For many leaders, giving a town hall presentation can be one of the most difficult things they do all year. Speaking at a town hall meeting is one of the best ways to get employees engaged with your strategy and initiatives, but on the other hand, presenting in front of the entire company is extremely risky.
Many of our clients have to give these types of presentations on a regular basis, and here’s what we tell them;
This may seem obvious, but preparation goes beyond simply preparing a slide deck and your speaking points. Consider: what are your goals and outcomes for the talk? Are you looking for buy-in on a new initiative, or are you trying to increase employee confidence and trust?
Starting with the outcomes you want to achieve, rather than what you want to talk about, has the potential to reshape your entire presentation. It will keep you focused on discussing what really matters instead of on things you think might be important.
Be inspiring, not just informative
Town hall meetings, by design, are meant to be an opportunity for all participants to voice their thoughts and opinions. This means that your presentation needs to be interactive by design – stay away from getting up on stage and talking at your audience.
The real power of a town hall meeting is to create dialogue on important issues. Although some leaders might get nervous about this concept, town hall dialogue is actually a great way to engage employees, because they know their voice is getting heard by colleagues and management.
Some things to keep in mind when preparing for your town hall:
- Why would your topic matter to your audience? How will it impact them? How will it benefit them?
- Invite feedback throughout your presentation. Define points during your talk where you will ask your people questions or get them to comment on what you’re talking about. Make sure you have clear answers to some questions you’re likely to receive.
- Be open and personal. Share how you feel about your speaking topic and why you are excited to present it. Also talk about why it matters to you to inspire them about this topic, and ask them why it matters to them so you can personally connect. One of the best ways to be inspiring is to get inspired yourself. Give everyone else in the audience a chance to shine.
- Make your presentation come to life. Be visual. Facts and figures can get boring very quickly and are hard to remember. Instead, bring pictures that describe the situation or impact of your topic.
- Make sure to share stories to make your talk tangible and memorable. What caused you to choose this particular topic for your presentation? How do you know it’s important to others?
Creating business success through better leadership
In a world where employees are expecting more engagement and transparency from their management, town hall meetings are one of the best opportunities for leaders to share their vision, get company-wide feedback, and make their employees part of the leadership process.
At Epiphany, we have over ten years of experience helping leaders do just that. We focus on dramatically improving leadership performance, confidence, communication skills, and collaborative ability that positively drives stronger business performance.