Let’s Talk About It: The Challenge of Presenting Your Sustainability Work Internally

Having recently faced the challenge of delivering the same 20min presentation 8 times in a row (don't ask!) here are some top tips on presenting the often complicated and detail heavy topics in sustainability:

Have your 'bullseye' in mind. Is it to inform? Motivate? Inspire to action?  Choose content that supports your aim. Think deeply about your audience. What is relevant to them, use this to hook them from the start. 

Use detail to create a spark of interestnot a wildfire of confusion. For a  high level summary of progress, stick to 3 evidenced backed highlights and challenges. Resist the temptation to include every success story. No matter how good they are people will disengage if presented with too much information and once this happens, you don't have a snowballs chance in hell of achieving your 'bullseye.'

Gauge the room.  Ask for people’s understanding of the topic you are presenting on. This allows you to spend more time on parts that people are less familiar with. 

Be passionate.  Genuine interest and enthusiasm is contagious. Allowing people to feel your natural passion for a subject is your best weapon to keep them engaged and looking at you, not their smart phone.

Be innovative & fun  in how you present. Eg. Make some paper airplanes, each with a main point you are going to cover in the presentation - throw them into the audience and have them read out by those who catch the planes  - you'll have people's attention immediately! Stay away from technical language unless you are speaking to experts.

Take the opportunity to gather ideas.Allocate time to hear ideas and feedback. It is the most valuable part of the presentation for you.

Happy presenting!