Many people believe that the ability to present an idea to an audience with confidence, clarity, and impact is a talent that the lucky few are simply born with.
As a presentation skills coach, I’m here to shatter the illusion and state unequivocally that it is nothing more than a limiting myth.
Thankfully, the opposite is true.
In my experience those presenters who appear to us as naturally gifted speakers have had to work extremely hard to develop the skill we perceive to be an innate talent.
Like any talent, the journey to its acquisition begins with desire, intent, and the commitment to do whatever it takes to develop and nurture the skill.
Everyone has the same potential to be highly effective presenters and the following tips will describe what it takes to learn to present with style.
The journey has to begin by you asking yourself a few important questions:
- What do you want to say?
- Why do you want to say it?
- Why should your audience care?
- What do you want them to do with the information?
- What do you want them to feel?
- Will what you have to say make a tangible difference to their personal or professional lives?
Unless you have very clear and compelling answers to each of these questions, it’s highly unlikely that you should be thinking about crafting and delivering a presentation.
If your answers are meaningful and robust, the following tips will be of great value to you. If, on the other hand, they are not, you owe it to them to simply send them an email instead.
The most important principle that every great presenter puts at the forefront of everything else is the knowledge that their presentation is not about them, it’s about their audience.
They understand that the entire purpose of them speaking is to add value and make a difference. With that clarity, the next step is to begin to know and understand your audience; that process also begins by asking and answering some crucial questions.
- How many people are there?
- What’s their background?
- How much do they know already?
- What do they think about the topic?
- Are they likely to be sceptical or resistant? If so, why?
- Why should they listen to you?
- What challenges do they face?
- What keeps them awake at night?
- What do they want and need from you?
Insight: Do they need an in-depth understanding or more accurate knowledge on the topic? Perhaps they just need another perspective or appreciation of the subject. What do they need so badly that they can’t receive in an email?
Freedom: Is there a specific problem or pain point they are experiencing that you have the answers to that can set them free?
Success: Do have something that will help them to grow, flourish, prosper, or excel in some way? Will what you have to say make a significant contribution to their goals and objectives?
Happiness: Given the fact that we are influenced and driven by strong emotions, how do they want you to leave them feeling?
Watch out for Part 2...
Maurice De Castro is a former corporate executive of some of the UK’s best loved brands. Maurice believes that the route to success in any organisation lies squarely in its ability to really connect with people. That’s why he left the boardroom to create a business helping leaders to do exactly that. Learn more at www.mindfulpresenter.com
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