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August 26, 2015
Presenting Is Like Kissing: Part 2
For part 1 of Presenting Is Like Kissing, click here.

Over the years I’ve come to realize that presenting really is just like kissing. It just takes a little confidence and practice.

The practice isn’t something I can really help you with, but the following suggestions could go a long way to improving your confidence.
—Presenting Is Like Kissing: Part 1

6. Have a clear objective.
Don’t even think about sitting down to craft a presentation until you are crystal clear why you are doing it in the first place. By the way, the answer “because it’s my job” is not a good reason.

Your objective is what you want from your audience and why they should care about what you want.

7. Is your intention aligned to your objective?
There must be complete congruence between what you want from your audience and how you set about getting it. Your intention is how you want them to feel to ensure they act on your message.

8. Use a structure that works every time.
In our presentation skills workshops, we teach our delegates to use:

Attention — That means dare to be different, create curiosity, and arouse interest with your opening.
Relevant — Make sure that everything you say, show, or do is completely relevant; start early, too.
Message — If you’re not clear on why you’re there, they won’t be either.
Examples — Don’t just dump information and data; bring your message to life with examples.
Do — Make sure no one leaves the room until you’ve told them what you want them to do now.

9. Be an eight of clubs.
Imagine holding a pack of playing cards with the Royalty removed. Each card represents a level of confidence, with Ace being the lowest and 10 being the highest.

The next time you present, take an eight of clubs with you in your pocket or purse and hold an image in your mind of what a level eight in confidence looks like to you. Hold that image and be the eight.

Try it; you’ll see it works.

10. Breathe.
I’ve always found it fascinating that the very first thing we do when we arrive on this planet is to breathe in and the very last thing we do as we leave is to breathe out. Apart from paying taxes, it’s one of the few things we all have in common — yet most of us spend a lifetime not doing it properly, especially when it’s time to present.

These four simple steps will make an enormous difference if you take them just before you speak:
  • Slowly breathe out for as long as you can.
  • Take a long, slow, deep breath in through your nose and feel your stomach expand as you do.
  • Hold the breath for a count of eight.
  • Breathe out slowly as you sigh and relax.
Try that a few times and notice the difference.

If you’re like me and remember that first kiss, you’ll probably also remember that the lead up to it carries some resemblance to the way you may feel in preparing for your first or an important presentation.

If I had been able to Google these suggestions decades ago, both would have been much easier for me.

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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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