Much has been made of my lack of football knowledge by friends in and outside of work. I manage to bluff my way through the occasional pub conversation with a well-timed “What about that Jamie Vardy, eh?”…but that’s about as far as it goes.
Yet, like millions across Europe, I’m finding myself getting pulled along with the excitement of Euro 2016 as we prepare for the big kick off in Paris this evening (pun intended). For reasons I don’t fully understand, most of the home nations are in play so there is a palpable sense of anticipation wherever you happen to be at the moment (sorry Scotland).
I completely understand – the Euros are a very big deal in football terms and the culmination of a lot of hard work, stress and anxiety for both team and fans alike (yes, even if one of the ‘obstacles’ in your way was San Marino). Simply qualifying and having the opportunity to demonstrate your abilities on this stage is a big deal…and certainly not a given:
Yet all the hard work, injury worries, ‘kiss and tell’ tabloid stories and the stress that each team has battled thus far has just been a journey to today. As each team takes to the pitch, they will no doubt take time to reflect on the hard work put in to date but also recognise that when they cross that white line, their Moment of Truth has arrived. Fans, journalists, critics, family and the players themselves will put all the stresses and strains of the journey behind them and judge success or failure on what happens in the next 90 minutes on the pitch.
It’s their Moment of Truth.
We talk a lot about the Moment of Truth in business presentations. In much the same way as a high profile football tournament, all the hard work, long days and sleepless nights aren’t worth a jot if you don’t perform on the day. Similarly, you and your presentation message will have it’s own set of ‘supporters’ within your business – stakeholders who want to see you succeed.
The Moment of Truth doesn’t allow time for excuses – this is about delivering results for you...and your supporters.
Getting the result you deserve is about being prepared, confident and focused on the prize. In football terms, this might be getting through to the next round. In business, it might be winning the pitch, securing funding or selling a new idea into your business.
No matter what the end result, it all boils down to the Moment of Truth.
So if England run out on the pitch tomorrow night looking tired, confused and with no clear plan in place, I for one will be disappointed. More importantly, my football fanatic friends (the real supporters) will be devastated. Similarly, if you fail to deliver a clear, engaging and valuable presentation, your audience will disengage and your supporters will be left frustrated and disheartened (and all your combined hard work will have gone to waste).
The impact of failing to deliver at the Moment of Truth is seismic. Don’t go into your next presentation half-hearted – when that happens, nobody wins.
Good luck at your next Moment of Truth, Oh, and enjoy the football!