Don’t Present…Engage

I’m putting a presentation together for the fall Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association Annual Conference and realized I needed to focus not just on the message but the medium. But in thinking about it, I realize that “presenting” is a one-way process and needed to re-consider what I’m doing as “engaging.” The ‘engagement’ is to underscore how women can look to global health initiatives to advance their careers and opportunities. So I need to engage them. 

So let’s think differently about it. Most presentations that are “bad” are too long, too boring, hard to follow, and even sometimes not applicable. So maybe we need to rethink it completely.  So let’s start ultimately with what you want to achieve…and I’ll use myself as the example (I may change these but here’s a start):

1 – What do you want to achieve?  I want the audience to:

  • See the career opportunities in global health access
  • Consider pursuing the field
  • Consider most are from industry I will add one more – encourage their employers to strengthen their global health initiatives

2 – Now, who are you talking to, understand their interests:

  • An audience of pharmaceutical and biotech representatives (business roles primarily)
  • Most having been with the industry for at least 10 years
  • Most are probably used to highly sophisticated presentations/slides
  • Most probably spend a lot of their time at work to advance their careers
  • Most understand that the “value” of a program needs to be underscored

3 – Based on the first two points, set the scope of content for your discussion:

  • Describe opportunities, obstacles in developing a global health initiative
  • Identify the diverse skill sets, expertise needed for global health programs
  • Highlight the value of such programs, respond to critics

4 – Map out your program Backwards!

  • How should people feel at the end of the discussion, what facts/information will get them there?
  • How do you get them Passionate, Intrigued, Inquisitive, Excited, Confident – ENGAGED—to recognize the value of this field and pursue it

5 – How do you engage them — are lot of supportive components to get those emotions rolling: 

  • Examples: PowerPoint slides, Prezi, podcasts, videos, webcasts, “people”, telephones, games, etc.
  • In other words, ask yourself: What can I use to drive the audience to be engaged and to act?