Presenting and The Apprentice

The boys’ team, led by Stella (who I believe did a sterling
job in keeping them focused and organised) were seriously lacking in
presentation skills. In fact, the girls weren’t much better (there seemed to be
quite a few made up words thrown into the mix).

Presentation skills don’t come naturally to everyone. This
is apparent when watching The Apprentice. What I found worrying was that when
Stella attempted to put forward her concerns, the contestant involved attacked
her management style in his piece to camera. A more useful approach would have
been to ask for constructive criticism and use it to improve their pitch.

So, what was wrong with the presentation?

1.     The delivery style did not engage.

Speaking in a monotone conveys disinterest and a lack of confidence in the
product. To keep the audience interest, we must vary our tone of voice and LOVE
the product we’re selling.

2.     Learning a script will backfire.

I got the impression that the pitch was far too scripted; the comments of “no,
that’s wrong” on the boys’ first run through gave that away. To successfully
sell yourself and your product in a pitch, list the key points and benefits,
don’t learn a script. If you forget a word in the script then the whole thing
can fall apart.

3.     Key questions.

For each point that’s made about a feature or a benefit, the presenter needs to
ask themselves, “so what?” If we don’t ask ourselves that, we won’t be prepared
for when the audience asks that question. And ask, they most certainly did!
Justification, engagement and preparation are all necessary for a successful
pitch.

The Apprentice candidates need to begin to hone their
presentation and pitching styles to be credible to their potential customers. I
look forward to seeing their progress.

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