5 Pearls of Wisdom from Presentation Masterminds

two pairs of feet standing next to the words'passion led us here'

Do you know a presentation mastermind?

We all have people who we admire and respect in our chosen passion.

I have quite a few.

Many are authors, speakers or leaders who are making a difference in the world.

As a presentation skills coach it wouldn’t surprise you that I like a presentation mastermind.

I’ve written about some of my favourites from articles in inc.com, forbes.com and fastcompany.com.

Here are a few thoughts from some of the presentation masterminds who influence our work at Mindful Presenter. 

1. Expand Their View of the World and Themselves 

“When you step up to give your presentation, you might be the most knowledgeable person in the room, but will you wield that knowledge with wisdom and humility? Presentations are not to be viewed as an opportunity to prove how brilliant you are. Instead, the audience should leave saying, ‘Wow, it was a real gift to spend time in that presentation with (insert your name here). I’m now armed with insights and tools to help me succeed.’ People will receive your message and be transformed by it.” 

Presentation mastermind – Nancy Duarte

Nancy Duarte is the founder and CEO of  duarte.com. She is also the author of several must read books including, Resonate and Slide: ology

The words ‘wisdom’ and ‘humility’  are at the heart of Nancy’s communication philosophy.

2. The key to storytelling is in the giving, not the getting

“The key to success with presentation—and storytelling in general—is to focus not on getting approval or a particular response from the audience, but on giving something meaningful to them. That is, it’s not about getting but about giving. Many years ago I was inspired by the approach to performance by the conductor Benjamin Zander. In his teachings, and in his book The Art of Possibilities, Zander encourages us to move the focus from ourselves —‘Am I good enough? Will they like me?’—and instead to turn our attention to the audience and ask the question ‘How can I make a contribution?’ 

Rather than thinking about success or failure, we shift focus to making a contribution for the audience. When you make that shift it’s liberating, you are no longer distracted and weighed down by self-doubt and insecurities. You can focus on something bigger.” 

Presentation mastermind – Garr Reynolds

Garr Reynolds is the best-selling author of another two books which are completed aligned to the Mindful Presenter ideology, Presentation Zen and the Naked Presenter

3. Start Your Speech by Giving Them Hope

“The French philosopher Gustav Le Bon once wrote, ‘The only religion of mankind is, and always has been, hope.’ When you speak effectively, you give people hope of some kind. Remember, the ultimate purpose of speaking is to inspire people to do things that they would not have done in the absence of your comments. Everything you say should relate to the actions you want people to take and the reasons that they should take those actions.”

Presentation mastermind – Brian Tracy 

4. Focus on entertaining

“Many speech coaches will disagree with this, but they don’t speak fifty times a year like I do. My theory is that the goal of a speech is to entertain. If people are entertained, you can also slip in a few nuggets of information. But if your speech is dull, no amount of information will make it great.”

Presentation mastermind – Guy Kawasaki 

I believe that Guy makes a really powerful point in encouraging us all to entertain our audience too. It’s certainly something I personally look forward to in the presentations I attend. 

5. Get excited, not scared

“So what happens when you hit the stage? Weird stuff. You might feel this strange combination of seeing the audience as friends but also enemies. There is a strange mix between these two emotions that happen when you really get into a talk. For me, I love them for being there and supporting me and being interested in what I have to say, but I also really want them to get the message, to leave with a new understanding of things. And that is a powerful feeling, the pull between those two things. 

That is what public speaking is really all about. You want to convey something with nothing but your own voice. You don’t want to seem crazy, but emotion is a good thing. It’s strong. It’s convincing. You’re allowed to get excited about your idea.” 

Presentation mastermind – Gary Vaynerchuk 

Gary Vaynerchuk gives presenters permission and encouragement to be excited about their ideas.

At the heart of mindful presenting is emotional intelligence. Which in short, is about tuning into the way you feel and channelling that emotion in a way that helps your audience. If you are interested in developing your presentation and communication skills I’d urge you to follow each of these minds and absorb yourself in their work.

I’d be very interested in hearing who influences and inspires you to be the best speaker you can be.

If you need help becoming a presentation mastermind:

– Book yourself onto a powerful public speaking course.

– Invest in some really good one to one public speaking coaching.

– Get yourself some excellent presentation training

Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

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