I’ve been trying really hard not to write a football related article, but let’s be honest it was never going to happen… I’m a football obsessed, Derby County season ticket holding bloke, who lives in Leicester, the venue for the greatest sporting upset in the history of football…and of course the home of the best presentation design company in Europe…
So with the excitement that comes with England (and nearly every other home nation) qualifying for a major tournament - well, there was little chance I could avoid it for long.
My imagination started to kick off late last week in the run up to the recent matches: the press were going crazy about what formation and team Roy Hodgson would pick.
Poor old Roy doesn’t always get the best press and he was getting a bit of stick, which left me imaging a rather awkward pre-match team talk (insert suitably hazy dream-sequence here)…
Unprepared and a little unsure of who is actually in the squad, Roy turns up half an hour before kick off. Standing next to a hastily arranged whiteboard, he asks the bored-looking players, “hands up if you’re a defender?”
He nods sagely, ignores the response, and launches into his aged corporate FA PowerPoint…
Right lads, we are England… We won the World Cup 50 years ago so we must be great.
Here’s a lovely slide on the structure of the FA; we've got that bloke who used to work for the BBC at the top, then some other blokes, then there's me (I love that photo of me…..that’s Lake Geneva in the background)….and then there's you lot…
So today, we're playing football and what I want you to do, is play really, really well and er, score more goals than the opposition. Actually, who are we playing today?
OK, so you get the picture – a rather farcical teamtalk that would be breaking every rule in the Football Managers' Presentation Expert Handbook – if such a thing existed.
But what’s incredibly concerning about this absurd scenario is that it’s happening in boardrooms on a daily basis – EVERYWHERE!
Perhaps it’s time for business presenters to take a leaf out of the The Football Managers' Presentation Expert Handbook, when it comes to their own presentations?
You see, according to this mythical guide, football managers will (and business presenters like you should)...
Focus on objectives – Possibly using a format like Eyeful’s "Must, Intend, Like" structure. Winning might be the ultimate objective, but a good performance, and doing the basics well, is the bare minimum.
Research the opposition – Managers will scout the opposition (whilst you should analyse your audience, perhaps with an audience heatmap).
Plan tactics – Based on their scouting, managers will set their team up for the best chance of success (you should use your audience analysis to plan the right angle & tone that’ll have the most impact on your audience).
Use a story – Managers will use past victories to inspire players (whilst you can tap into the power of previous success stories, and customer testimonials to strengthen your key messages and inspire confidence in your audience).
Think about structure – Out of this comes a formation for the manager (and a logical structure to deliver your presentation in).
Deliver their message clearly – We all know the average intelligence of a professional footballer! Managers will use what we call a Blended Presenting approach, where they’ll probably deliver their messages using a mixture of whiteboard, video and even PowerPoint in order to get their message understood and retained (you too shouldn’t be afraid of using a mix of presentation tools - it’s all about what works best for your audience).
Unfortunately, The Football Managers' Presentation Expert Handbook doesn’t actually exist, but the ideas mentioned in it do, and can all be found in Eyeful’s suite of modular presentation training…
Our modules don’t have a lot to do with football, but they certainly will show you how to create presentations that are way more effective at getting the results you need.
Speaking of results, here’s to England (and all the home nations) doing well in their next matches. Hopefully Roy and the other managers have all been studying their copies of The Football Managers' Presentation Expert Handbook and will all soon be delivering some inspiring teamtalks!
But from everyone at Eyeful – COME ON ENGLAND!