(from a March 2006 article for the Pharmceutical Marketer's Club of Quebec)
Here’s the good news: If you can master all of the tricks, tips, hints, instructions, suggestions, ideas, beliefs and theories presented by Tom Mucciolo, you could sell tickets to your next big sales presentation. Seriously. You’d have scalpers outside the meeting room getting big bucks from ordinary people who want to see you perform. Because that’s what a presentation is supposed be—a performance.
Mucciolo’s own presentation on presentation skills is a tour de force. He’s funny. He’s serious. He’s entertaining. He’s informative. He’s animated. He’s interesting. In short, he’s a pretty good presenter. The question is: Are your presentations worth the entry fee? Since most of us present for free, the answer is yes. But we could be a heck of a lot better. If we listen to Tom Mucciolo.
Consider this: For any size audience, your presentation is 55% about how you look, 38% about how you present and 7% about what you say. What makes you believable? It’s not your content; it’s your delivery. So forget about being nervous and concentrate on your look, your attitude and your gestures because, together, they are going to make your presentations highly presentable.
First, get rid of the podium and get into the presenter’s triangle—the front, the middle and the back of the stage. Not working from a stage? Use your head. Literally. Tilt forward, go to the centre and tilt back. Every position gives meaning to what you are saying. When your body language changes, your audience pays more attention. You’re forcing them to watch. And they’re watching and listening to you, not your PowerPoint presentation.
Next, just about everyone uses PowerPoint and just about everyone mis-uses it. That moving type we all love? Ditch it. Whether it’s flying in from the top, sliding in from the sides or popping up from the bottom, it’s distracting at best and annoying at worst. Text is the anchor that supports what you are saying. Keep it brief; never more than one-line bullets. The attention should always be on you. So pay attention to what you are wearing, always work with the screen on your left, use your hands to emphasize a point, show your palms to earn their trust, look people in the eye or, if that makes you uncomfortable, the bridge of their nose, smile, and to increase memory, preface your serious message with something funny. After all, you need to give your audience their money’s worth.