NEW YORK It's OK to tell your clients you're nervous during an important presentation. That's one of the counterintuitive tips LBWorks executive vice president, chief creative officer Steffan Postaer delivered to attendees today during a talk on how to give presentations at the Adweek Creative Seminar in New Orleans.
The talk started with a bang: a clip of Led Zepplin performing "Immigrant Song" during a 1972 tour, which Postaer used to illustrate how creatives should feed off anticipation in a room to give a charged speech.
Postaer recommended not using visuals as a crutch, but only when they are essential to the talk. After the Led Zepplin clip, he did not use any other visuals.
While he gave a few routine pointers—dress appropriately, be funny if you can pull it off—Postaer also had a few suggestions that buck the usual "Speech 101" standard rules of presenting. For example, he said it was not necessary to memorize a speech.
"Memorizing stuff is not a sign of intelligence or respect," Postaer said. "Why burn valuable fuel on something so cosmetic."
He also said presentation skills cannot really be taught, advocated power point presentations for routine meetings only, and said nervousness was OK.
"Some of the best performances begin with a healthy dose of stage fright," he said.
"Confidence tempered with respect" is the most important attitude to bring into a presentation, Postaer said. "Second only to big ideas and a cashmere jacket from Barneys."