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Creating and delivering the perfect tailored presentation

Philippa GroverYou know that feeling when you go to a concert, and the band plays an absolute belter for their first song? Not that I think I am Bono or anything, but that’s the feeling I want to provoke within the first few minutes of my presentation – excitement, anticipation, a feeling of “I wonder what’s up next!”.

In practice, this means a lot of time is spent backstage in the greenroom before my gig – rehearsing, anticipating what my audience wants to see, drinking, and talking to my bandmates to check we’re all on the same page for each set.

I’m sure Bono, The Edge, et al spend a lot of time rehearsing, getting each and every note perfect. Much is the same for me when I am planning a presentation, because I really believe you can deliver a successful presentation about pretty much any topic, provided you have rehearsed it enough. Sure, there’ll be the odd dropped note or a bit of feedback from the mics, but hey – that’s what a live performance is all about. You just need to mitigate for those blunders by rehearsing again and again and again, knocking out more kinks with each run-through.

And isn’t it kind of endearing when the lead singer fluffs up a lyric? You realise they are actually human, underneath that designer-clad exterior, but most importantly, you engage with them. You might holler at Bono, shout out song requests (With or Without You, please!), or in my case – ask me questions, or ask me to show you some cool feature of the product. And let me tell you, Bono and I love that stuff! It show us you’re listening, show us you’re engaged, show us you’re interested!

The best gigs I’ve been to are ones where I can tell that the band are feeding off the energy from the audience. They’re delivering hit after hit, but most importantly, I can tell they’re having an awesome time on that stage. I have all of this in my head when I am presenting to an audience, because I want them to go away thinking that was an awesome couple of hours, spent with someone who clearly loves what they do.

So Bono, if you’re reading this, I am ready to become the fifth member of U2. Now, where’s my damn harmonica…?

Author: Philippa Grover, 29 February 2016

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