Confidence booster

Steve McDermott, European Business Speaker of the Year shares his tops tips to achieving presentation success.

1. Believe
As most people will know, a presentation starts long before you get up to speak but it is amazing how many of us fail to practise what we preach. Mental preparation is at least as important as physical rehearsal. Dont be afraid of making a mistake though, you are only showing that you are human and we all make mistakes. This gets your audience on your side and helps everyone relax.

2. Exit
The most important part of your presentation is the end. Thats what people remember so its no good running out of steam before you get there. When youre preparing, allow enough time to plan a big finish. And deliver it like you mean it.

3. Once upon a time
People like a good story. They want to know what happens next, and if its good, theyll pass it on. That makes personal stories a brilliant device to build in when youre presenting. Its also a useful way of thinking about your presentation as a whole - whats your story and whats its point? Giving real life examples of where your training material has worked will help your audience relate it to their own job.

4. The drill
Speed up, slow down, remember to use pace.

5. The hammer
Theres no point in muttering out a great point, emphasise your words.

6. The touchy feely stuff
According to a study by Birtwhistle and Mahrabian, 38 per cent of communication is tone of voice. Only 7 per cent is what you actually say; 55 per cent is physiology, which is why using your voice and the right body language and props are so important.

7. The right technology
Making a presentation isnt about rushing to PowerPoint and writing thirty slides of text-heavy bullet points. Technology can play a role however, especially if you use it for pictures rather than words.

8. Look whos talking
Presenting is all about being able to get your personality across whether youre in a room with one person, 100 people, or for that matter, several hundred people. Be confident about who you are and let it shine.


Steve McDermott

  • Has been described as half business guru, half stand up comedian
  • Focuses on belief and what makes people and organisations succeed
  • Author of international best seller, "How to be a complete and utter failure in life, work and everything", with translations including Greek, Korean and Thai
  • Voted European Business Speaker of the Year by over 200 corporate businesses and has delivered presentations in every major European capital to audiences from 20 to 2000
  • Certified practitioner of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) as well as qualified hypnotist
  • Over ten years running own training business specialising in personal/business development, presentation and communication
  • Spent 15 years in advertising as a copy writer then creative director working on clients such as Porsche, Lada and Kronenburg 1664, and winning over 20 international and national awards for creativity
  • Official Asda Training Partner, working with senior people to deliver powerful presentations
  • Other clients include Nestle, Boots, British Nuclear Fuels, Johnson & Johnson, NHS trusts, Smith & Nephew

The Confident Club is a union of three international business speakers at the top of their profession: Steve McDermott, Paul McGee, and Phil Hesketh are highly sought after trainers, speakers, and published authors in their own right. They deliver what has been described as the most powerful presentation coaching in the country. Going beyond presentation technique, Confident Club coaching starts with mental attitude; changing the way people think. Its clients include CEOs, senior managers, sportspeople, politicians and television presenters. Brands include Asda, Boots, Manchester United, Nestl, Johnson & Johnson, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Shell.

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