Making Great Presentations and Owning the Room

This week we at Q4B will be putting the final touches on a webinar that we will be presenting at the HR Institutes Virtual Conference July 25 -26, 2011. The topic will be “Social Media for Recruiting and HR – Making It Part of Your Talent Acquisition and Retention Strategy”. We were honored to have been selected to present our thoughts on this most important topic and feel that for those attending it will be time well spent.

As part of our preparation, I decided to reread Tim Koegel’s NYT and WSJ best seller, The Exceptional Presenter, just to see if we might have missed something in our planning and if any of Koegel’s advice could be applied to this situation.

Koegel suggests that exceptional presenters are not born but can be trained and that the keys to becoming an exceptional presenter are learning to OPEN UP in order to Own the Room. OPEN UP is an acronym for what an exceptional presenter is, Organized, Passionate, Engaging, Natural and what an exceptional presenter must do, Understand their Audience and Practice.

I am now in the process of evaluating our preparation for the upcoming HR Institute event to make sure that our presenters (Bonnie Browning, Q4B’s VP of Client Services and I) are ready. So I am asking our team, are we

  • Organized – Will we take charge, and be poised and polished? Do we realize that our goal is not to overwhelm but to inform, persuade, influence, entertain or enlighten? Is our message structured and clearly defined?
  • Passionate – Will we exude enthusiasm and conviction regarding our topic? Can we speak from the heart and leave no doubt as to where we stand? Will our energy be persuasive and contagious?
  • Engaging – Can we build rapport and involve our audience early and often? This may not be easy in a virtual setting but to the extent that we can, we should try to connect.
  • Natural – Will our delivery have a conversational feel? Will we appear comfortable with our audience and come across as confident?
  • Understanding of our Audience – How much information can we get prior to the event in order to better understand those to whom we are presenting? The more we know the easier it is to connect and engage.
  • Practicing – Have we or can we practice enough so that our delivery skills are second nature and will not fail under pressure?

I know that going through this exercise will help us not just with this presentation but with future presentations and can certainly help us in our business.

This OPEN UP approach is not just for those who are presenting at conferences, presenting seminars, webinars or offering information before a large audience. The OPEN UP approach is a success formula for recruiters and candidates as well.

As a recruiter (internal, 3rd party, consultant) in dealing with your hiring managers, decision makers, peers and candidates, are you organized, passionate, engaging, natural? Do you understand your audience and do you practice?   If not, then you will never Own the Room nor will you be as successful as you could.

For candidates, when you are conducting your job search, working with recruiters, preparing for interviews, contacting possible employers, are you organized, passionate, engaging, natural? Do you understand your audience and do you practice? If not then you too will never Own the Room nor will you be as successful as you could be.

Owning the Room means that you have applied and understand the OPEN UP approach and you exude confidence and can command the attention, respect and interaction from your audience, even if it is an audience of one.

Our goal over the next week is to prepare for the HR Institute event. Our goal the day of the event is to Own the Room.

We hope to see you there, virtually of course.


Views: 163

Comment by Tim Spagnola on July 18, 2011 at 9:37pm

Nick -thanks for sharing this. I agree with a number of the points you bring up, but can't help wondering if there is anything to being too prepared. Not speaking to you of course directly, but asking in general. The best of luck to you and the presentation, and please keep the RBC informed on what you took away from the event.


Own the room!

Comment by Nick Tubach on July 19, 2011 at 3:35pm
I think the one area that those of us in this business and those in sales in general have a difficult time with is Practicing. Whether it is presenting candidates to a decision maker, presenting our solution to a client company, presenting the opportunity to our candidates, or making a presentation before an audience, we, most of us, tend to do our "practicing" before a live audience. I don't think that we do enough scenario planning. We tend to wing it and if we don't get the close, we don't realize that the reason we didn't make the sa;e was many times we did not Practice enough. Thanks for the comments.
Comment by Tim Spagnola on July 19, 2011 at 4:19pm
"feeling the room" - that was a great analogy Bill. Thanks...point well made.


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