It Took Me 20 Years to Fail Fast

greatest show on earth

Originally published as part of the LinkedIn Influencer series:

Graphic credit: Stephanie Chu

I get asked all the time, “What was your biggest presentation failure?” People want to know what would rattle “The Presentation Lady”. The answer is etched in my brain because I violated the most basic rule of presentations — know your audience.

My toughest audience is my own staff. Imagine the pressure of presenting to a staff that writes and produces award-winning presentations for others all day long—they have pretty discriminating taste. And then, imagine trying to persuade that discerning audience to do something they don’t want to do. Then multiply that by 10.

Every January, we host a vision presentation for our entire company. It’s the biggest, most important internal presentation we do each year. First, we celebrate the accomplishments of the past year, and then we cover what needs to be improved, and where we want the company to go in the future.

This particular year was 2007 and, having been through three economic cycles in the past, I could see all the signs of an impending downturn coming a mile away. One of the benefits of creating presentations for big brands is that you …read more

Article Curated From…: Nancy Duarte