I completely understand that presenting is something that most people dread. Even those of us who regularly speak in front of large and small groups recognise the mounting nerves which can threaten to hijack the best prepared performance. So why would we make it even more difficult by pointing out to our audience that our presentation is not worth listening to?!
‘You’ll get bored with me.’ (If you say so).
‘ You’ll have to put up with me droning on for a bit longer yet.’ (Just how much longer, I thought).
‘We weren’t expecting many people here.’ (So why did you plan the event for today then, I wondered).
‘ You’ll be sick of the sight of me by the end of the day.’ (Oh dear).
‘ It’s really exciting stuff’, said with a sarcastic tone. (Clearly it’s not and we’ll just have to trudge our way through the detail)
All of these sentences peppered the first 10 minutes of a recent presentation I’d been keen to hear – and, when I consciously put aside the downbeat scene setting, it was worth hearing.
Preparing to present is not just about preparing the content. Equally important is preparing your mindset. What is in your head is likely to come out of your mouth – as this example illustrates!.
Rather than risking your subconscious mind hijacking a great presentation work out what messages you want to communicate. Line up your words, your body language, your voice tone, your slides, your handouts and any other props to deliver the messages you really want your audience to hear. Dont be your own saboteur!
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