Why It Matters: Developing and Delivering Business Presentations

It’s mid-May; a major retail management conference is less than one month away. Your manager has been recruited as a speaker in the Redesigning Retail track at the annual Sustainable Brands conference. She’s asked you to assemble background information and tune in to relevant media and social media feeds. You’re scheduled to meet with her next week to discuss your findings and an approach to her topic: “To-the-Bank Trends: How Green is Driving Retail Dollars.”

A diagram of two circles. The first is smaller than the second. The first is labelled your comfort zone. The second, larger circle is labelled where the magic happens.

Figure 1. Career moments happen outside of our comfort zone

On Monday morning, your hear your manager shattered her leg in a rock-climbing accident over the weekend, and she will be out of commission for three months. When she calls you later that week, you’re taut with anticipation—this is your opportunity to step up and demonstrate you have what it takes to be a manager. You’re ready! In fact, you’ve been ready. But what you didn’t realize is that the person who steps up will also be the person stepping out on stage at SB ’18 and presenting in front of thousands of high-level attendees. This is what’s known as a career moment.

In life, as in mythology, we’re never really ready for the call. Regardless, ready or not, our response is what defines both our character and our career trajectory.

So let’s prepare for the call.