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We were recently asked on LinkedIn What It Takes To Be A Great Presenter

I honestly believe that in business and life there are 3 skills that all business owners need
– The Ability to Present
– The Ability to Write
– An Understanding Of Marketing

Now you’d expect a marketing company to talk about marketing and you know I used to be a journalist, so you understand how important writing is to me

But what you might not be aware of is the fact I’m a seasoned pro when it comes to presenting

It hasn’t always been that way. I used to be a wreck when I 1st started presenting. I’m just a normal working class lad who went to a comprehensive that didn’t run presenting workshops or debating contests to build up our confidence. I’d been a panellist before in my music industry days, but the only time I’d had to stand at the front of a room with the spotlight purely on myself was my 21st Birthday Party where I had to make a thank you speech


Everything is a performance whether it’s 121 or 1 to Many

Presenting is a skill that comes with practice. Although it’s not something we train on, we are highly experience with over 11 years’ experience of successful presentations to large audiences at venues such as Birmingham NEC, Birmingham NIA, Manchester Conference Centre and many more


5 Tips here on What It Takes to Be A Great Presenter

1. Study other presenters
This harks back to my days as a music journalist reviewing gigs and seeing hundreds of bands a year

Studying other presenters gives you a clear idea of what you like and dislike; which presenter traits stand out for you; how to start and end a presentation

My reactions over the years have gone from watching a banker present before me and realising I could put in 10% effort and still blow everyone away (Note: I still put in 100% effort)

… through to seeing someone present 2 hours after me and being grateful I didn’t have to follow them. They were funny, they had an accent and my accent is a non descript Altrincham accent (we really don’t have accents here)

Consume content

Comedians, News Readers, Musicians, Business Presentations

Be clear on what you love and what you hate

Note: There will always be traits you pick up / have that annoy you and you can’t stop doing. I always say “Hey guys” at the start of each presentation and I don’t know why because it irritates me a little


2. Expertise wins long term
Event professionals in many ways have sh*t in their own backyards

A speaker should be booked on the value and expertise they bring to the event – not their ability to pay for a stand at the expo

And of course, what has happened over the years is Event Professionals have been obsessed with making short term financial gains at the expense of their long time wins of a successful events brand

Book a sh*t speaker and people won’t come back again

As a presenter you really need to be a true expert in your subject, make sure your knowledge is up to date and be a student for life

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of being the presenter who’s 5 years out of date

Also, if someone asks you to speak about a subject and you’re not the best person for the job – recommend someone else is – you’ll gain more respect for doing that

Note: Give yourself 10 minutes on the day of the speaking gig to add something in that’s bang up to date in the last 24 hours (or adlib in your intro)

3. Be Obsessed With Value
Speak to the members of the audience that respect experts

80% of the people that listen to you speak are never going to buy from you anyway

They’re sat there to tick off CPD hours or because they want to sell their services to other attendees at the event

20% are there because you’re an expert and they don’t want to hear low level content that you’ve pitched low so that you can add a sales offer for the juicy stuff

Turn up to a presentation with the mindset of giving 100% value and you’ll speak to the 20% of the audience that are there because they need help in your subject and are simply looking for confirmation you’re the right person for the job

Note: Give your best content away in talks, your top tips and secrets. There’s still a huge difference between top tips and secrets to an audience and working 121 with someone

4. Entertain As Much As You Educate
The eager amongst you will notice I used the word performance earlier

Presenting is a performance – it’s not just reading a piece of paper or reciting a script

The best presenters perform

I talk about how my 14 years in music influenced how I put together a Business talk in the blog “Creating a Business Talk Like The Perfect Setlist‏” – it’s worth a read as that is the prequel to this blog here

A performance is the reason you go to a live show rather than sit at home and listen to the album

A presentation is why people turn up at 8am to hear you speak rather than just read your blog

Note: Your best blogs can be great performances when reworked – work out ways of using your best content more than once

5. Practice Adds Confidence
Like anything you get better with practice

I don’t mean rehearsing your presentation 20 times the night before – I mean getting out in front of an audience and doing it

You gain confidence and that fuels your future speaking events

I was 20 stone, unconfident and shy when I 1st started presenting

If I could get up in front of an audience then, there is nothing stopping you

Think of the end goal

Presenting well means more people see you as an expert

Note: Don’t wait for someone to ask for you to speak – email them right now and ask


Learning how to present will win you more business and in 2020 learning how to present online is just as important as face 2 face

Can you hold an audience’s attention via zoom as well as in a conference hall?

(Pics: Martin Hambleton – Commercial Photography Northwest)

Chat to us about Social Media Marketing for YOUR organisation , so we can better understand YOU and what will grow your organisation

We can only find out what is unique to your business by chatting with you

Look at our Social Media Training and Social Media Management services

We offer Social Media Training on
* LinkedIn
* Instagram
* Facebook
* Twitter
* Blogging

We can do this
* 121
* Corporate Workshops
* Group Workshops
* Face to Face or Via Zoom / Skype

Please call Alex on 07806774279 or email


Alex McCann

Author Alex McCann

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