PAUSE - the silent opportunity of connecting with your audience
December 1, 2014
Women's March to Freedom
March 8, 2017
Is presentation a performance or a conversation?
May 1, 2014
When you think about a great presentation, what does it conjure up in your mind? Is it someone standing bravely before a group of people, enjoying the limelight, being larger than life and still getting their message across with ease? Is this the someone that makes you go - "Wow what a great communicator! How eloquent, dynamic and confident you are … If only I could do what you do but that’s just not me!" Does taking centre stage fill you with dread and make you feel all too uncomfortable, alien and exposed? Is it an act you would rather not engage in and one you consider to be assigned only to a chosen few?
Now, what if presentation were a conversation instead? Yes, a simple conversation – the ones you engage in on a daily basis with friends, colleagues, peers and family members? The ones that feel easy, effortless and natural? The ones where you enjoy sharing your ideas, thoughts and experiences without feeling remotely self conscious or ever wondering if you are ‘good enough’ or can do it?
Look ... recall a presenter you greatly admire. Go on ... Have you got one in mind? OK, so what key qualities did this person have that made you listen, engage and connect with them? Would it be fair to say that they had the ability to just talk to you as if you were their best friend, to draw you effortlessly into their message and to make it all appear so natural, simple and easy? Did they leave you with a strong sense of who they were and that they were enough?
The question to really ask yourself is: ‘Are you enough to get your message across?’ You better believe you are! Your uniqueness IS your biggest selling point and the good news is that you don’t have to go anywhere else to find it because you already possess it.
Is this all that is required to be a successful and dynamic presenter - your uniqueness and the ability to look at your presentation as if it were a mere conversation? Well, not entirely. You do need to aware of who you are talking to, the size of the room, and the amount of people in it. You need to confidently stand in your personal power, connect with your body, voice and content and build that all-important rapport with your audience.
So presentation to me is definitely a conversation but without the learned skills of performance, your message could easily get lost, lack impact and the variety needed to keep your audience fully engaged!