5 Lessons in Entrepreneurship from Giving Presentations

You Must Let Your Inner Entrepreneur Out

Erik P.M. Vermeulen, PhD

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Why are most presentations so boring? I often use the time to do emails and other social media. I don’t get it. You would expect a more entrepreneurial approach when people are given the opportunity to speak in public.

Recently, I attended the presentations of a couple of my younger colleagues and was stunned by how it was like going back in time — lots of text, no pictures, no passion, no story.

I expected so much more from digital natives. What happened? Later it came out that they had just followed “instructions.” They thought it would be best to go with what they thought was “standard” or “best practice.”

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that anymore. After all, things are changing rapidly. We are living in a world of platforms, ecosystems, data-analytics, and artificial intelligence. We are hearing more and more about the “Internet of Things,” the “Internet of Enterprises,” and the “Internet of Humans.”

In this new world, everyone has to become an entrepreneur, whether they like it or not. It is all about brand-building, visibility, connectivity. Even giving a presentation should be looked at from the perspective of an entrepreneur. It provides you with the opportunity to generate “interest” and “business.”

Remember. You aren’t just presenting something (research findings, a new idea, or a product or service). You are in the business of presenting (and selling) yourself.

Let me explain what worked very well for me. Here are my five entrepreneurial lessons from giving presentations.

Personalize

The best presentations are authentic. Instead of giving a one-way presentation, you are having a conversation/dialogue with the audience. You are sharing your personal experience or views. You explain why a particular topic is essential to you.

The personal approach makes giving presentations so much easier. You don’t have to be nervous. You don’t have to memorize a “produced talk.” You can just be yourself and talk as if you are having a conversation with your friends.

Take Control

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Erik P.M. Vermeulen, PhD

Prof (law) exploring the collision of life, work, and technology, with a current project in the works - a sci-fi novel.