Do you ever go into presentation mode? This is when you have material to present for a class or meeting and you find yourself going into that odd state where your voice is different and you get into a "presentation" mode". You can even change your physical mannerisms.
Presentation mode is different than "getting up for the game". It is different than preparing for a class or presentation you have to give. It is different than mustering the courage to have an energetic presentation. We have all sat in classes or business meetings where the person giving the presentation does not show their personality. They become some robotic presenter type of person. Someone you know, who is a genuine person, can switch into this mode and you may not even recognize them because they fell into their "presentation mode".
I must admit that I have done this on occasion. I even sometimes find myself falling back into presentation mode because it is so easy to do. We don't have to invest to get into presentation mode. We often think that getting this information out is the most important part of the process and it can become robotic. We basically turn into information machines. We begin to think that the information is what matters. Yes, the information is important (I heard what you were thinking). In fact, if you believe that your information is important you are doing yourself, your audience and your data a disservice by going into presentation mode.
You and what you have to say is important. Present it with passion and help build a connection between your audience and the material as well as with you. You can't do this in presentation mode.
Presentation mode is when you take out your genuine self and passion from the presentation. This year let's put ourselves and our passion back into what we are doing. Let's start with throwing away presentation mode.
Why is this important?
I talked with hundreds of students and business people about presenting, teaching, and learning in general. One resounding comment always comes around. It doesn't matter if the people I am talking with are in high school, college, or any level of business. The most important attribute or trait of a speaker is being genuine! Genuine does not come from a "mode", presentation mode or otherwise.
It can be scary to be genuine in front of an audience (this is another topic). Here are 3 steps that can help you be your genuine self when presenting.
Give yourself permission to make a mistake! Repeat after me..."I (state your name) give myself permission to make mistakes. This may sound silly or ridiculous but it actually helps. Many of us tend to put unrealistic pressure on ourselves to be perfect. This pressure stops us from growing and learning. I always tell people that if you are not making mistakes you simply aren't trying hard enough. Mistake (happy accidents as Bob Ross says) are a natural part of the learning and growth process.
Use Cognitive Specific Imagery (CS) to help you prepare. Imagery is incredibly powerful. What we do mentally actually effects our physical output. I did an entire dissertation on imagery and self-talk but I will try and be brief here. You can practice your presentation 1,000's of times using this technique. The cool part is that you can build in "what if" scenarios. In a nutshell see yourself giving the presentation and most importantly is to see yourself giving your presentation from a perspective of being genuine (we threw out presentation mode). What does it look like when you throw out presentation mode? See the audience building a relationship with the data and with you as you go along. What does it look like?
Think from the audiences perspective. This is critical. How will they get the most benefit from what you have to say. What is the best way for them to receive or learn the information? How will they build a relationship and develop meaning with the data?
This is the basic formula for me and it has helped many others as well. Feel free to contact me if you would like any more information on any of the techniques or topic.
Pick up the fight against boring and let your passion shine through!