Looking back to my first big presentation I now understand why it was not a success. Weeks went into designing the content. What didn’t get work on was the performance “mindset” which I needed. In the 20 year since then I have developed my own method: Communicating with P.O.W.E.R. Follows these steps and you’ll deliver successful speeches and presentations every time.
For effective communication you need: presence of mind, body, and voice.
To connect with your audience on a mental level needs presence of mind. You can prime your audience for your message. This can be achieved using questions we can all respond to: “Have you ever had to make a difficult decision?” Or help them create a mental image. “In the summer heat of a Southern Californian childhood, there was nothing to compare with July fourth! Even now I can smell the barbeque, taste the icecream and feel my breathing as the neighbourhood kids ran around playing baseball….”
How you stand and move requires presence of body. As the presenters we can use our natural authority to create anchors. For example: move left and discuss a wonderful family experience: your audience will come with you and have happy thoughts. Then move to the right and talk about loss: the audience will be with you feeling some sadness. Every time you move to those same places, audience will have those same feelings. Move with purpose.
Using of our voices with variety will create presence of voice. We can use voice to provide emotional variety to our stories and help get our message across. To make the most of your speaking and storytelling you need a different tone and inflexion when talking about a near-miss in traffic and a romantic evening with a loved-one. As you rehearse your presentation listen and decide if your tone is appropriate.
I believe it is important to own your mindset, own your stories and own the relationship you develop with the audience. With this trio you will become a more confident presenter.
Owning our mindset means identifying and understanding what triggers the behaviors that under-mind our performance. By taking responsibility for our mental state we can own our nerves, rather than our nerves owning us.
When we own our stories and our nerves we can treat presenting as a conversation. Once we achieve this ownership this we can begin to own our relationship with our audience.
What is your purpose?
Discovering the purpose in speaking can make good presenters great! We come to life and become engaging when talking about what we are beyond passionate about!
Being drawing out your purpose by questioning yourself:
- What did you want to be when you were were growing up?
- If you had all the money you need, what would you do with your time?
- What do you choose to talk to those closest to you?
Use these questions to get you on the path to uncovering your purpose!
Evolve your thinking
Evolved thinking starts when you recognise that audiences will have an emotional response to the stories you tell them. As important, is recognizing that we are impacted by the stories we tell ourselves. We undermine ourselves with our self-talk about how we will feel and perform in front of our audience.
We need to believe that we’re the programmers of our own minds and evolved thinking will allow us to upgrade the programme. In place of the negative message we can say: “I am confident and I’ll make a positive impact on my audience”
R: Re-imagine Yourself
Elite athlethes use re-imagination/visualization as a tool for success. Our brains don’t easily differentiate between actual memories and those we’ve re-imagined. Repeatedly visualizing your success in a situation will change you. Re-imagining yourself as a successful speaker, delivering a brilliant presentation will give you that edge plus a sense of familiarity you need to succeed on the day of the presentation.
Re-Imagining yourself is the final culmination of POWER. Please use this methodology to find what you need to present successfully.
Bret Freeman is an award winning international speaker and member of Toastmasters International, a non-profit educational organisation that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of meeting locations. Headquartered in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, the organisation’s membership exceeds 352,000 in more than 16,400 clubs in 141 countries. Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people of all backgrounds become more confident in front of an audience. There are more than 300 clubs in the UK and Ireland with over 7,500 members. To find your local club: www.toastmasters.org Follow @Toastmasterson Twitter.