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I don't need to present, I'm an engineer (accountant, architect, etc.)

Categories: Business Presentations

Professor Dan Brody (yes, he is a relative!) is teaching an entrepreneurial course at the University of Virginia’s School of Engineering.

He had a few entrepreneurs speak as guest lecturers, and he asked me to do the same. My topic was “10 Reasons Presentations Fail & How to Avoid Them.”

You might wonder – why is information regarding presentation skills critical in a class of would be engineering entrepreneurs?

In fact, in my first career, as a college professor of presentation skills and interpersonal communication skills, students often told me, “I don’t need to speak – I am going to be an engineer, accountant, researcher, architect …” – you name it, they said it.


These students entered the job market, and soon realized that no matter how good their ideas were, they needed to be able to sell themselves along with these bright ideas.

This recent group of talented students at UVA are giving group presentations as part of a contest. The winner will get some seed money to actually start building the business that they propose.

Contact us if you'd like to read more about “Why Every Professional Needs to Master Presentation Skills” and take a free quiz to test your presentation skills knowledge.

On the surface, when it comes to presentation skills, things seem to be very basic. However, it is the little things that make the biggest difference.

Here’s a recent example that proves how true this is …

I was flying home last week from Tampa. My seat partner was the ex-superintendant of the Philadelphia School District. She has since spent time teaching and leading at Harvard and now at the University of Pennsylvania: She is on the board of the Philadelphia Art Museum. She told me about the wonderful presentation delivered by the architects who won the Barnes Museum contract.

What made this presentation so good?

The architects told a good story, enjoyed working together, used simple visuals and believed in the project.

How simple is that!?!

Of course, simple isn’t always easy to implement. That is where coaching/training can help.

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