One Sure Way to advance your career is to Increase your Visibility by Giving Presentations.
As an International Facilitator of Professional Presentations, I’ve had the opportunity to meet professionals who have a lot of confidence in presenting, and others who have the fear of public speaking.
Confidence alone doesn’t produce effective presentations although it does help. Strategies and techniques are also important (this is a given); however, there is one more element that is, undoubtedly, the KEY to an outstanding presentation.
I say this, because I remember when I was overconfident but didn’t know what I’m about to reveal.
There is a specific Mindset necessary to be able to create connection with an audience and deliver a message that brings audiences to ACTION. Ultimately, this is what an effective presenter does: “Delivers a message that inspires others to take ACTION”.
What is this mindset I’m talking about? Here are the questions you need to answer:
What are my thoughts and feelings as a presenter?
What attitudes do I bring to the presentation?
How Am I feeling?
What do I know about the audience?
Am I clear about my needs?
Am I clear about their needs?
By the way, it is assumed you know the material you are delivering, and in fact, rehearsing the material 7 times is one of the recommendations I give to participants in our courses.
Back to the Mindset ... I remember a time I asked my participants to tell me one the reasons they liked presenting. One very confident young man was eager to share with the rest of the class: “I really like being up front and feeling like a Star”, he said. I didn’t comment at this point, however, when the time was appropriate, I mentioned that as presenters we are never “the Star” – the AUDIENCE is. This young man told me at the end of the course that he was very thankful for this new awareness and had a Paradigm shift (change of perspective) during the training.
Below are the top 10 presenter attitudes (mindset) that help us move from being the Star to making the Audience the Star.
- I’m not the most important part of the presentation, the AUDIENCE is.
- I’m not here to perform. I’m here to Connect, inform, enrich the audience experience (in that order).
- I know what the audience needs as well as what I need.
- I only talk about audience Needs and Benefits to them.
- PowerPoint (if I’m using) is not the presentation, the information I have is.
- The audience is welcome to ask me any questions. When I don’t know the answer, with complete confidence, I respond: “I don’t know” and will do my best to provide you an answer within a couple of days (if this is the case). I understand that it’s human to not know everything.
- When I use audience members names, we connect.
- When I share a personal story I relate with my audience on a personal level.
- I don’t just talk, I show through examples, anecdotes and personal experiences.
- I inspire my audience to TAKE ACTION – either to make a change, ask more questions, see things differently, contact me later, make a decision, etc. A presentation without an ACTION is ineffective. Audiences time is valuable and it needs to be considered as such.
In summary, as presenters, do we need to have confidence? Yes. Do we need to have strategy and technique? Yes. And most importantly, we need to have a specific Mindset so that our Audience becomes the Star of our presentation, and consequently, go out and take action based on the message we deliver. After all, this is what our objective must be.