Presenting with focus is key the key to presentation success
The prerequisite to ensuring you craft and deliver a memorable presentation to any audience is focus. At Mindful Presenter we believe that the one thing we need to focus on more is; how we want our audience to feel.
We’ve been presenting to each other in one form or another since the beginning of time. Many people think it’s an extremely complex thing to excel at.
Presenting with focus begins with the image you focus on in your mind.
The clearer the image as to how we want our audience to feel when we’ve finished speaking, the less fear, doubt and confusion there is.
How many things are fighting for your attention right now, your:
My ‘to do list’ is growing at such an alarming rate that it often worries me how on earth I can possible do it all.
Just when we think it couldn’t possibly get any worse we are called upon to build and deliver a really important presentation. We have so much to do that the very idea of even finding the time to sit down to craft a business presentation can feel quite soul destroying.
Where do I start?
The first place most professionals head to is their laptop. Resist this urge.
Try this instead
Find yourself some time and space to think, breathe and ponder.
Ask yourself a few challenging questions:
Why do I need to present?
What’s so important?
How can I help my audience?
What is my message?
Why should they care?
It has been suggested that the human mind is conditioned to wander around 47% of the time. If that’s true, presenting with focus is crucial.
Presenting with focus involves setting aside uninterrupted, quality time to consider, craft and practice your presentation.
Don’t buy into the misnomer of multitasking.
Despite popular belief, the human mind is unable to focus effectively on more than one thing at a time. The more you force yours to do so, you are compromising your presentation.
The more you switch to doing other things when you should be focusing exclusively on your presentation the less focus you will have on what truly matters; your audience.
Filter as you focus
Have you noticed that a great number of business presentations are filled with superfluous ‘noise’? In other words, a stream of data, facts and insights that sound impressive but serve little value in making a tangible difference to our professional or personal lives.
At Mindful Presenter we coach professionals to focus on the ‘gold’.
Imagine you are panning for gold. You can be absolutely certain 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.
When it comes to presenting if what you have to share isn’t of significant relevance or value to your audience then it isn’t ‘gold’.
Presenting with focus involves finding thegold.
If you are stressed you can be quite certain that you will severely diminish your capacity to focus.
Take a few minutes each time you commit to working on your presentation to sit quietly in a state of mindfulness.
Take a few deep breathes, and place your attention on one of your senses at a time for a few moments. Notice how your body feels, notice any sounds or smells.
Spend a few minutes simply noticing your breath. Notice each breath in and each breath out. Don’t try to change anything, judge anything or analyse your breath, just notice it.
“That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” Steve Jobs
If you need help presenting with focus:
– 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 Flickr.com
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