Get Real or Get Lost
Why do otherwise engaging people disconnect and resort to reading slides while presenting?
I am always amazed when I meet a professional before a workshop and they are an engaging conversationalist in a casual setting, but freeze up, get mechanical, and start “presenting” when they get in front of the room. Usually the issue is that the presenter steps out of their genuine persona and slips into the façade of “presenting”. This façade is bound by unwritten rules about what a presenter is supposed to do that have been learned by watching thousands of poor presentations.
Like it or not we are copycats and we impose rules on ourselves that don’t exist. Engaging presenters don’t fall into this trap. They know their stuff and just have a conversation with the audience. Being conversational doesn’t imply that the message is off-the-cuff. Having a tightly crafted message is crucial. However a tightly crafted message doesn’t mean a tightly delivered message. The best presenters speak to the audience as if they may speak back at any moment, and if you engage them they often do. A few keys to staying real are:
· Don’t memorize your material, KNOW your material
· Don’t be concerned about particular wording, just tell ‘em what you know
· Reduce the amount of slide content, and maximize dialogue
The words you typed on the slides aren’t important. What you actually know is important. Remember to have a real moment of conversation, rather than a contrived transmission of information. If you are going to have a real impact, you need to get real from the get go.