The key to high impact public speaking and presenting is contained in a number of timeless, real and very powerful truths.
We call it mindful presenting.
2020 has been a challenging, exhausting and troublesome year for all of us. The team at Mindful Presenter would like to help you take your public speaking and presentation skills to a whole new level in 2021. We hope this series of article will help you to do just that.
Truth 14 – Nobody cares who you are
You have moments to capture your audience’s full attention, interest and curiosity. The key word in high impact public speaking is ‘impact’, and that has to be made instantly.
Today’s audiences are highly discerning and they will already know who you are and why you are speaking to them. The last thing they want to hear is you reeling off your name, position, credentials, how many offices you have and how many widgets you make. They really don’t care.
What they do care about however, is how you can make their lives better, easier or happier.
A really good public speaking coach will show you exactly how to capture and keep your audience’s attention, interest and curiosity. In the meantime, this will help you.
Truth 15 – Be a good tour guide
Cast your mind back for a moment to one of your most memorable holidays.
Not one of those where you lay on a sun-soaked beach all day drinking cocktails.
I’m thinking of one where you travelled around explored and learned fascinating facts and stories about the places you visited. It’s likely, that one of the many things which made that trip so memorable was that you had a really good tour guide. They didn’t just bore you to death with the facts and data; they brought everything to life. They painted pictures in your mind, told you stories and even transported you back in time.
In the domain of high impact public speaking that’s exactly what our audiences want too, a really good tour guide; especially when you are presenting data.
A really good public speaking coach will show you exactly how to be an exceptional good tour guide. In the meantime, if you find yourself presenting data soon, this will help you.
Truth 16 – Be a like a dog
I know what you’re thinking. First, he says, be a good tour guide; now it’s a dog. I can explain that too.
This one will require a little imagination too.
Imagine you have a dog in the room with you, standing right next to you in this moment.
The dog knows he’s in the room but he doesn’t necessarily know that he knows he is in the room.
You on the other hand have the full gift of consciousness and intellect. This suggests that, unlike the dog, you know you are in the room and you also know that you know you are in the room.
Are you still with me?
The question is, in terms of presence, who gets to be truly in the room, you or the dog?
Perhaps you really will need a good public speaking coach to demonstrate this one. In the meantime, this article may help.
Truth 17 – Movement is energy
Another key to high impact public speaking and presenting is movement.
Have you ever sat through a presentation where the presenter didn’t move?
There were no hand gestures, no facial expressions, eye contact or physical movement at all. If you have endured such a presentation its likely that it will have been received as boring.
Movement is energy, it offers visual stimulation. A presenter can have a content rich presentation with a clear and compelling message but it is lost without movement. I’m not talking about theatre or drama here; I’m referring to authentic, meaningful movement.
A really good public speaking coach will show you what works well for you personally. In the meantime, here are a few tips you don’t often read.
Truth 18 – Perception is reality
In a previous article I wrote:
‘Imagine how you would feel about presenting and the impact you would have on your audience if you change the way you see things through mindful presenting.
– Focusing on your strengths as a presenter rather than your limiting beliefs and bad habits. We all have strengths; we just have to look for them.
– Seeing your audience as people who are no different to you; someone’s son, daughter, brother, sister, mother or father.
– Focusing on how you can help your audience and the difference you can make to their lives rather than showing them how good you are at your job.
– Seeing the opportunity to connect with people and make them feel something in a world where so many people feel so numb.
Read the full article here: 8 Principles of Mindful Presenting & Public Speaking
Truth 19 – Bad habits aren’t that bad
Whilst bad habits can get in the way of high impact public speaking it’s worth being clear on what this look like.
At Mindful Presenter we have a very clear and simple definition of what a bad habit is when it comes to public speaking and presenting.
‘A bad habit is anything we do or say repeatedly to the point of distraction.’
Clarity is really important here.
High impact public speaking isn’t about acting or theatre; it’s about impact through authenticity. In other words, no one wants to see or hear a slick, polished and memorised presentation. Doing or saying something once or twice in a presentation doesn’t make it a bad habit; it makes you human and real.
Doing or saying that same thing repeatedly to the point that’s all your audience can focus on is a bad habit.
A really good public speaking coach will help you to identify your bad habits and fix them. In the meantime, here are a few solutions for the most common bad habits.
Truth 20 – The world has changed
In a previous article I asked a very important question:
‘We live in a world of change; the question is, has public speaking and business presenting changed over the last 3 decades?’
My response to my own question from a personal and professional perspective was:
‘Not a great deal.’
This decade has to bring the desperately needed change.
A really good public speaking coach will show you how to lead that change. In the meantime, here are a 3 simple yet immensely powerful solutions.
Truth 21 – Virtual is real
COVID-19 has changed the way we communicate with each other in business. Virtual presentations, virtual meetings and even virtual conferences have become the norm in 2020. Post pandemic, we are still highly likely to be living in a world of virtual presentations in the future.
In terms of high impact public speaking and presenting the virtual shift of 2020 has simply exposed and accentuated the challenges many presenters face in connecting with their audience. Whilst the world has changed and the medium for presenting has changed from in-person to virtual, the keys to success remain the same.
A really good public speaking coach will help you to present with confidence power and impact in the virtual world. In the meantime, following these 5 simple tips will serve you extremely well.
Truth 22 – There are two big questions
If you have any interest or desire to become a high impact public speaker don’t believe the myth that great speakers are born that way. High impact public speaking and presenting is a learned skill. Don’t blame your parents or teachers for not giving you the confidence to speak, don’t say you’re an introvert; do something.
Before you do however, there are two extremely important questions you need to ask and answer for yourself.
- Am I able?
- Am I willing?
The answer to the first question has to be a resounding yes, for all of us; no exceptions. Question two is a little trickier.
Let’s expand the question slightly. What you really have to be able to answer is whether you are willing to do whatever it takes, at the exclusion of all other distractions to become a highly effective presenter.
Only you can truly answer that critically important second question.
If you answer ‘yes’ to both and need some help, a really good public speaking coach will show you how. In the meantime, here are 7 tips to set you on your path to success.
Truth 23 – It’s about the future
High impact public speaking involves giving your audience a number of things. Here are 3 of the most important:
Unless you are an entertainer your audience have agreed to listen to you because you have something they don’t have. You have the knowledge, data, insights, expertise and credibility on a specific topic.
Mediocre presenters focus entirely on delivering number 1, the facts.
The mindful presenter crafts and delivers a presentation in the knowledge that their audience want them to:
– Feel something emotional about the facts
– See very clearly how acting on the information can help them in the future
A really good public speaking coach will help you to show your audience what the future can look like for them. In the meantime, this article ‘The New World of Public Speaking & Presenting’ will help you a great deal.
Truth 24 – A presentation without stories is a lecture
I don’t believe that I have ever met anyone who truly enjoys being on the receiving end of business presentations. Most people don’t even like having to give them.
That said, just about everyone I know relishes the idea of having a good conversation. High impact public speaking isn’t about talking at your audience and simply deluging them in data.
It’s about connecting with them on a personal level, emotionally as well as intellectually. The most powerful route to create that connection is story telling.
A really good public speaking coach will show you how to find and tell stories which are short, relevant and compelling. In the meantime, the following articles are packed with rich information on how to start telling stories.
Truth 25 – If it’s not hard, it’s probably not worth it
The reason so many people shy away from the idea of presenting and public speaking is because it is challenging. To name just a few key elements, it takes:
We live in a world where everyone is so busy being busy that the thought of crafting and delivering a high impact presentation is hard.
At mindful presenter we recognise and respect the challenge although look at it differently.
If we have the opportunity to make someone else’s life, better, easier or happier in some way through our presentation, it has to be worth it.
A really good public speaking coach will show you how to learn and enjoy the art of public speaking so that you can make someone’s life better, easier or happier.
If you found some of these truths helpful, please watch out for part 3 in the series which will be coming soon.
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If this article has inspired you to learn a little more about how effective your presentation skills are you may want to take a look at our presentation training and presentation coaching pages to see how we may be able to help you. You will also find a great deal of really helpful ‘free’ information in our Learning Centre.
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