Sitting on the edge of my seat, journal ready, pencil in hand I was ready to be inspired, enlighted and challenged to the core.
Fourty five minutes passed. It seemed like only a week or so. I found myself sitting in the same position, pencil still at the ready and my page sadly blank, just like the look in my eyes and the train of though in my head.
I expected to be wowed and I was truly amazed, but not at the depth of wisdom gained nor the polish of the presentation. I was stunned that this one had been selected to be our presenter.
Have you been there? You sit in the silent audience as the speaker wanders from slide to slide, statistic after statistic, fact after fact until boredom finally does you in. You are almost embarrassed for them and the lack of interest they are receiving.
Here are three tips to be certain that those words are not said about you during your next presentation.
1. Speak on a topic you are deeply passionate about. I hear you mumbling already. “I have to present the new product that marketing and R&D came up with. I am not only NOT passionate about it, I couldn’t sell it myself.”
In that case, noodle on it until you can think of a relevant analogy that you are passionate about. For example. I have no passion for the little frilly hair bows that fill my daughter’s hair, but I can easily liken their qualities to the addition of wheels and tires to my truck. When it comes to accessorizing, I am passionate about my truck. Perhaps for you it is the flowers next to the tree or the placemats and napkin rings on the dinner table. The point is this: find a relatable subject you care about and draw a comparison. The passion will carry your message with fire.
2. Be prepared with your information. Nothing says “Really?” Like flipping back and forth in your notes and reading from the handouts because you have no idea what you are talking about. Do your homework. Know your facts and analogies by heart. If you need to read stats and quotes that is expected for accuracy but keep them to a minimum.
3. Rehearse. It does not matter if you are presenting to a team of 10 sales reps or 10,000 screaming fans. If the material is worthy of a presentation, the audience is worthy of the best presentation you can deliver.
For the sake of your audiences everywhere: Speak with passion, know your stuff and practice, practice, practice.
Then you will be remembered as a favorite and not the boring presenter.