If you are rocking the social sphere, at some point you may have to present your work to some higher-ups.
No pressure. Just remember this: Your presentation could mean the difference between enterprise adoption of a great new social media strategy—or the relegation of social to the cubbyhole.
But fear not. Here are five tips that could help make your next presentation to the C-suite a real winner:
Be authentic, not just memorable. Being frank about what has worked so far in your social outreach and what hasn’t isn’t just useful to the bosses in the room; it’s relatable. It means you were once in their shoes—deciphering the best approach.
Remember: The best presentations are authentic performances. Prep, but don’t over perform; let your understanding speak for you, and permit yourself to be natural. A relaxed presenter relaxes listeners.
Don’t monologue it! Your passion for your topic should be palpable, and that can only happen when you’re not relying too heavily on a canned speech. Don’t over memorize or over practice!
Be quietly confident. Don’t position yourself as the voice from on high, or get too pushy.
Deliver each line with mastery. Identify the strengths of your content, the aspects of it that will most likely draw attention, and emphasize them at the right time. To do this well, it helps to know something about your audience; study past communications.
And one last tip from us: Listen to your audience. When Q&A time comes, don’t get defensive; listen to any concerns being raised, and address them thoughtfully. The execs may have seen a weak spot that you simply missed: Be ready to respond or return to the drawing board. Either way, keep the tone conversational, not combative.
The Lesson: Deep breath, and go. If you’re spearheading your company’s “social” movement, prepare to explain and defend your cause attractively and clearly to those not in the thick of things.