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Newsletter July 08
How do you give a great presentation and feel confident at the same time?
One of the keys is preparation.
I often talk about a great presentation being like the tip of an iceberg. What people see and hear is only a small part of all the work and preparation that has gone on: the research, planning, writing of the presentation, re-writing of the presentation, practice, practice and more practice, preparing handouts, preparing the visuals you will use, etc.
If your iceberg is only small, the chances are the presentation won’t be anywhere as near effective as if your iceberg is large.
Let me share the story of Anja, a pre-school principal who was due to give a 2-hour presentation at a national conference on the topic of ‘Children & Nature’.
Prior to this Anja had only given one main presentation and had been very nervous about it.
This is the email she sent me after the conference:
“I got back last night. The workshop was terrific. The room was packed, and I wasn’t even the keynote speaker. I got fantastic feedback, lots and lots of people coming to see me afterwards. Once I started, some calmness came of me; I took a deep breath and just went through my workshop with my notes and slides. I felt in control the whole time. I have to admit, I actually enjoyed it, no, I loved it! I think, what was very important is that I knew my stuff very very well. I have worked on this for a year, done lots of research, and I just “owned” it, if you know what I mean. I am quietly thinking to take it further, as I am passionate about reconnecting children with nature, and I got such fantastic feedback.”
The difference between Anja’s reaction to her first and second presentation was dramatic.
What had made the difference?
A couple of things: firstly she was speaking on something she feels very passionate about, and secondly she had done a lot of preparation - she knew her stuff ‘very very well’.
Her iceberg was huge.
Would you run a half marathon without any preparation and practise? Do you give presentations with little preparation and practise?
Think iceberg, think preparation and you too may be saying “I actually enjoyed it, no, I loved it!”
Copyright Kim Chamberlain Successful Speaking 2008