I was at an event this past weekend during which
the title sentiment of this post was driven home to me. (Watch my video here)
The event featured opportunities for
entrepreneurs to stand up and deliver their business pitch to a panel of
experts and receive feedback. In one of these sessions, five experienced
entrepreneurs took turns pitching.
The first three received some tough criticism.
Their presentations came across as weak and timid. Their body language was
hesitant and shy. They were inarticulate when describing their work. One even
asked the panel if she should get some presentation coaching. The panel’s
common critique for all three was that after listening to them, they still
didn’t know what they did or how they made money.
The two others then had their turns. These
entrepreneurs presented themselves well. They came across as sure of
themselves, looking and sounding confident. They made direct eye contact and
didn’t seem cowed or intimidated by the panel, who were subsequently
Here’s what got my attention: These two
entrepreneurs said virtually the same thing as the first three. The words were
disjointed and not particularly well-organized. I did not know what these two
did or how they made money, either. But because they said it in a more poised
and polished way, the panel felt they had done a good job.
Their nonverbal behaviors made them more believable.
This is what it means for you: All else
being equal, a good presentation can make the difference between winning and
losing. It can open doors and provide opportunities for a further look.
Confidence in oneself instills confidence in others.
Presentation was everything.
Ruth Sherman Associates
LLC / High-Stakes Presentation Skills Coaching, Consulting &
Media Training for CEOs, Celebrities & Politicians / Greenwich, CT. Connect
with me on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.