PodiumWise | Tips for advanced presentation skills

I recently helped a gentleman prepare for a presentation he was scheduled to deliver at a gathering of health ministers from around the world.  These ministers were predominantly from poorer countries that have difficulty affording medicines.  His presentation was about efforts being made to improve access to life-saving drugs.

One of the many complimentary e-mails he received afterward included praise for something he said at the very beginning of his talk.  He told the conference attendees that he was there not just to talk, but to listen and learn from them as well.  The conference coordinator said this was a “brilliant” thing to say given how sensitive these ministers are about people from affluent countries talking down to them.

I wish I could take credit for this expression but it was suggested to him by a fellow executive who has been attending these meetings for many years.

Not only did it demonstrate sensitivity to the audience members’ feelings, it showed respect for them as subject matter experts in their own right.  Although I wasn’t there, I suspect they became more open and willing to learn from my client because he had expressed a willingness to learn from them.

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