• Alexandra Bond Burnett

How using a mentor mindset helps advisors deliver outstanding presentations

Updated: Sep 3, 2019

The mentor mindset it at the heart of how I teach advisors to give stand-out presentations - to be honest this works for ANYONE needing to give a presentation, or needing to be the best communicator there is.

Have you ever noticed how we get stuck in a first person mindset? As you wake up, move about your day you are in the 1st person. We move through life narrative our lives with our own internal monologues

"Did I turn off the iron, must email Julie in accounts about that acquisition, did I defrost the chicken?"

We have a stream of thoughts all day every day, which can make you a lousy presenter to an audience.

What happens when we flip that mindset, and put ourselves out of the equation?

Only the audiences of the best presentations can tell you.

And me.

What is the purpose of communication?

I feel the same way about the word communication as my G.S.C.E. English teacher did about the word 'Nice', or how my mother feel about the word 'lounge'.

Communication is a clunky and clumsy word. Really what we mean when we say communication is either "idea sharing" "problem solving" or "understanding".

Presentations should have all of these included, but often we get stuck at 'idea sharing' and don't think about the rest.

Your presentation will be at its most effective if you help the audience solve a problem. Not just any problem, their problem.

It's not about you.

Any one who has been to one of my trainings has heard me say this - repetitively! However, this is the crux of the mentor mindset.

Imagine a scene in your favourite film. In any main scene you usually have a main character, the antagonist, and the supporting roles that help make the resolution happen. The thing is with these scenes, as with most arts - is that they replicate life to a point. But they have added a carefully crafted structure (shall we say strategy?) to make your film into an incredible story.

The story of Frodo waking up, easily destroying the ring and then heading out for a pint doesn't make for a compelling story - let alone a trilogy. That's just a Friday night in the Shire.

Forgetting Frodo, How can we use this amazing storytelling structure to help you in your presentations?

Think like a supporting character

Here it is - the mentor mindset.. or your supporting role.

If everyone walks around in the 1st person, doesn't that mean everyone is the lead character?

That would make for a really confusing, clunky scene, which mixed messages, crossed purposes and egos flying everywhere, sound familiar?

Probably like a lot of your past meetings!

Here's my theory - what happens if we make our audience the lead character, and we become the supporting role? In a story the supporting characters sole purpose is to help the lead achieve their goal.

Are you there to help solve their problem, or to achieve their goal?

It is important not to confuse their goal (or super challenge as I like to call it), with their obstacle.

Their goal might be to become the leader of a world class SaaS that helps travellers find accessible accommodation anywhere in the world (for instance), and their obstacle is having the right accounting support to have clear financial visibility.

The supporting role is there purely to provide advice, tools, mentorship and guidance to help them overcome obstacles and achieve the solution BUT (this is the important bit) they do not solve the super challenge directly - they are there help the lead to win the day.

Doesn't that sound like the best kind of advisor?

You might be offering finance solutions, tech, coaching, advice, metrics, software, policy updates... the tool to overcome obstacles that the lead faces on their journey. You are the mentor. The Yoda to the Luke. The Q to the Bond.

By presenting to an audience in a mentor mindset your presentation will:

  • Help the audience feel important, and cared for

  • Put their challenge front and centre, not yours

  • Shift the focus onto them, and not on you (reducing imposter syndrome and performance nerves)

  • Deliver advice or information that really connects to their (or the organisations) pain and WOW them.

  • Help you focus on your strengths, and deliver confident information

There you have it. So next time you are delivering your expertise go forth and think a bit more Yoda. You'll find your presentations will be smoother, more confident and full of impact.

If you'd like to have more confidence when speaking to clients, or promoting your services (yes - public speaking!) take a look at my online courses:

#presentationtips #accountantsandaccounting #communication #mentormindset #trustedadvisors #likeknowtrust #presentationtraining #speakingtraining #pitchyourbusiness #speakingambition