I was at an event this past weekend during which the title sentiment of this post was driven home to me. (Watch my video here)
The event featured opportunities for entrepreneurs to stand up and deliver their business pitch to a panel of experts and receive feedback. In one of these sessions, five experienced entrepreneurs took turns pitching.
The first three received some tough criticism. Their presentations came across as weak and timid. Their body language was hesitant and shy. They were inarticulate when describing their work. One even asked the panel if she should get some presentation coaching. The panel’s common critique for all three was that after listening to them, they still didn’t know what they did or how they made money.
The two others then had their turns. These entrepreneurs presented themselves well. They came across as sure of themselves, looking and sounding confident. They made direct eye contact and didn’t seem cowed or intimidated by the panel, who were subsequently complimentary.
Here’s what got my attention: These two entrepreneurs said virtually the same thing as the first three. The words were disjointed and not particularly well-organized. I did not know what these two did or how they made money, either. But because they said it in a more poised and polished way, the panel felt they had done a good job.
Their nonverbal behaviors made them more believable.
This is what it means for you: All else being equal, a good presentation can make the difference between winning and losing. It can open doors and provide opportunities for a further look. Confidence in oneself instills confidence in others.
Presentation was everything.
Copyright 2011 Ruth Sherman. All Rights Reserved.