Are you guilty of using a “poison P”? Have you ever delivered a business presentation standing behind a lectern or desk, been so serious—you forgot to share your personality with your audience, or read word-for-word from slides or notes?
Don’t worry. I’m a recovering addict with just the right prescription to prevent the three poison P’s: physical roadblocks, too little personality and perfectionism. These poison pills can cut off your audience connection and kill your presentation.
#1 POISON PILL: There’s a physical barrier between you and your audience.
REMEDY: Get as close as possible to your audience. Clear all roadblocks that make it hard to have a conversation with them. I used to love to stand behind the lectern and glance at my notes when I gave speeches at my Toastmasters Club. But the best speakers in our club knew better. They never stood behind the lectern or table. They would walk close to the audience, speak from the heart and look us in the eye.
#2 POISON PILL: You don’t tap into your personality.
REMEDY: Weave your best personality assets into your presentation. Play to your strengths. Do you love dogs? Find a way to mention your passion in your speech. Do you make your friends laugh? Share a funny story with your listeners. Bring your best personality trait on stage with you. You’ll be more interesting, authentic, credible, appealing and fun. You have more energy as a presenter when you show off your personality. And your listeners want to hear something unique about you, your perspective or your subject.
#3 POISON PILL: You’re addicted to the perfection pill.
REMEDY: Forget about perfection. Don’t read your presentation word for word from an iPad, written notes or your slides. Use a conversational delivery style that includes lots of eye contact, interaction with the audience, and little visual contact with your notes/slides. Your audience wants you to explain your message to them, not regurgitate every word you wrote down in your memorized script!
For more presentation tips, like the Better Speaking Skills Facebook page.