Learn how your career will be defined

 In Mindset

Mature trainer gesturing before screen with presentation.“I remember many years ago when I had only just started life as a trainee client services manager at a well-known advertising agency in London.

One night about six o’clock I had left the office early and was going down the escalator at Knightsbridge tube station when a chap called Don White came up behind me.

In those days Don was our Creative Director and one of the “A listers” from the British advertising industry.

Slightly cheekily I asked him why he was leaving so early?

I was taken aback when he said “I’m going to the Highgate women’s institute.”

“Why” I asked quizzically?
His response is a piece of learning that has stayed with me throughout my career.

He said “… as a client service manager your career will be largely defined, now like mine, by how well you can present in important meetings.

There is no substitute for practice and experience. That’s why I’m going to speak to a group of housewives about advertising for a couple of hours and answer questions without any notes – it doesn’t matter if I make a few mistakes, but I learn and get more confidence from each presentation, and I know that the more I do the better I will get”.

The above quote is from a great article Is your senior team ever enough to win a pitch by themselves, by Carey Evans

As a BDM let me suggest that your career too, will be defined by how well you can present in important meetings.

Practice speaking and presenting whenever you can. Talk at service clubs. Offer to present for 5-10 minutes at the weekly management meeting of leaders in other divisions in your organisation. Your topic need not be grand. It could be as simple as what you’ve been doing in your division that’s been paying off.

This practice will help you become more articulate and develop your fluency and flexibility of speech. It will well serve you, when you have to present in A class meetings.

You CALL to Action/HOW to apply for this post: Get out and present whenever you can. Then reflect on what you did well and where you can improve. Reflect on what content resonated most with the audience. Reflect on the questions they had, to help you revise your content.

Check out this post on Scott Frew’s business advice. Frew is one of Sydney’s super-rich who flies under the radar

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