I hear a lot of reasons for why people do not want help with their presentations:
- “I don’t feel nervous in front of an audience.”
- “I am only presenting to my peers.”
- “It is just a staff meeting.”
- “I know my subject.”
- “I took public speaking in college.”
- “I use PowerPoint.”
- “I don’t use PowerPoint.”
- “I did not have time to prepare so I will just wing it.”
After their talk, these same speakers often justify why they are sure they did not need help:
- “I was not nearly as nervous as I thought I would be.”
- “No one threw fruit “(yes, they really say this to me!).
- “My friends said I did a good job.”
- “The audience laughed and clapped, they must have liked it.”
- “There were no questions.”
- “It felt pretty good – I think I did okay.”
This is all good except nervousness is not a gauge of effectiveness, people don’t really throw fruit (at least in this country), your friends tend to say you do well, and not asking questions probably means they want the fastest way out of the room.
A “good” talk is not about “getting through it”, or “conveying information”, or about getting the audience to laugh. A good talk brings about a change of attitude, belief, or behavior. When finished, an effective presentation is one where you meet the objectives you set before you spoke.
- In sales, this may mean an increase in closed sales.
- In management, this may mean changing employee behavior.
- As a scientist, this may mean increasing support for your project.
- As a parent, this may mean a reduction in household tension.
- In non-profits, this may mean more money and volunteers to accomplish your mission.
You probably do not need help with your talk UNLESS you are interested in increasing your effectiveness. If you are satisfied with the status quo, if you are pleased with the current rate of change, if you are not interested in accomplishing more in less time, the you clearly do not help with your presentations skills.
If however, you are interested in change, improvement, and efficiency – get help with your presentation skills. Hire a coach, attend a workshop, read a book.
Treat your presentations as if you are an archer…aim for the target and each time you shoot, try to get the next arrow even closer to the middle circle.
Click here for information on upcoming workshops offered by iSpeakEASY.
Knowing your target makes it much easier to hit.
© 2010 iSpeakEASY. All rights reserved – This speaking tip is one in a series provided by iSpeakEASY. We help people profit from their words. Call for information on individual coaching or group workshops. (415) 342-7106. www.iSpeakEASY.net