People & Human Resources

Recognise and reward: How to perfect your Christmas party presentation

Emma Bannister /

The end of year Christmas party is the perfect concoction of punch and presentations. Trouble is, most of us get stuck into the sangria to try and drown out the nerves that usually come along with having to do a big speech in front of everyone.

Thankfully, with a little preparation (and restraint) you can give the perfect presentation that everyone will remember — in a good way, not a bad one.

Recognise and reward

Any time you’ve got all your people together is a great opportunity for you to celebrate achievements and boost comradery.

Research shows 88% of employees agree it’s important employers reward them for great work. While other studies show employees who receive strong recognition are 33% more likely to be proactive and innovative. That is reason enough to say thanks!

It’s crucial to recognise and reward everyone (not just the chosen few) at the end of the year. Whatever goes down now, will set you up for the months that follow. If you want to make next year the best and most creative yet (which you do), then think about getting people excited about that now.

Don’t wait until the end of the year to critique or play the blame game. It’s really easy to get sucked into what didn’t work, what accounts you lost, or pitches were not won, but now is not the time to bring that up.

Focus on what went right, what clients you did win, and, most importantly, how you worked together as a team.

Realign the vision

Your culture really dictates how everyone behaves in your business. It’s made up of the shared values and beliefs that you set and say are essential.  

So the end of the year is a great time to remind everyone in the team, the direction that the business is heading in. It’s when people feel like they are part of something bigger they start to achieve more together.

It’s still important to be transparent, however. Don’t lie and say it was the best year yet if it wasn’t. Be open and honest when things haven’t gone to plan, or tracked well. There’s nothing worse than working for a company and feeling like you’re just being lied to — transparency is the key to trust and a thriving culture.

But do remember to talk about what you might do differently next year to combat that. That does not mean company restructures and job losses! Reiterate how important it is you all work together, how much you trust everyone and value their opinions and ideas.

It’s vital to strengthen your message — your vision, values and culture — so that they are clear and translated to everyone, ready to ring in the next year.

Be human

Above all else, remember you are all human. And as individuals, we all long to belong and to feel valued.

Share your aspirations, as well as your own challenges — don’t be afraid to show a little vulnerability. Your team will appreciate you for that. What did you find hard? What are you looking forward to trying next year?

Of course, it’s easy to forget this when you’ve got your head down, day in, day out, churning through work, but when you remind everyone that you’re all on the journey together then you reduce fear and instil confidence in every individual involved.

That’s when everyone will connect to a future they want to be a part of and will remember your presentation long after the sangria has gone down.

NOW READ: Christmas party? There’s a tax for that

NOW READ: Planning a successful Christmas party: Avoid the common pitfalls with these tips

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Emma Bannister

Emma is the founder and chief executive officer of Presentation Studio, APAC’s largest presentation communication agency, and author of the book Visual Thinking: How to transform the way you think, communicate and influence with presentations.

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