7 Steps to Tap In To Your Presentation Genius

woman with puzzle coming out of head

Here at Mindful Presenter we believe that everyone has a secret presentation genius inside of them waiting to be unleashed.

If you have a fear of public speaking and presenting it’s unlikely that you will share our view at the moment but please stay with me for a while.

You may be one of the countless people we help every week who believe that the idea of being a presentation genius is nothing more than a pipe dream.

It’s hard to imagine being a presentation genius if you are telling yourself:

‘I can’t do it, I’m a terrible presenter’

‘I get too scared, I just don’t have the confidence’

‘I’ll make a fool of myself’

‘They won’t like me’

If any of those thoughts have ever entered your mind, rest assured that you’re not alone.

It’s been suggested that as much as 77% of the population has some level of anxiety regarding public speaking and presenting.

It’s true

Our experience at Mindful Presenter is that most people tell us that they feel some level of discomfort or nerves when it comes to presenting. Very few can relate to the idea of having a presentation genius hiding inside of us.

It’s there

Whatever you may be feeling today, please take respite in our belief that everyone has a secret presentation genius inside of them waiting to be unleashed.

Like most things in life, the unveiling of our presentation genius may not be easy but it’s within our gift. Following these 7 steps will set you on the path to finding, valuing and expressing your true voice

Step 1. Become curious

Curiosity is a gift inherent to all of us; it’s something we are all born with.

To unearth our presentation genius the journey begins with asking ourselves a series of thought provoking questions.

– What am I afraid of?

– Where would I be without that fear?

– What does it take to present with confidence?

– What would it take for me to find, value and express my voice?

‘Curiosity killed the cat’

It’s not true; that’s another myth.

Curiosity didn’t kill the cat, it liberated it!

I like the way that Joe Cardini puts it in his article, ‘The Curiosity Factor’.

‘When we sincerely embrace, with little to no inhibition or preconceived notions, the process of learning, we open up possibilities for personal growth and enrichment….we become better.’

The journey begins with asking yourself:

What will it take for me to present with confidence, presence and impact?

Step 2. Make a commitment

To unleash your presentation genius you have to ask yourself two very important questions.

The first question is:

Am I able?

In other words, is it humanly possible that I could find and unleash my presentation genius?

Am I willing?

In other words, am I willing to do whatever it takes to unleash my presentation genius?

Whilst challenging, the answer to the first question always has to be, ‘yes’.

If it isn’t, then there is little point asking yourself the second question; ‘Am I willing?’

This question is asking whether you are prepared to do whatever it takes to unleash your presentation genius. If you are prepared, then it’s time to make a commitment.

Keep in mind there is a big difference between interest and commitment.

You have to be more than interested

Interest reads an articles like this and does nothing with the information. Commitment acts on the information.

Interest attends a public speaking course and then avoids presenting. Commitment looks for opportunities to apply the ideas learned.

Interest say’s ‘one day I’ll…’ Commitment says ‘today’s the day.’

Make a commitment to do whatever it takes to unleash your presentation genius.

Step 3.  Create a vision

You’ve satisfied your curiosity through answering and asking yourself a number of important questions. You have a clear idea of what will it take for you to present with confidence, presence and impact.

The answers feel scary and challenging but you’ve made a firm commitment to do whatever it takes to achieve your goal.

Now it’s time to see the future

Having a clear vision will give you direction to follow through on your commitment and make your goal a reality. The clearer the vision is, the less fear, doubt and confusion there will be.

I like the way it’s described in the article, ‘What is Vision and Why is Having a Vision Important?’

‘Here’s a look at a few reasons why having a vision is so vital to success:

– Overcome roadblocks and hurdles

– Substantiate your goals

– Sets expectations

– Adds focus

– Delivers meaning and purpose’

Creating your vision

Creating a personal vision in any area of life is a process of  mindfulness. Being totally mindful of the fact that you are in charge. Others can help, influence, support and guide you but you’re the one calling the shots. It isn’t always easy but it’s easier if you’ve already made a firm commitment.

Once you have a clear vision the choices, decision and actions will take you towards achieving it.

Spend time meditating on what your presentation genius looks like to you.

Here’s an example

‘My personal vision is to unleash my presentation genius for the benefit of myself and others. It is important to me to be able to express myself with confidence, clarity and impact when speaking with any audience, inside or outside of work.

I value my voice and am very comfortable speaking freely, openly and authentically in any situation.

I want to have a career/life that allows me to respect and value myself and others through using my voice to help others and make a difference to their lives.

I will:

Study great public speakers

Learn to overcome nerves and anxiety when speaking

Use my voice as an instrument to influence and inspire others

Learn to speak with presence and gravitas

Connect emotionally as well as intellectually with my audience

Enjoy using my voice confidently to help others and make a difference.

Step 4. Open up

Many of us have grown up being encouraged to stay in control at all times. We are taught the value of planning for everything, being highly structured and organised.

Expectations are high of most of us in today’s world and many of us spend an exhaustive amount of time trying to conform or stay in control.

Our presentation genius doesn’t want to control, be controlled or conform.

It wants to express itself

To unleash our presentation genius and allow it to express itself we need to open up.

That means:

– Listening to our intuition

Our intuition is that part of us that’s stifled in the cognitive overload of life. It’s encumbered by the pressure to control, conform and compete.

Intuition is found in stillness. It’s hiding safely in the silence of meditation.

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.”  Albert Einstein

If you listen closely to your intuition, it will tell you that you have a unique voice which wants, needs and deserves to be heard.

– Showing gratitude

There is nothing more powerful that being thankful. Authentic gratitude for all that you are and all that you have allows us to appreciate

“Gratitude is the ability to experience life as a gift. It liberates us from the prison of self-preoccupation.” John Ortberg

When we express gratitude, both ourselves and the world arounds us begins to opens up.

Seeing the opportunity to speak with an audience through a mind of gratitude rather than resistance connects us to them in profound ways.

Step 5.  Think mindfully

“Two percent of the people think; three percent of the people think they think; and ninety-five percent of the people would rather die than think.” George Bernard Shaw

When many people think of a presentation genius they think of some of history’s greatest speakers, politicians, celebrities or popular Ted Talks.

Thinking mindfully begins by reminding ourselves that each of us has it’s own presentation genius waiting patiently to make an appearance.

To facilitate that we have to start reflecting on our:

– Own thoughts and limiting beliefs and challenging them

– Achievements and successes and embrace them

– Intention to connect with others rather than impress them

– Capacity for love and kindness to ourselves and others

– Need and ability to be present; in the moment

– Presentation genius, it’s not a gift reserved for the few

– Possibilities and opportunities rather than excuses and blame

Step 6.  Know yourself first

“To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.” Socrates

Our second greatest challenge in public speaking and presenting is knowing our audience.

The first is knowing ourselves first.

It feels quite futile trying to connect with an audience when we have little understanding of ourselves. If we can’t connect with ourselves how can we think about connecting effect with others.

In a previous article I wrote called, ‘3 presentation tips you don’t often hear from the experts,’ I said:

‘To truly be yourself, you have to know yourself’. It’s with that level of awareness that you get to be ‘your best self’; not just yourself.

Let’s put presentation tips aside for a moment and consider how to, know yourself’.

– Be still

Take a few moments each day to be quiet. Learn to become comfortable with silence and sitting quietly with yourself. Find a meditation or breath practice which allows you to slow down and calm down. Don’t set an objective or goal other than to be as still and as quiet as you can for a few minutes.

– Remember who you are

Take the time to remember just how far you’ve come. Recall all of your achievements, successes and the challenges you’ve overcome. Look at how much you have learned, grown and changed.

– Ditch the idea of perfection.

– In the article, ‘8 Ways to Stop Being a Perfectionist,’ the author shares an important truth:  ‘Perfectionism puts you under greater stress and is just plain bad for your health. All of which makes you less efficient and effective. It’s a downward spiral, and not a sustainable way to do business or live your life.’

– Get some feedback

Find out what you’re good at and not so good at.  One of the best presentation tips I could offer you is to book yourself onto a powerful public speaking course.’

Step 7. Get some help

When you feel ready to unleash your presentation genius, seek the help of a really good public speaking and presentation skills coach.

A great coach will help you to:

– Overcome fear and anxiety

– Build your confidence

– Find and value your true voice

– Speak with confidence, clarity and impact

– Stand out from the crowd, for all the right reasons

– Enjoy public speaking

– Advance your career

– Lead each time you speak

If you’d like help unleashing your public speaking genius:

– 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

Image courtesy of Canva.com

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