What to do when you suffer from Speakers Block

barrierIt is the first full week back after the Big School Holidays and I am wondering what to write for this week’s blog.  it is not that there isn’t lots of things that I could write.  It just seems like a mental block. Writers block. Stale mate. Feeling like I have just not got back into the swing nor the momentum of daily and weekly routine.

Ever had that feeling? Especially when you need to prepare a presentation?  Of course you know your stuff. Of course you are aware of time ticking by and the need to just get on with it. But somehow the flow doesn’t materialise. the content doesn’t magic itself in front of you. All you know is that there is a mass of work to be done and you need some boost or oomph to make it start.

Well the way some presenters deal with that is to open up PowerPoint, bullet list some key points, add some clip art and hope for the best. There is a saying that if you have Writers Block then it is about getting it written rather than right in the first instance.  That may work for Writers Block.  But if you are delivering a presentation you are working on something that will be spoken not written. When we write ( and by that I also mean bullet point) our presentation we can fall into the trap of writing written English not Spoken English. So we end up with longer sentences, using words we don’t typically use when we talk, with odd sentence construction.  And you will know when speakers have done this because they run out of breath, they sound stilted (like a brochure) and the meaning has been sucked out of their words.

If the best way of breaking Writers BLock is to write, the best way of breaking Speakers Block is to speak. Articulate what you want people to takeaway. Speak out loud your core message. Know that you will change this.  Know that what first comes out of your mouth won’t be the finished product but get the creative juices flowing. Kick start the design process by focussing on what people need to hear and feel first.

And it appears that I have broken my Writers Block too today. Please ask your questions below or contact me if you need any help with Speakers Block or any other aspect of your presenting skills.  And make sure you sign up for weekly inspiration for your presentations here, Speech Bubbles.

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