Presentation Tips for Business Owners, Founders, CEOs & Entrepreneurs telling their own Business Story
by David Staughton CSP CCEO, Keynote Speaker on Business Growth in Tough Times and Expert on Small Business
Many successful business owners and entrepreneurs get asked to tell their own business story – the story of their life journey or their “founder story”.
Your “behind the scenes” business story can be great for marketing your business.
I have seen hundreds of business owners give a presentation about their own business. Some were AWESOME and some were AWFUL. So what’s the difference?
The worst presentations failed to connect with the audience and was just a massive EGO trip for the presenter. Every sentence of their “FIGJAM” story started with “I” – they were an “I Specialist”. They failed to mention the contribution of their team or use “we”.
Founders are usually asked to give a presentation for their business success – NOT usually for being a great content specialist, an amazing speaker or a topic expert.
Explaining your own journey, the highs and low & your thought process or the way you do things is also very helpful.
Providing your OWN sayings, quotes and mantras can be very helpful to those in the audience. Invite the audience along on your journey and into your story – don’t just TELL them what to do.
Remember – “Less is More” – Tell them what THEY want to hear, not everything you know. – “Leave them wanting more – not running for the door”
Here are some other tips on engaging your audience with a business story.
Elements that make a Great Business Story or Founder Presentation
- Its a Personal Emotional Story of your Business Startup and Evolution journey
- QUESTIONS you asked yourself along the way – What were you thinking at the time?
- How you FELT at the time of each event – Emotional Highs and Lows of your journey
- The FUNNY bits told as humorous self-deprecating stories
- Success Stories of OTHER people involved or clients/customers (Make others the hero)
- Your personal EXPERIENCES and Frustrations – home, partners, bank, life, family, kids, spouse, parents etc
- How you Dealt with SELF DOUBT and CONFIDENCE Issues – Guilt, Mindhealth & Feeling like a newbie or imposter
- How you gained self confidence – overcoming fear of failure and other fears
- The CHALLENGES & Disasters you faced and how you overcame them
- How did you coped with and push through the Challenges / the Tough times / any Setbacks
- Early MISTAKES and BIG Mistakes you made – and your lessons from these
- Tell us about Your FIRSTs – First times, First customer, First advice, First sale, First staff, First products, First awards etc
- Meeting any FAMOUS people along the way
- QUOTES from people that inspired you and kept you going
- MANTRAS (or thoughts) that you repeated to yourself
- Finding your PURPOSE – Finding Your Point of Difference / USP / value proposition
- MENTORS you had and key BOOKS you read to help
- Your company VALUES – what you believe in
- How you built your CULTURE, team and supporters
- Simple tips they can remember and implement to solve their similar problems (Staff, Sales, Service, Stuff Ups, Self Doubt issues)
- 3 BIG (easy) Summary take-aways or lessons and some profound quotes
Use Storytelling and Presenting techniques in your Business Story
Here are some other useful presentation tips
- RULE OF 3 – THREE THINGS – Things to Do and Not to do, 3 tips, 3 ideas, 3 takeaways
- SLOW DOWN – Take your time – if you are rushing you have too MUCH material – Less is more
- FEELINGS – Describe and Tell us how you FELT along the way during the story/ journey
- VOCAL VARIETY – Use light and Shade , tones, volume, pitch variations, different voices
- USE PAUSES – Power of the Pause – let the lesson or the joke sink in and wait for the reaction – it takes a while to process your idea
- CHARACTERS – Add Common everyday Heroes and Villains – A Common Enemy – you are not the hero of every story – Avoid FIGJAM and “I” Specialist (you are the guide not the hero)
- OTHER CAST MEMBERS – Add more Characters and Dialogue – What words did they say to you. Describe them in lucid detail
- DRAMA – Enhance the suspense and leave us hanging – use open loops
- CONTENT VARIETY – HEART felt emotions, HEAD a bit of logic/ data/quotes, Hands – ask for a CTA or laughter – more funny bits!
- LESS BORING BITS & RAMBLING ON – Don’t even tell a story or introduce other content unless there is a profound lesson (a point) or its very funny – avoid humble bragging. E.g. We did this and then we did that (no clear benefit to the audience).
Consider getting some Mentoring or Coaching from some of these Speaker Development experts.