Don’t prepare properly if at all. Rehearse by repeating your presentation again and again in your head and perhaps by flicking through your presentation slides so that you are familiar with them. Allow yourself to be surprised at what your words sounds like once they come outside of your head. Give yourself a thrill when your body moves in unexpected ways while in front of your audience. Hope for the best. Don’t think through people responses to your content in advance. React to these on the day – it adds some extra frisson to the event. Be delighted if they smile and encourage (you might be able to go ‘off-piste’ a little or add unnecessary information in) or if they frown and look puzzled you can tone it down and get off as quickly as possible. It is all about being in the moment right?
#Habit 2 Speak without a clear message in mind
If your audiences are intelligent, fully engaged and can mind read, then there is no need for you to have a clear goal or message in mind. Speak as the heart or mind leads you and surely the audience can work it out for themselves. It is obvious isn’t it? And part of the fun of listening to a presentation is trying to work out what is important, where everything fits in and what you are meant to be doing with the content supplied. You can’t spoon-feed your audience everything can you?
#Habit 3 Provide lists of masses of information.
People are logical right? Therefore dumping lots and lots of your information on them in the form of a logical list makes sense. After all this is probably how you have brainstormed your material in the first place. And PowerPoint very nicely has provided you with a bullet point format on their slide formats so it must be the way that people listen right? Creating a ‘shape’ to your material sounds a bit creative for corporate information surely and no one really remembers it – do they?
#Habit 4 Decide what you need to say and then say it…
The presentation is your moment. You are in charge and it is all about what you have to say. After all you are likely the expert in the room and this is your opportunity to deliver all that you know to impress or sell or educate…
#Habit 5 Give your presentation from your own perspective.
Your audiences are intelligent enough to apply this to their own lives and scenarios aren’t they? It is fairly obvious that if you make a statement and then back it up with a benefit (especially if it is an obvious benefit to you) then they will be able to follow the argument through. There is no need to consider how what you are talking about appears to them, is relevant to them or beneficial to them at all.
#Habit 6 Talk clearly and constantly and eventually people will ‘get’ it
Imagine yourself in a bubble with your audience outside the bubble. This way they can’t get in to distract you and you can’t get out to be distracted. Now you can stay on course and talk at them with out interruption or connection. If they are listening and if they stay listening and if they can work out why they are listening then everything will go swimmingly
#Habit 7 Once you have done this presenting-lark, then you have cracked it. Keep on doing it the same
If you have done it once you can do it again. It is such a painful process to seek feedback and to apply new techniques or try different ways of doing something, that it is probably better to keep on repeating the same old pattern. After all you will sound like the majority of presenters in business and blend in effectively with all those other mediocre public speakers out there. Feedback, coaching and training will only put you out of your comfort zone again and effective, brilliant speaking will really make you stand out.
**my apologies to the late Stephen Covey
I have recently been re-reading Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Effective People. He outlines the habits required for a fulfilled and fulfilling life. He talks about being proactive, beginning with the end in mind, putting first things first, thinking win-win, seeking first to understand & then to be understood, synergize and then sharpen the saw.
If you would like to chat about the 7 Habits to ensure your presentation is more than mediocre then call Catherine on 07946604859 or email on Catherine @catherinesandland.com . Click here to receiver regular email tips for Expert Who Present
The Expert’s Presentation Game plan is an online training programme available using this link.