Power point presentations with a few pictures and a lot of bulleted lists are the go to strategy for corporate profiles (or craft talks). But what tends to happen is that everyone adopts this same way of presenting their company and it gets quite frankly, boring. Plus, I see members re-using their presentation year after year and that is well, doubly boring.
I love to public speak and make it interesting, dynamic and fun. I have watched with interest the way people present and have listed some new ideas for your members to use.
And if you have members that HATE public speaking or are continuously cancelling on their presentation, each of these suggestions may remove the stressful burden of preparing for that presentation.
The TV talk show profile is easily the most hilarious and memorable profile I have ever seen. It happened one morning when our member, Michele, was scheduled to speak but came unprepared (one could argue whether she purposely didn't prepare hoping to get out of it or truly forgot). She happened to be sitting beside Jo-Anne, an outgoing and gregarious member, who offered to interview her. Chairs and tables were quickly rearranged and suddenly we had our very own talk show set.
Jo-Anne was very formal with her introductions 'Welcome to the CEA talk show, today's guest is Michele from ...." She proceeded to interview Michele on the history of her company, to products, services and much more. It was natural conversation, there was lots of laughter and it definitely kept everyone's attention and most importantly, it was incredibly effective in teaching us what Michele's company did.
Match up a member who is outgoing and comfortable at the front of a room with someone who dislikes presenting and have some fun with it.
Some businesses lend themselves to a visual presentation more than others. Photography is the obvious one but many businesses can be showcased through pictures. Examples are florists, electricians, landscape, architects, audio-visual professionals. These pictures speak to the quality of the work and can often say much more than a bulleted list on a power point. Set up a slide show and let the images go and then do a Q + A session at the end.
Often presenters prepare what they think members want to know but sometimes miss the mark. Bar stool interviews are question and answer style presentations that are completely driven by audience questions. It never fails that after one of these sessions, the presenter remarks on how they would never have presented on the questions that were asked.
In Calgary, this is the chosen method that our lawyer uses. She is bound by confidentiality so can't tell client stories and most people have a general idea of what a lawyer does so she has always struggled putting a presentation together. Q & A is what she has settled on and it answers the member's questions and highlights her knowledge and communication skills.
I would suggest that the speaker plants a few questions in the audience so things get going quickly and there is no awkward silence when they ask 'Anyone have a question?'.