Presenting? Make sure you remember to bring your personality…

So today at my current contract was a 1.5 hour long “All Hands” meeting.  Also known as “What have we been up to this last year and where are we going?”.  As a contractor I find I have quite a few different thoughts on these kinds of events.  The first thought is “This is a waste…” which from a certain point of view it is.  Quite often the things being talked about are going to come to full fruition over many years.  Since a big part of the reason I contract is to see how different companies and teams do things I don’t intend to stay too many years at one place (I also wouldn’t want to give the tax man the mistaken belief that I’m an employee) so it’s unlikely I’ll see the outcomes. 

At the same time though I find quite a bit of value in attending and listening.  The first from a purely professional point of view.  Is this company somewhere that I am going to want to come back to in the future?  If I don’t like where things are headed (really? all future development is going to be waterfall?) then I know to be careful the next time I get offered a contract at that company.  The other big value though is when they have multiple people presenting.  As an occasional presenter myself I find one of the best ways to learn is to watch others do it.  So what did I learn this time?

Rule #1 of presenting should be “Bring Your Personality”

Obviously todays presentation was filled with people who followed and people who broke that rule.  A cookie for you if you can guess which ones got the laughs and applause (and were paid attention to). 

It’s really simple fellow presenters.. if people wanted to gain their information from a cold, boring source they would just read the news release.  They are there because they care about what you’re talking about and it helps so much to reach them if you let them know that you care too.  Show them that you excited about what what you’re talking about and how it’s going to improve their lives in some way.  By letting your personal side show (even just a little bit) you’ll get a much better response and have a much bigger impact on people.