We have all had to sit through a presentation where the professor/presenter read from the screen. I cannot say enough about how horrible this is. You know how that feels. Thoughts like “I could have read this on my own” echo through your mind. Reading from your slides is incredibly boring, and completely ineffective if there is something vital that you have to get across. That vital piece of information gets lost in the boredom of the presentation. It is also disrespectful to the audience’s time and energy. If they took the time and expended the energy to be present, we can put some thought into our presentation.
Here are three tips that I received from my mentor when I started working in learning and development. I hope they help you with presentations, even if you like reading from your slide deck.
When I first entered into training, my mentor/manager told me this concept. I found this to be powerful. When you really “get” this, it is liberating. Here is an example: Have you been in a presentation where the presenter made a blunder? I bet you felt uncomfortable and maybe even squirmed in your seat a bit. That is because you wanted them to succeed.
Be you. You have a unique style. Whether you have discovered how to be you or not, it is time to practice presenting without presentation mode. The behavior of practicing will help you find who you are as a presenter. Presentation mode is that almost robotic look and feel that some people get when they are about to present. We see this a lot in academia (sorry, colleagues, but it happens a lot in our fields). I think there are classes on how to give bad presentations. I digress. When you present as your authentic self rather than a presenter, people find it to be genuine. Even with this information, it can be difficult because you have to put your actual self out there rather than your presenter self. You have to be vulnerable. Take that step and remember, the audience wants you to succeed.
For you to show your passion, the first two tips usually need to be accomplished because showing passion is often easier said than done. One thing that helped me show my passion when presenting is that I gave myself permission to make mistakes. Once I did this, I felt more comfortable taking some chances and trying different ways to show my passion for the topic. Let me tell you, it is genuinely fun to show your passion. Let me also tell you that you will make plenty of mistakes along the way. I made a blunder just a couple of days ago. When I make a blunder of it, I embrace it, realize the audience wants me to succeed still, learn from it, and let it go. Holding on to mistakes and blunders makes it difficult to learn and grow.
I hope these were helpful tips. Take a look at some of our courses.
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