Sir Patrick Vallance Asks For “Next Slide Please”

Downing Street Coronavirus Briefings

By Andrew Ivey | Presentations

Apr 02

The daily Downing Street press conference during the Chinese Coronavirus crisis is certainly both fascinating and sobering. In part that's because the conference is very familiar to anyone that's seen any major announcement from 10 Downing Street: new initiatives, European Union matters and the visits of foreign heads of state. Yet, it's also sobering because of the contributions of the Chief Medical Officer and the Government's Chief Scientific Adviser. And so, we've become absorbed with the cry of, "next slide please."

Next slide please

"Next Slide, Please" Helps Keep Sir Patrick Vallance On Presentation Track

Now when it comes to important presentations, Sir Patrick Vallance, the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government, is no stranger to these events. Because his career at the pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline certainly prepared him for high stakes presentations and pitches.

Team Presentation Calls For Next Slide

So, it might be surprising to discover his reliance on a member of his team as a presentation slide changer. Not least because so many business people are fully acquainted with PowerPoint or keynote. You'd perhaps imagine that he could advance his slides himself.

But, if that happened then we wouldn't hear,

Next slide, please

Of course it's a terribly serious presentation. And, certainly it's one where you cannot fluff your lines. So, that's perhaps the reason why he works with a colleague. Yes, it's a two-person presentation. Sir Patrick is the front man and his colleague keeps the content flowing with the slide changes. And you don't have to guess why that's important. Because as a speaker at any event, in 10 Downing Street or elsewhere, you want confidence. You want to be confident in your surroundings and your slide presentation technology. And, no one wants a repeat of the Theresa May conference speech disaster of 2017.

How You Can Be Confident With Your Slide Presentation

When you give a PowerPoint presentation with your colleague you can always aim to:

  • Practise and familiarise yourselves with all the equipment you intend to use.
  • Arrive early for your presentation. It always calms the nerves.
  • Check that everything is set up beforehand and have a run-through.
  • Make sure that you both know the cue words: Next slide, please.

So, if you can work with a colleague, then so much the better. Because there's no point in managing a Logitech slide pointer and a PowerPoint slide deck if you really have far more pressing matters on which to focus. Thank you, Sir Patrick.

Of course when you need some valuable input for your next business presentation, when this Coronavirus crisis is well and truly over, you can discover plenty of online presentation tips. Since with more than 100 top effective presentation tips, there really is something for every occasion. And, when the conference and seminar season resumes, you can always ask us about training and coaching.

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About the Author

The Principal Trainer at training business Time to Market. Based in Oxford, I run presentation and public speaking training courses, coaching sessions and seminars throughout the UK.

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