Presenting and speaking in public can be hard for even the most experienced presenters.
Before you fire up your lap top the moment you are summoned to speak I urge you to pause, breathe and become really mindful about the opportunity.
Years of unconscious programming can lead to mechanical reactions in crafting densely populated slides. These often include everything you know and want to say, rather than what you need to say or what your audience needs to hear.
We are hard wired by habit to think, say and do the same things we always think say and do. Presenters are not exempt from this unfortunate frailty.
The result; slides spewed out like scripts based on the question, ‘What am I going to say?’
That’s always the wrong first question!
The key to high impact public speaking and presenting is clarity of your ‘M’ point.
The ‘M’ point
The ‘M’ point represents the most important question because it relates to the presenter’s ‘Moment of truth’.
‘What result do I really want from this presentation?’
The ‘M’ point is the place you really want your audience to be the moment you finish speaking. Focus on it allows you to switch off ‘autopilot’ and become a highly conscious change agent. Let’s face it, your M point is always to change something; It could be a mindset, an understanding, a level of knowledge or clarity, a belief, an opinion, a behaviour, a decision, an action or simply a perspective.
On the journey through change, your ‘M’ point is what you really want your audience to do when you’ve finished presenting:
Approve my budget for the new project
Sign off my proposal
Buy my product/service
Recommend me to their clients
Ask for more information about the initiative
Ask for a proposal
Or it could simply be to understand, accept or change a view and act on that new position
The 3 key components of the M point are:
1. Your message
This is what will motivate your audience to your moment of truth. For example, you are the operations director presenting to the executive team. Your ‘M’ point is to get them to agree to buy and implement a brand new company wide CRM system. A message that may motivate your listeners to do so is that you have a means of not only increasing productivity, efficiency and sales but providing a platform for new opportunities and growth enabling you to increase market share.
2. Their motivation
What’s in it for them?
What’s the pain of not buying the software?
What’s the pleasure and pay off of going ahead?
Why should they even listen to you?
What problems of theirs would the M point solve and what opportunities would it create?
What’s the difference between the status quo and the new beginnings of tomorrow’s CRM?
3. Your motivation
What’s in it for you to take your audience to the ‘M’ point.
Is it marketing you, your image, your brand, your knowledge, creativity, credibility?
Is it to make a difference and be recognized for the impact?
Is it to elevate your standing among your peers, superiors, colleagues?
Is it to develop your leadership skills?
Is it to increase your confidence, job security, chances of promotion or to attain kudos for you and your team?
Some people say their motivation is simply that it’s their job; that’s what they are paid to do and that’s it. That may be so but we suggest you dig much deeper to find a more personal and powerful reason; nobody wants you to just do your job.
Focusing on your ‘M’ point will enable you to craft a creative and compelling presentation. Presenting your message with confidence clarity and impact is driven by your personal passion for your ‘M’ point.
One more thing, make sure you only have one ‘M’ point; consider your presentation as a journey in which you have only one destination. You can’t arrive in London and Paris at the same time, so choose your ‘M’ point wisely.
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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