor questions, be interested in his background. That's the best way not to sound smug.
- Dress for the job you want. Your personal presentation depends on a clean, professional look, or the person won't look at you twice – in which case, your speech won't matter.