Imagine facing a room full of skittish investors and analysts to present your company’s management plan for the next quarter. Talk about high stakes!

That was exactly the scenario recently faced by a client’s company. While they brought me in to rehearse with them the day before, in this type of meeting — one that’s likely to be packed with detailed data and statistics — it’s also likely that audience members will be focused on note taking or reviewing handouts rather than keeping their eyes on the presenters.

In situations like these, as a presenter it’s natural to wonder — does my delivery style matter? It’s like the old riddle about the tree falling in the forest. Just like that tree makes a noise regardless of who’s around to hear it, the truth is that delivery always matters.

Delivery: A multi-sensory experience
Successful delivery hinges on much more than simply a speaker’s appearance. Other components of delivery include:

• Tone of voice
• Overall demeanor
• Ability to stay engaged and interact with the audience and/or fellow panelists

Once you’ve clarified and developed your message, how you deliver it is the true litmus test — that what you’re saying is supported by how you say it.

Whether or not an audience will have their eyes glued to your every move, you still need to bring your “A” game to each and every event. In the investor meeting described above, attendees might not have been watching 100% of the time, but they were certainly listening — and evaluating whether or not the presenters believed in their message and the company was in capable hands. That’s the power of good delivery.

So, in the case of my client’s investor meeting, did delivery matter after all? Here are some clues that pointed to the affirmative when all was said and done:

• The large group of analysts in attendance seemed in no hurry to leave.
• Attendees engaged the presenters in conversation long after the formal program was over.
• Many requested more information, and thanked the speakers for the data they shared.

Honing your own delivery skills
Clearly, delivery is as important as the content of your message. Here are some delivery takeaways, from the investor meeting that contributed to the presenters’ success:

They did their homework. These speakers understood the audience’s concerns and developed their message accordingly.
They clarified their message. Though the message might not be good news, the speakers were able to explain it succinctly and offer clear supporting data.
They spoke from a position of strength. All presenters sounded self-assured without appearing arrogant, they were credible, and undoubtedly passionate about their business.

By combining a clear message with an engaging delivery, you’ll demonstrate your confidence and commitment to what you’re saying — and know that even when your audience might not be watching, your message is resonating loud and clear.

Author's Bio: 

A strategic communication advisor, Stephanie Scotti helps people deliver winning presentation where the stakes are high . . . and results matter Drawing on her 25 years of coaching experience and 8 years of teaching presentation skills for Duke University, Stephanie understands what it takes to transform information into knowledge and knowledge into action that achieves results.

Stephanie has provided presentation coaching to over 3,000 individuals in professional practices, Fortune 500 companies, the highest levels of government officials, and international business executives.

An active member of National Speakers Association and an award-winning leadership professional, She also volunteers as a speaker or communications coach for non-profits such as the Red Cross and the Governing Institute of New Jersey. Stephanie holds a Bachelor’s in Speech Communications & Education and a Master’s in Organizational Communications & Business.