Most entrepreneurs are great at doing one or two things. That is why, they start a venture or a business. For someone who is excellent at designing with Canva, they may start a side hustle that allow them to be paid for visual posts. For someone who makes excellent pasta at home, they might venture into a home based food business. In short, as an entrepreneur, you do what you do best.
There is however one crucial skill set that all entrepreneurs need to possess. Yet they struggle at being competent in it. What is this skill set?
Here are 3 reasons why I feel most entrepreneurs struggle or fail in, when it comes to the art of presentation.
Not knowing what needs to be in a presentation
You might be familiar with the often mentioned "Elevator Pitch". Entepreneurs and salespeople in particular are advocated to have a conscise pitch presentation in their memory. The premise behind this is that you (entrepreneurs) might just find yourself in an elevator with a potential client. And if that happens, are you able to powerfully make an impression with a speech?
The problem lies in the fact that most entrepreneurs I had consulted wants to pack that presentation with loads of information. As such, the supposed brief presentation of yourself/business becomes a collection of gibberish words for the listener. You need to know what information is important for the listener to know at that moment. By which he can act upon after. Anything beyond that is just a garbage bin of information.
Trying too hard to impress
Entrepreneurs suffer from the "let me make an impression" syndrome. Most of the times, they are led to believe that everyone is a prospect. As such, they make every presentation becomes a soulless piece of communication. In an age where impression making is just a Facebook or LinkedIn link away, why will you try so hard to impress. No doubt that making an impression is important for a presentation, but make no mistake that it is just one of the many facets a prospect or client is looking for. Instead of trying to superficially impress your listener/audience during a presentation, look instead to build a connection. Genuinely relate and connect with your listener/audience and watch how sparks fly.
No call to action
Most entrepreneurs look at information vomit as important. Yet they conveniently forget to tie the loose ends at the end of their presentation. They subconsciously expect the listener/prospect to read minds and act upon the given information. As a result, the presentation hits a stalemate. It becomes worst when both the entrepreneur and prospect can never seem to build on or follow through with the presentation. So what if you presented about "The Harmful Effects of Smoking". It means zilch for your listeners if you do not close your presentation with a call of action (eg, stop buying cigarettes). Entrepreneurs need to suggest or ask for a call of action. It might not be worked upon but at least, the intent is there.
In summary, you should consider picking up communication skills as the first skills set to work on, as it revolves crucially around any entrepreneur's jouney. Excellent presentation skills can create a sense of confidence, trust and commitment with the listener/audience. Do look at picking up these skills in the forseeable future.
Hijazi is the founder and program curator for The Barakah People. A passionate student in the arts of communication and marketing. He has over 2 decades of industry experience in the fields of salesmanship, entrepreneurship, finance and public speaking. Hijazi counts reading books pleasurably intoxicating. It is far more likely to find him marooned on an island with a book, over anything else.