Today, I did one of my favorite activities in Business School: I gave a presentation. I know some people dread this and on the flip side there are some people who whole heartedly embrace the spotlight and the attention (e.g. ME!!!).
I have always had an easy time performing in front of crowds and people. However, I think it is important for MBA students (and MBA aspirers) to pay attention to the importance of being comfortable with speaking in public and giving presentations. For most of our careers, the work that we will do will almost invariably involve at some point a presentation to someone about it. I think the reason is that if you had to read a 15 page report or if you had the option of having someone give you that report in a 10 min presentation, most of us would choose the presentation.
Why is that the case? Well simply put, I think it is because inherently we have realized that good presentations are engaging, funny, and just simply much more fun than reading a report that might put you to sleep. Think of it this way. I love a great book (and for me the books are almost always better than the movies –with a few exceptions), but why do we go to the movies? I mean the books are better right, so why are we not just happy with that. They have more detail; they can explain the story better; things don’t need to be cut out due to time constraints; the humor can be super funny; and we can imagine the world through our eyes.
However, one thing that movies do much better than books is taking a small section of the book and just making it awesome. By this, imagine a war scene. I mean we can go with the opening scene of Gladiator, Saving Private Ryan or even a whole movie like Warcraft (summer of 2016! Can’t wait). Instead of reading about a Roman army unleashing a firestorm of death in a small paragraph, we can have something like this instead:
Now, I started this post off talking about the importance of being able to give good presentations. I think the impression I want to make is that since you know you will be giving presentations, take the opportunity during an MBA to work on this skill. Try to find ways to become a better presenter and turn it into a movie for your audience versus being a dry long speech. Make it engaging (Tip: Presentations should not be just a one way talk—get your audience engaged); make it memorable: use pictures, videos, anything really; and make it fun. If you become known as a good presenter, I think you will find that others will respect you more for having that skill and you will have better overall results in your career. Last, people will understand the knowledge you shared with them versus it being in a report that gets skimmed.
Thanks for reading and continuing to join me on my two year MBA adventure!