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When you present – be present! Business #presenting lessons we can all learn from post-game #rugby media conferences

In business we often have to be part of joint presentations where we have to support other speakers – and not get in their way or be a distraction.

Wallabies presser

This post was inspired by two things:

1. watching the post-game media conference (often called a “presser” by media folk) where Wallabies coach Michael Cheika and Captain Stephen Moore faced the media

2. memories of when I helped the N.S.W. Blues cricket team improve their presenting skills

When I help business executives (and occasionally sports stars and coaches/officials), I stress these tips.

When you are in view and “working” with another speaker or presenter, it’s important to:

1. Be aware that even if you are not speaking (someone else is), you are still visible and your physical actions can distract the audience. Don’t be picking lint off your clothes or cleaning your nails OR even worse sneaking a look at your phone.

2. Look interested in what the other speaker is saying. If you look bored and uninterested, this can transfer to the audience

3. Be extra careful when you are part of a presentation you have given before. This is a danger zone – when it’s all too easy to “zone out” because you’ve done it before. If you are repeating a presentation you’ve done many times before, you have to give the impression that you are interested in what the other person is saying. This was one area I had to help the Blues with when they were delivering a presentation they’d delivered many times before.

In business presenting, I was once helping presenters who were doing a travelling roadshow. One of the presenters after he handed over to another presenter looked bored and not interested. I always stress that if you are in audience view – you are still part of the “performance”.

Remember: ON

“On camera/on stage – you still have to be ON” in being a good supporting player in the presentation.

The above image of the media conference is from one of my main and favourite sources of Rugby news: Fox Sports.

You can watch the media conference here:

Wallabies media conference after win over Springboks

rugby montage

If you are a business presenter OR sports person or sports official and you’d like to improve your presenting – I’d love to help. I admit that I can get carried away with my illustrative examples from Rugby League and Rugby Union. If you are a Rugby fan we will get on famously. If you are from a different sport and not a Rugby fan – I will do my best to use sporting examples YOU can enjoy and relate to.

In my journalism career, the most impressive sportspeople/ sports spokespeople I ever worked with were from Rugby Union and Swimming. Very professional communicators!


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