Have you given your presentation an X ray?
Jul 17, 2018 By Maurice Decastro In Mindfulness, Presentation Skills, Public Speaking
Being on the receiving end of a bad presentation is akin to the feelings associated with breaking a bone in your body.
– Your frustration begins to swell and your patience is bruised
– You experience a loss of function – your ability to concentrate
– The pain gets worse the longer the presenter drones on
If you broke a bone in your body you can be certain that on visiting any health care facility for help, the very first thing they would do is to give you an X ray. The purpose of which would be to ascertain whether your skeletal structure has been damaged or compromised in any way.
At the very beginning of this series of articles in ‘The A to Z of Mindful Presenting’ I said that ‘Mindful Presenting is the key to connecting with any audience with clarity, confidence and creativity.’
To achieve that goal and to avoid the potential frustration, loss of function and pain, the solution is to craft a presentation structure that is robust enough to avoid any of the symptoms.
The slightest break in the anatomy of your presentation can cause a great deal of discomfort to your audience.
Imagine you were the proud owner of your very own X ray machine. This piece of equipment however doesn’t scan for broken bones. Instead it fires a beam of mindfulness that detects every element of your presentation that:
– Is irrelevant to your audience
– Is unnecessarily repetitive
– Is too complex
– Is boring
– Is likely to cause them frustration, challenge their patience or inflict any pain
The way in which it scours your presentation to identify these flaws is to examine every aspect of your offering against a rigorously tried and tested approach to high impact presenting; mindful presenting. At the very heart of every mindful presentation is GOLD.
In the same way that a traditional X ray machine can scan each of the 206 bones in the adult body, this unique machine will investigate every part of your presentation. It will pay a great deal of attention to the following features.
Most of us love the idea of receiving a gift. The ones we prefer receiving are those which have clearly been given a great deal of thought. These are the gifts which demonstrate that the giver has gone out of their way to:
– Get to know and understand us
– Appreciate what we want and need the most
– Show that they value and respect us
– Care about how we feel
Most professionals find themselves attending many presentations each week. Our first challenge as presenters in terms of our mindset and approach is to craft a presentation which will be received as a gift rather than simply another data dump.
If your X ray machine can’t clearly see your presentation as a gift then it is already impaired.
Your X ray machine needs to scan the very first thing you say and show to your audience.
Don’t just open your presentation; in other words, avoid starting by saying good morning, my name is …. At Mindful Presenter we often argue that we already have our audience’s attention by virtue of the fact that they turned up to listen to us in the first place. We have to work harder and they deserve much more from us.
Imagine you are celebrating an event or something you have been working on for some time of real value. Here are a few powerful examples of how to launch your presentation in an article I wrote called: ‘6 real examples of how to open a presentation with impact.’
Every presentation is a lesson. If your audience already knows what you are about to share with them and there is nothing new to learn, then arguably your presentation is pointless.
There is nothing worse than listening to someone drone on and on about something that:
- You already know
- Can have read and understood easily in an email
- The presenter is reading in their presentation
When you X ray your presentation make sure you scan every fact, statement and image for relevance and impact. If it’s not new to them then it’s nothing more than ‘noise’.
Your X ray machine is still working very hard. Before it shuts down it scans very clearly the moment of truth.
What do your want your audience to do the moment you have finished speaking and how do you want them to feel. If you are not completely clear about either of these elements then it’s likely that your content will be forgotten by the time your audience return to their car or desk.
Never let your audience leave the meeting room without absolute clarity of what you want them to do having next have sat listening patiently to you for the last 20 minutes.
Give them the Gold
Consider crafting your presentation as if you were panning for gold. You can be sure that most of what you will find is dirt, dust and gravel. If you filter long and hard enough you just may find a piece of gold. That’s our job as presenters, to filter the ‘noise’ until we find the gold.
The X ray machine I have referred to throughout this article is your very own mind.
Make certain that you use yours repeatedly to scan for the gold.
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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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