You’ve heard the phrase “presentation matters” right? There’s a lot of debate about whether that’s true… but we’ll go in-depth on that in another post. But for now, assume that presentation matters because it helps someone understand your intent.
But what does it mean to make presentation personal? That’s crazy talk. Isn’t all presentation personal? Wait, what is “personal” even referring to? The best way to help break down this idea is to start with an example:
You’ve got a project due at school. Cool, that’s always fun, right? You’re writing an essay about Georgia’s climate.
Presentation means taking time to make it look good, even though the project is about climate, not about how it looks. But you want your teacher to know what you’re trying to show her (your intent) so you make sure it’s organized properly, uses the right sort of grammar and spelling for words, blah blah blah. She won’t know you’re talking about “temperature” if you present it like “tpt”, true?
But we’re talking about personal presentation. Personal presentation requires that you ask yourself a question:
“Who is benefiting from my presentation?”
Your teacher, right? Pause, consider that for a second. Not “a teacher” but specifically “your teacher”. As in, Mr. Miller or Mrs. Coine or… whoever your teacher is.
Each person is fully unique. They are individuals with their own personalities, traits, preferences, and so on. When working on “presentation”, you should consider the personal person you are presenting it to: consider those ideas (personalities, traits, preferences, and so on). This can take your presentation from feeling very cookie-cutter to really standing out, because that person, your teacher, will be looking at a project that’s presented in a way that makes the most sense to them.
Your Social Studies teacher, Mr. Bob, wants to see you understand climate and he’s hoping to find that out by having you write about Georgia’s climate. So you gather your information, you set out to work on presenting that info to him. Pause. What do you know about Mr. Bob? He loves graphs. He’s always using graphs for everything. How can you use that information in your presentation? Use your personal learning style to figure that out!
For me, I might make a graph that shows the average weather over the last year: it shows I understand climate, it shows that I understand Georgia’s climate, and it uses graphs… which Mr. Miller loves. Oh, and the type of graph I chose? The way I build it? The gathering of information? That’s my learning style.
Hopefully your teachers will understand any well-presented presentation, even if it’s not personal. They have built their careers around education: meaning that they’ve seen all sorts of styles from students and probably understand most.
But not everyone is your teacher. Taking the time to figure out what sort of presentation would best suit someone’s personality can help you in all kinds of ways.
It can show a partner you care enough to pay attention.
it can show your boss that you care to pay attention (or research preferences).
It can show someone that you’re marketing toward that you care enough about their business to take the time to learn about them.
See the pattern here?
It can show them you care? Is that the pattern?
But you’re doing the work. Why are you doing the work?
your partner sees that you care enough to pay attention. Why are you paying attention? Because you …care enough to pay attention.
your boss sees that you cared enough to research or pay attention. Why did you do that? Because you care enough to research or pay attention.
If you take anything away from this article, take away this:
You aren’t tricking someone with personal presentation. You’re showing them you care.
Offer something of value, present it in a way that shows its value, then make the presentation personal because you care.
Trying to decide if you care enough about the person or project for the extra work? Look into our growth seed articles about priorities.