You have gone through countless hours preparing for your presentation: PowerPoint has been polished, material absorbed, meticulous verbal cues and delivery practiced, impeccable clothes and shoes are ready for action. It may seem that all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed. Here is some breaking news – this looming presentation is more about YOU than it is about the material. And the most important part of YOU is not about the external appearance but rather on how you truly feel inside. No way, what?
We spend 100% of our time preparing our materials and external appearance while dedicating no time to improving and displaying our inner selves. Finding that perfect outfit that is supposed to portray the highest and most likeable external version of ourselves is great but that is not what connects with people. We have seen some really amazing presentations that for some reason we tend to recall more than others. Was it the texts and images shown to us that caught our attention and permanently etched themselves into our memories, or was it something about the presenter that created an illusion that his/her material was worthy to be retained?
We have seen endless suggestions when it comes to the data that is being presented. Use the 5/5/5 rule, choose appropriate colors and fonts, practice more, practice less, don’t rush, don’t read and so on. What is being missed is YOU. All of us are unique. All of us offer something that no one else in the world can provide. That authentic and beautiful YOU is being covered up by all the noise and clutter of our daily life.
We all have those admirable genuine qualities that people will be drawn to, we just need to tap into them. My one tip and the fastest way to express your genuine innate qualities is to Love Yourself. Wait, what? Yes, true unconditional love for yourself will help you release any insecurities, concerns, and doubts regarding your performance. If a client abruptly stops your presentation with an uncomfortable question, nobody laughs at your joke, you slip while walking onto the stage, your dress malfunctions in a ‘Janet Jackson Super Bowl’ type of way or anything else goes wrong, it will not have an impact on you if you truly love yourself. You will exude positive emotions to the viewer while tricking his/her brain to remember your message since it is delivered wrapped in this amazing package of self-confidence and love.
This concept is so foreign to most of us that it takes a while to sink in. Start practicing in the mirror and tell the person in the reflection that you are beautiful and you love yourself. It will be hard at the beginning, but you will be surprised with the results and your presentation skills will start improving in the process. This will be our little secret.
In order to get into the zone with the presentation you have to get into the zone with yourself. Be authentic. That is all there is to it.