Michelle Bowden

What do the best presenters do?

I’m often asked, what is it that great business presenters do? Well, to answer that question, I think it’s important to understand that there are three strategic phases to a persuasive presentation in business and the great news is that it’s not rocket science.


The phases are analysis, then design, then delivery.


Analysis is where you work out, “what do I want to achieve as the presenter?” And it is also where you decide, “what does my audience need to hear from me?” There’s a really great five-step model that takes you through working all that out.


Phase two is the design phase. There are really two levels in the design of a really good message. The first foundational level is called 4MAT. It’s international best practice for crafting a message so that it sticks in your stakeholders mind and they’re compelled to take the action you require. 4MAT was invented by Dr. Bernice McCarthy in America, and I highly recommend you look into that.


Over the top of that, there are these things we call linguistic patterns. This is something I specialize in. A linguistic pattern is essentially the way you combine your words in your sentences. And when you do it cleverly, it makes you very persuasive as a communicator. I’ve worked out that there are 13 of these linguistic patterns that really need to be delivered in order. For many years, I just called them the ‘13 steps’ because there’s 13 patterns! Original right? More recently, we have names this collection of linguistics, The Persuasion Blueprint because that’s really what it is. It’s a blueprint that takes you through the formula of what to say and when, in order to be as persuasive and effective as possible in your communication. You can use these models that I’m talking about in emails, in conversations, in huge keynote presentations. You can really use them in all manner of situations, and most definitely I use it with bid teams and pitch teams when we’re pitching for big multimillion dollar deals.


Phase three is the delivery phase. That’s really everything you’re thinking of when you think of presentation skills. Things like your stance, your gesture, your movement, your breath, your voice, the way you manage your nerves, the way you design your slides and interact with the audience, the way you use other media, the way you manage the behavior of the crowd. All this is really what we call the delivery or stagecraft phase.


And there you have it. That’s what great presenters do. They know everything they can about the analysis, the design and the delivery of a masterful presentation.


Happy presenting!


© Michelle Bowden 2021. Michelle Bowden is an authority on presentation & persuasion in business. Michelle is a CSP (the highest designation for speakers in the world), co-creator of the Persuasion Smart Profile (a world-first psychological assessment tool that tests your persuasiveness at work), best-selling internationally published author (Wiley), and a regular commentator in print, radio and online media. www.michellebowden.com.au


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