You know you screwed up big time.
Your boss was expecting an out-of-world presentation and what you came up was a dud. A big dud.
Worse, you fumbled more than permissible during the post presentation interaction.
The new client your boss was eyeing is all but lost.
What next? Should you hide yourself and wait for the storm to pass away, like an ostrich? Or take the bull by the horn and face the music full on.
I recommend latter. In fact, I don’t just recommend it but outline three simple steps you need to take to reclaim your place in the office pecking order.
Analyze what went wrong in the presentation
Don’t mope over your failure. Analyze what went wrong.
Start from the beginning. Compare your brief with what you actually achieved. Chances are you got carried away while creating the presentation and overlooked a few critical points.
Next, take feedback from other team members present. Devil lies in the detail; listen carefully even to the most trivial suggestions. Make the effort of noting down the suggestions so that you do not forget them later.
Discuss your positive takeaways with your boss
Yes, with your boss.
Ask him for a meeting to discuss the presentation. You score your first brownie point because he would be expecting you to hide behind a pile of files. Okay, okay, behind your laptop screen.
The moment you ask for a meeting, your boss knows you are serious about improving and learning from your mistake.
Be prepared to take the criticism in your stride, however acerbic it might be. After all you did manage to lose a potential client.
Jot down important points in the meeting. Not to impress your boss with your sincerity but to work upon them later.
Avoid using words argumentative words like “but” in response to his suggestions. There are better ways of saying you don’t agree.
Connect with your boss on a more personal level
Remember, where you had to handle 100 odd people during the presentation, here it’s a 1-on-1. So the approach has to be different.
If 1-on-1’s are not your strong point, it’s time to learn the skill. Quickly. Because ideally you should seek audience with your boss within a week.
Present a bullet list of what went wrong in the presentation
Be thankful for the second opportunity you have got and prepare for it well. Something akin to an elevator pitch.
Present your boss with what you thought went wrong with the presentation. In bullet points so that he can skim quickly and decide whether you are worth the time or not!!
Cut out fluff from your report to include solid points. And don’t forget to list what action you plan to take to rectify them.
Corporate world is all about action words, and those are the words that must stand out in your report.
Deliver that awesome presentation the next time
Everything said and done, your next presentation must be the best one of your life. Put your soul into it and top up with some good research, awesome presentation styles and great oration.
Sounds difficult? Well, it’s not. You just need to apply yourself and learn all the tricks of giving awesome presentations. It will be a skill that will serve you well through your life.