Reprinted from The Financial Times


Businesses Need To Make It A Drama

Hardly a week goes by without some survey detailing the Dos and Don’ts of business presentation. One might tell you to spend more time on voice projection or content and then another will stress power dressing, offering that an audience’s favourable reaction depends on them liking what you wear; blue, apparently, demands respect whilst green and brown suggest a friendly, but terminally boring presenter.

By the next week, of course, some other researcher will point out that changing their corporate colours to blue didn’t help a well known Cola company, and that the leading High Street clothing retailer is doing fine with green, thank you very much.

So, where does today’s businessman go to sort the good advice from bad? More and more he turns to companies like Pow’r Communication, a Presentation Training Company run by former television presenter Paul Coia.

“The problem is that most business people don’t make big presentations on a regular basis”, says Coia. “People like us are out there every single day pitching with and to clients so we know the short cuts and what works.”

Coia believes his TV experience has many lessons for business leaders in controlling the interest and behaviour of their audience. The largest audience Coia has had to address is around 53,000 but he maintains the size of audience matters not a jot.

“That large crowd was at the opening of the Paralympics, and featured the crowned heads of Europe. I had to walk on to the field and address them for thirty minutes but the basics remained the same as in a “one on one” presentation. Make each individual feel you’ve made eye contact with them, speak from the heart, have a logical narrative and, no matter how serious the subject, make it entertaining so the message is remembered.”