Delivering knock-out presentations

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					Delivering knock-out
A Bladonmore guide to developing clear and
persuasive communications skills
Making an impact

When the CEO of a multilateral trading facility
wanted to make a big impression with a highly
cynical audience at an annual trade
conference, he called Bladonmore.
“This must be the best speech at the event,”
was his simple brief.

By partnering our client with one of     Making this type of impact in your
Bladonmore’s top speechwriters, hours    presentations isn’t easy, but everybody
of valuable time preparing for the       can learn to make their presentations
event were saved. Bladonmore wrote       truly memorable.
the speech, created stunning visuals
and developed a boxing theme, which      Bladonmore has extensive experience
resulted in our client coming on stage   in coaching senior executives to
wearing a pair of red boxing gloves.     communicate effectively with their
                                         key audiences. We work with
The speech was unlike the usual          CEOs and CFOs from Europe’s
conference speech and proved to be a     largest companies and top financial
huge hit. Attendees were still talking   PR agencies.
about it a year later.
                                         This guide focuses on how you can
Our client achieved his objective of     succeed in your presentations.
ensuring his firm was seen as the        Whether you are preparing for an
leader in its market, and today the      offsite event, client pitch or conference
business continues to grow.              speech, it aims to provide you with
                                         advice and fresh ideas for taking your
                                         presentations to the next level.

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                                                         Tactics for staying off the ropes
                                                          Understand your objectives                   Make the right impression

                                                          What’s your objective in the communication   Practise techniques to mitigate the effects
                                                          and what do you want to achieve from it?     of nerves and appear relaxed and confident.
                                                          Ask yourself: “What do I want from my        Enthusiasm and eye contact are the best ways
                                                          audience?” Do you wish to persuade your      to establish a rapport with any audience.
                                                          listeners or just inform them?
                                                                                                       Start and finish strongly
                                                          Prepare a clear, compelling proposition
                                                                                                       There are only two occasions in a
                                                          To convey any message, you first need to     presentation when you can be sure of having
                                                          be clear exactly what the message is. Plan   the audience’s attention – at the start and at
                                                          this by working out your objectives for      the end. Structure your presentation effectively
                                                          the communication. Present a handful of      to ensure you engage its interest from the very
                                                          coherent, concise messages rather than       beginning right through to the final sentence.
                                                          overwhelming your audience with evidence.
                                                                                                       Prepare for Q&As
                                                          Focus on the audience
                                                                                                       Consider question topics, rather than trying to
                                                          A clear, audience-focused main message       prepare for every conceivable question, and
                                                          is the best way to capture its attention     plan relevant key phrases and examples for
                                                          and engage with it. Do some analysis and     your responses.
                                                          put yourself in your audience’s shoes. In
                                                          doing so, ask yourself: “Why am I in the     Practise, practise, practise
                                                          audience?”, “What are my main concerns
                                                          just now?” and “What are my expectations?”   Keep practising until you feel very
                                                                                                       comfortable. If you are presenting in a team,
                                                                                                       practise as a team. If you are rehearsing for
                                                                                                       a big pitch, bring in experts to help polish the
                                                                                                       delivery and content.

When your guard is down   ■ Using jargon
                          ■ Poor handling of questions
                                                         ■ Lack of clarity and engagement
                                                         ■ Over-reliance on PowerPoint
                                                                                                       ■ Not enjoying the whole process
                                                                                                       ■ Assuming the audience understands your
                          ■ Rushing your talk            ■ Trying to convey too much information         business, or even knows what you do

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    Six heavyweight ideas for
    the coming months
           1. Keynote speechwriting and preparation

           Using a full script for speeches is reassuring for
           speakers, but scripts are often poorly written. Seek
           advice on how to structure and “conversationalise”
           a script or invest in training your communications
           team to do this.
                                                                  5. Introduce presentation skill
           2. Simulate an event to improve team skills            assessments into appraisals

           By simulating an upcoming or imaginary event –         By making personal communication skills
           from a big pitch to a corporate crisis – adrenaline    quantifiable and a part of career development,
           will flow and the communications skills of your        you are building useful skills in the organisation.
           team can be tested to the extreme.                     Ideally, you want every employee to be a faithful
                                                                  ambassador and a strong advocate of your firm.
           3. Understand basic body language skills
                                                                  6. Launch your own Pitch Winning Academy
           Invest time in understanding the basics of body
           language to interpret the unprompted signals           Launch a comprehensive programme to sharpen
           provided across a table. It is possible to learn a     the pitching skills of your staff. Your company can
           number of tells unconsciously communicated by          learn structured techniques to prepare effectively,
           the people sitting opposite you. Dedicating three      to win client confidence, to engage and to head off
           hours to learning some basics will pay dividends       concerns. Win rates will be transformed with the
           over the coming years.                                 right programme.

           4. Embed film into presentations when you
           need to connect emotionally

           Film remains the most emotive and evocative
           way of connecting with an audience. Many
           organisations now produce case studies as a
           standard way to bring alive a presentation or event.

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    Case studies
    Rosenblatt Solicitors                           “One of the very few non       “The new company                Nokia Siemens Networks

    The business-winning Rosenblatt                 ‘magic circle’ to be listed   [Nokia Siemens Networks]         Building value in this newly merged
                                                    as preferred lawyers to       will have to have an             technology leader

    Ian Rosenblatt’s mid-sized City law firm is
                                                    FTSE 250 clients”             attitude of a challenger –       Soon after the merger of the network divisions
    one of the corporate success stories of the                                                                    of Nokia and Siemens, the new NSN wanted to
    last decade.                                    Chambers Guide to             fiercely competitive with        ensure that there was a common understanding
                                                                                                                   of technologies and products across the group.
    Two years ago, Ian asked Bladonmore to help
                                                    the UK Legal Profession       an unerring focus on
    reduce the reliance on him personally for
    winning new business.
                                                                                  the customer”                    Bladonmore solution
                                                                                                                   Bladonmore was asked to develop an
                                                                                  Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, Chairman   international programme coaching dozens of
    Bladonmore solution                                                                                            people from 15 countries to ensure a consistent
    Starting with a comprehensive diagnostic                                                                       high-standard NSN way of communicating.
    review, where every partner and a number
    of senior associates were interviewed,                                                                         Using techniques developed by Bladonmore,
    Bladonmore developed a simple skill-building                                                                   100 senior product experts then went quickly
    programme for all fee earners in the firm.                                                                     through an intensive coaching process to build
                                                                                                                   up their presenting skills.
    Initially, this Academy consisted of building
    four core skills: presentations, networking,                                                                   Results
    client management and delegation. By running                                                                   These individuals became internal advocates
    sessions every Thursday morning at 8am, the                                                                    across the firm to spread understanding and
    Academy quickly became part of Rosenblatt                                                                      expertise. They were internal evangelists for
    culture and provided a focus for discussing                                                                    their individual parts of the business.
    and solving business communications issues.
                                                                                                                   Bladonmore was subsequently asked to build
    Results                                                                                                        on this work to prepare the sales and product
    After one year, Tania MacLeod, managing                                                                        experts for NSN’s first major mobile telephone
    partner at Rosenblatt, said: “I am certain we                                                                  conference and exhibition in Barcelona where
    have won more business as a result of the                                                                      the experts closed a record amount of business.
    training we have done.”

    Two years on, the Academy has been
    extended to build and strengthen a range
    of other skills – including handling press
    interviews and further business development
    skills – all of which are supporting the
    continued growth of the business.

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The company we keep

ArcelorMittal                                      Finsbury PR                                     Mubadala                                    sjberwin

Advising the executive management on core          Director coaching programme for improved        Communications development programme        Advising on messages, structure and
communication skills.                              pitch winning.                                  for the upcoming stars.                     performance for a major pitch.

BNP Paribas                                        Hamworthy                                       Nasdaq                                      StatoilHydro

Coaching of spokespeople to ensure high-           Designing and facilitating a staff conference   Coaching senior executives to prepare for   Coaching of senior management team to
quality communication internally and externally.   for this leading oil services business.         key events.                                 prepare for annual capital markets days.

Cable & Wireless                                   Impetus                                         Northern Trust                              Teenage Cancer Trust

Coaching a regional CEO on his critical            CEO coaching for more effective                 Developing messages, content and personal   Helping the fund-raising team win Arsenal
communications to employees.                       charity fund-raising.                           performance for a key event.                as its charity partner.

Centrica                                           Linklaters                                      Orkla                                       Tenon audit

A 24-hour simulated event for the entire           Speechwriting and coaching for the              Helping the executive team prepare for      Preparing the CEO and CFO for annual
corporate communications team.                     managing partner.                               a capital markets day.                      results presentations.

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About us

Bladonmore is a trusted communications
adviser to organisations, their leaders and
executives. From offices in London and
Abu Dhabi and drawing on a network of
international talent, we produce publications,
films, online work and training modules
that are used to support internal and
external communications programmes for
leading organisations.

Bladonmore                         Bladonmore (Middle East)
10-11 Percy Street                 PO Box 77754
London, W1T 1DN                    Abu Dhabi
United Kingdom                     United Arab Emirates
+44 (0)20 7631 1155                +971 552 925 368 

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