Why Do We Make Presentations?
There are many reasons that we make presentations. Sometimes, we are sharing information; sometimes, we are persuading people to take an action. Oftentimes, we are doing both. We might even be inspiring others to reach for the stars! No matter the reason, being able to stand in front of a room and convey a compelling and memorable message is in invaluable skill.
I come to the teaching and coaching of presentation skills with several strong beliefs.
- First, I believe that being able to present well is a life-skill. Once you acquire this skill, there is no limit to the places you can employ it: at work, in the community, in professional organizations, in a religious setting… the list is literally endless.
- A second belief of mine is that being able to stand in front of a room and deliver a compelling, memorable message sets you apart from the crowd. How many bad presentations do you sit through in a week? Do you want to be one of those people? When you present well, people notice, they remember you, and they remember what you say. They want to know and follow you.
- A third belief I hold is that everyone has their own “inner presenter”, that can be discovered and developed. Not everyone’s “inner presenter” is the same. Some people are fearful and nervous, some people struggle to organize their content. Some people battle monotone intonation and some simply lack confidence. Getting to know your inner presenter is the first step in improving.
- My fourth belief is the good news. Anyone can become better at presenting. No matter what the current state of your “inner presenter”, everyone can become a presenter that people want to listen to. I’m not saying that it’s easy, but it’s possible.
Becoming a good presenter is a matter of identifying and changing specific behaviors. It takes time and effort and it isn’t always comfortable. But by courageously watching yourself on video and becoming aware of how you come across, by learning and putting into action basic principles of good presenting, and by opening up to constructive feedback and working to change your behavior, you can transform your ability to present. I can guarantee that because I’ve seen it happen time and time again!