It’s that time of year again when Christmas functions abound. What people don’t want is their evening or afternoon spoiled by long boring end of year presentations.
Acknowledging and commending the efforts of your staff is important and end of year functions provide a perfect opportunity to do it. So how do you make your presentation impactful?
- Plan in advance – Many people like to think they can master off-the-cuff speaking, but only a few are able to pull it off. For most, ‘winging’ end of year presentations leads to disaster. Instead, plan what you’re going to say, try to have a theme.
- Use an impactful opening – There is nothing quite so off-putting as someone who starts their presentation with “I know end of year speeches are pretty boring so I’ll get through it as quickly as possible” Instead, stop the music, wait for everyone’s attention and use a funny statistic, a funny story or picture, or pose a question to capture your audience’s attention.
- Do it early! – Not only do you need to welcome people, but it’s always good to catch people before the alcohol really starts to flow. This way both you and the staff can then enjoy the rest of the evening.
- Be prepared for noise – Use a microphone to counter the noise of crockery, cutlery and people moving around. If people at the back can’t hear you, they’ll quickly lose interest and start chatting over you. Be prepared for the odd heckle too. There’s always one smart aleck. Plan a few comebacks in case.
- Make ‘em laugh – Your staff are there to have a good time so make your speech light-hearted. Tell a funny – and well known – workplace story, use a humorous Christmas theme or give out some funny awards.
- Share the love – These people work hard for you all year and need to be acknowledged. You can do this can be through genuine and sincere thanks, awards for top performers or you may even stretch to presents – big or small to show your appreciation.
- Keep it brief – Try and keep your end of year presentations to 5-10 minutes at most and focus on the good stuff that has happened over the past year. This is not the right forum for a full end of year review.
- Finish on a high – make a rousing toast and encourage everyone to enjoy the rest of the celebration.
End of year functions should be a highlight in everyone’s calendar so make sure your end of year presentations enhance rather than detract from it.