Your Path to Strong Presentation Presence
Updated: Aug 25, 2020
There are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you had given. –Dale Carnegie
One of the most sought-after competencies for our clients this year has been presentation presence skill development. I’m perplexed about what may be driving this uptick. Maybe it was the pending eclipse, global warming, or some textbook public displays of bad professional presence. Or, perhaps many leaders are simply starting to recognize that what they say and how they say it really does matter. The reality is clear – presentation presence can be either a leadership brand builder or a growth-limiter and saboteur.
Presentation Presence Makes a Difference
One of the first hurdles the leaders I work with learn to jump over is nervousness. Do you ever find yourself with the slightest bit of jitters before a team or staff meeting where you have the spotlight, or a much bigger venue where you really feel the pressure for top shelf performance? If so, here are some best practice tips we use to move a leader into the mindset required for exceptional presentation presence and delivery.
Best Practice Tips
1- Get over yourself – this presentation isn’t even about you. If you think it is, then your focus is misplaced. It’s about the others in the room who need and want to hear your thoughts. Be the Dr. who’s there to heal wanting minds and to provide insight to curious listeners. You’re there to serve up what they need. As soon as this lightbulb starts to flicker for you, it will start you on the path to eliminating much of your concern and worry.
2- Lose the nervousness tied to fear, and re-channel it to desire. This will bolster your energy to deliver an engaging presentation. You need some nervousness to convert into much needed energy. As Bert Decker, world renowned presentation expert reminds us, “The secret is to get the butterflies to fly in formation.”
4- Humanize yourself. Be open and transparent about something you can share with the group to put their minds at ease and to establish a connection. It could be a travel faux pas you experienced getting there, a relatable analogy, or a simple slice of humor to engage with the group. The rule of thumb about staying away from politics and highly charged or sensitive issues is still a good one.
5- Create a well thought out, organized format and PRACTICE it. Think you can wing it? How’s that worked for you in the past? If you’re lucky, it may have worked on occasion, but make no mistake, the most seasoned, well executed presentations have been well thought out, organized and rehearsed at least three times. As one of our daughters who is now 21 told her grandmother when she was only 3 and mastering rollerblading, “Grandma, you should know I’m so good because it took LOTS and LOTS of practice.”
Nervous about an upcoming presentation or not sure how to execute on your best delivery? By using these techniques, you’re on your way to becoming a leader with enviable presentation presence.