When you are doing presentations at the front of a room, remember the three P’s:
Having been a financial consultant, technology consultant and also involved in direct sales and Multi-Level Marketing (MLM); I have seen and delivered many presentations. I have taken classes on presenting and learned a lot about how it should be done and yet not seen all that many who are really good at it. Recently, I had the pleasure of watching Kim Melia and I have to say she nailed it! (I warned her I felt a blog coming.) Ironically, I think her presentation was great because she pays attention to what drives her nuts and just doesn’t do that. Content and messaging are important to a great presentation. More important than the content, is the delivery. Have you ever had that painful experience of watching a presenter pacing back and forth fairly constantly and almost getting sea sick following their movements? When you are at the front of the room, remember the three P’s.
There two types of pacing to consider. We are all human and have certain tendencies. For example, it’s not natural to stand in one place very long without changing our physical position. Especially when all eyes are on you. Animalistic tendencies kick in and we just can’t resist the urge to move. The trick is to recognize the urge and take control. You know you are going to move. Plan your steps. Walk, don’t talk. Walk intentionally to a specific place and then plant your feet in one place for a couple of minutes. Second, be aware of how quickly you are speaking. Stop for a second or two occasionally and take a deep breath. this gives you a chance to relax and make sure your thoughts are clear. This also gives your messaging a chance to sink in and take root.
Find a spot where you can see the whole room. All eyes will be focused on you. Plant your feet and don’t shift until it’s time to move with intention to another spot. Focus on the area directly in front of you and occasionally glance aside to the other areas, don’t move your body, this will help keep them involved. Make eye contact so that they know you see them. Most of us don’t want to hurt your feelings. Especially if we believe you are watching us.
Now it’s time to deliver your message. Remember not to fidget with your hands. Hold them in the power position, in the area between your shoulders and hips in a a prayer position or palms open to your audience. By all means, be expressive with your hands and show trust by holding your arms slightly out to the sides, palms out. This leaves your belly exposed and sub consciously sends a message of vulnerability and trust. Pay attention to your tone. It should be fluctuating like a norman conversation. Let your passion through but don’t let it turn into a preaching sermon. Talk to me, not down to me! When you are referring to visuals, try to keep them to your right so that when people are reading, their eyes are constantly coming back to you. This means the screen will be on the audience’s left and we naturally read left to right. Again, remember to have your feet planted while you speak.
When you are doing presentatons, always remember the three P’s. Pace, Place and Present. Remember that you already know more about your subject than your prospects ever will. They came to learn from you. If you make a mistake, it’s not likely they will even notice. Above all else, have fun! I highly recommend reading Steve Dennings “The Secret Language of Leadership” where he discusses language being so much more than words. Books like this will help you to feel in control and less likely to be pacing without intention. Make it a great day, Barry P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for great leaders. I’m thankful for risk takers. I’m thankful for you. What are you thankful for today?Please share ... by