October 22, 2013

Are You Excited About YOUR OWN Presentation?

If you aren’t, it's not fair to expect the audience to be.  

We spend hours or even days and weeks preparing for a presentation. When it comes time to stand in front of our audience, many make classic mistakes we complain about in other presenters. No one wants to be a boring presenter. But, we have all been an audience member in a boring presentation. What exactly made that presentation boring? Whatever you identify as “boring,” try to do the exact opposite to make your presentation lively. 

Yes, it takes creativity. 
Yes, it takes practice. 
Yes, it takes ‘bravery.’ 
Yes, you will be nervous. 
Yes, you will feel strange the first time…. 

But, you know what….?? 

You CAN do it! And when you see that audience light up and actually be interested in your presentation – you are on the right track. 

Beyond making them interested in your presentation- light up the room and make them interested in YOU! A million people can present on the same topic. What makes each presentation different? 

The presenter, of course! 

Remember how you felt as an audience member in a presentation. Were you paying attention 100%?  Was your mind fully on the presentation? 

Or were you thinking about a litany of things like:

  • Why am I here?
  • I have more important things to do….
  • I am hungry…
  • Last night that TV show was about….
  • It’s too hot in here….
  • The presenter is talking too fast…
  • Why do they stand in one place.. BORING!!!
  • Will this information really benefit me?
  • My friends want to see the new movie tonight….
  • How will I have time to finish that thing the boss wants me to do if I am sitting in this presentation – which is not even relevant to my job??
  • Etc…. etc… etc… 

Not all of us have been presenters, but all of us have sat in an audience before. If we are totally honest, we rarely pay 100% attention…. 

But, if we think of the times we DID pay attention, what made us so interested? 

Note down all of the things that made you interested to attend a presentation. Can you weave these into your presentation? 

Do you need some assistance to do so? I often am assigned to help teams and individuals to enhance their presentation skills through assessments and one-to-one and small group coaching. Contact me today! Sessions conducted in person, via phone or Skype.

Thank you for spending your time here. 

How Jennifer has helped others improve their presentations: 
Jennifer has helped me to achieve my dream of being a public speaker. She has helped me to learn to prepare for presentations more wisely, while thinking of my audience. Read more from Hari here. 

Coaching with Jennifer helped me identify the real problem in my presentations. I learned how to speak more clearly and engage my audience better through words, eye contact and body language. I rely less on the lectern now. It was a new experience for me, but as a manager, it was something that I had to do to inspire my team more. – Middle Manager with 15 years experience, IT Company, Bangalore

After only a few sessions, I can see that your techniques are helping me to communicate more clearly with Indian and American counterparts. I know it will take me time to switch between audiences, but I am learning and applying the techniques with your guidance. – Manager with 20 years experience, Infopark, Kochi 

Before your sessions, I was unable to talk to an American client. I was not even able to understand what they spoke, because I did not understand their accent. After meeting you for three months and applying the listening, speaking and presentation skills you taught me, I have been able to give three client demos. Thank you for helping me achieve my English and career goals! – Project Manager in IT with 5 years experience, Kochi

I was unable to clearly speak to my Indian classmates due to my foreign accent. Your classes helped me to speak more clearly, encourage my classmates to speak English more, and also to give better presentations. After my presentation, my teacher and classmates were surprised. They said until that day they never understood me so clearly! Thank you! –College Student, Kerala

(Names and companies not given due to confidentiality.)


What others have said about Jennifer’s presentation style:

“We were worried we wouldn’t be able to understand Jennifer’s accent. She was the first foreign teacher most of us have had. I was surprised and relieved that I could understand and interact with her very easily.” ~Pooja Shetty, UST Global, Kochi

“Because you walk around the room and talked to each of us during activities and made each of us talk to each other, get up and do activities from time to time, we never got bored. Thank you.”

“I was worried when I heard you will be presenting the same training to us all day. Normally, we have various presenters in one day so we don’t get bored. But, we were all happy how you organized the presentation so that we did not get bored or sleepy, especially in the afternoon.” - Teacher at Sree Narayana Gurukulam College of Engineering


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Photo, creative commons by jonny goldstein.

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