Delivering by Audience

December 14th, 2012 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

Public speaking can be one of life’s more flinching endeavors. As an MBA student I’ve learned there are a few different leagues of this sport. In a presentation I gave recently, I pointed out that no one wants to be an analyst forever, and if you want to ascend to the top of the scrum, you better know how to sell. This brings us to our PR class and how we’re all learning to be better communicators via an onslaught of presentations in different forms. More than one of us has said they were nervous before their 20/20 exercise, frustrated during media training and exhausted after our conducted class lectures. These three presentations are really three completely different tasks that require being smooth in front of people. Media training is about the pure delivery; teaching a course is about pacing and breathing and having a decent story arc. But the 20/20, the high stakes pitch, the on-stage monologue version of business—that’s the real trick. One of the games I play for a longer presentation is to design slides to be a question because who isn’t better at fielding questions rather than a delivering a speech? But the 20/20 lesson, like my business plan, pitch competition and many of our job interviews, requires one of two things most people won’t commit to: Either become a true expert on the topic being delivered or memorize every line. If it’s important enough, eventually you’ll come to the conclusion that if actors can memorize lines, I can too.

Daniel Howard is a 2013 MBA candidate focusing on Strategic Management.