Presentation Skills

Presentations are an inevitable part of life. Unless you work as a computer programmer, are a stay-at-home Mom, or are a sanitary engineer you will probably be required to give a presentation now and then.

The quote that most people are more afraid of Public Speaking than they are of dying is no longer accurate. That quote is from 1972, and in the passing years, more people have overcome the fear of public speaking than any other phobia.

If you want to give presentations with excellence, then you must have the three connections in place. The three connections are:

1.Connection with yourself

2.Connection with your material

3.Connection with your audience

If you have these three connections in place, then you will be dynamic, engaging, and charismatic.

Connection with yourself…

Your relationship with yourself is the central template from which your personal destiny manifests. The relationship with the self is the most important and crucial relationship in your life. Your career, your personal relationships, your home, and your health are all a direct result of the quality of your relationship with you. The way you hold yourelf creates a vibration that sends a message to the world about who you are, what you deserve, and how you should be treated.

The relationship with the self is the way you hold, perceive, believe in, and relate to you. It is comprised of the various thoughts you have about yourself, the ideas you have about how others perceive you, the emotions you feel about yourself, your judgments about yourself, your perception of your self-worth, and your internal conversations in your mind. Your relationship with yourself includes the way you treat yourself, whether you abuse, neglect, or honor your needs, feelings, and wants. It also includes the promises you make to yourself, the subsequent actions that you take, and the manner in which you deal with your completed projects and your broken agreements with yourself: when things go your way, how you express your satisfaction; when things go awry, how you deal with your displeasure. If everything goes perfectly, how do you interact with you? How do you relate to yourself when circumstances occur that are disappointing, upsetting, or unfortunate?

In addition, this relationship includes how you relate to and manage your productivity on a daily basis, how you manage your time, energy, projects, finances, and network of associates. The essential question is: do you manage your motivation with diminishment, dismissal, and disregard, or do you use the tools of recognition, reinforcement, and reward? If you have never thought about this, consider this concept. When you are “at one” with yourself, you are in alignment, and it is peaceful inside. When something happens that does not meet your expectations, a conversation can start that splits you in two. The dialogue that ensues is between you (your public self) and the self (the private you).

Connection with Your Material

If you are going to stand up in front of people you need to know what you are talking about. You need to have done your homework to have the right to the focus of attention. You also want to feel confident about the knowledge you have amassed in addition to having it at your fingertips. You want to be enthusiastic about the subject matter and you want to be able to answer most questions that might surface about the topic. It helps if you are eager to share what you know and if you can access the information rather than getting tongue-tied when you establish eye contact. You also want to be clear about your purpose. Do you want to inform, educate, motivate, entertain, inspire, or call your audience to action? When you know your material, your purpose, and your desired outcome, it is easier to make choices regarding what you are presenting.

Connecting with Your Audience

This is one of the areas where many people err. They believe that if they know their material they are home free. The connection with the audience is so important that without it, you can simply write a paper and put it online. If the audience doesn’t feel your connection, you might as well not be there. Your connection with your audience is about noticing where your attention is located. Is your attention on yourself or on your audience? Are you concerned about them approving of you? Are you preoccupied with them liking you? Are you being your authentic self? If you are focused on them getting full value out of the experience, then most likely you will be focused on them and not on you.

I have been giving presentations, teaching, training, and giving speeches for over three decades and it is my contention that the essence of a terrific presenter lies in the three connections. This is my original material, and that is what I look for when I am in the audience.