The motto of the Boy Scouts of America is “Always be Prepared.” This is a very wise motto, and one that’s appropriate for life in general. Water, Kleenex, snacks, hand sanitizer, Tylenol, condoms…it’s always good to be ready for anything. Whether you are ushering kids around the zoo, getting stuck in traffic, or standing before an unruly crowd – be ready for anything.
I give 40-50 presentations a year. Not all of them are knock’m dead TED talks. But I hit way more than I miss. I’ve talked my way through everything from 3-minute pop-up presentations to 8-hour communication workshops. I have also sat through countless others. As you may guess, they don’t all go smoothly. Allow me to list a few of the most recent SNAFUs I’ve witnessed: projector bulb burned out, no Internet access, computer security restricted access to speaker’s presentation, projector didn’t work, sound didn’t work, no microphone for large auditorium, expected speaker no-showed, speaker accidently erased presentation, Windows updated mid-presentation and locked out talk, and presenter stung by a bee. Ok, last one didn’t really happen, but you must admit weird shit happens during talks. How you deal with it will ultimately decide your success. If you’ve practiced, you should be able to successfully present without the visual aids. Surprisingly, sometimes if things go really wrong, the presentations actually improve and become more memorable. Overcoming adversary is very endearing to your audience. Remember to handle your situation and your attitude with humbleness, calmness, dignity, and resolve. Grace under pressure. Don’t mess yourself. You could always reschedule if things go too awry.
There are three main considerations for laying out a presentation:
As a parent, there are a number of situations that tend to be universal to all families. One such case is the time-honored tradition we call the “play date.” Specifically, the meltdown at the end of a play date. Let’s replay the scenario and see if it sounds familiar to you. You’ve spent all afternoon at your child’s friend’s house. All you want to do is go home. You’re tired. You’re hungry. You do your best to wrap things up, wind down, pack up, and go. Then, WHAM!!! the inevitable happens and the meltdown begins. Kids screaming. Toys throwing. Parents yelling. Dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria. Typically, the night ends with the parent eventually carrying out a kicking and screaming kiddo under their arm. There’s the understanding gaze back between parents, a wave goodbye, and a snarky, “Bye. We should do this again real soon.”
Parenting & Public Speaking. Together
The behaviors, experiences, and techniques parents use everyday can improve YOUR NEXT BIG SPEECH. Whether it be using silly voices or just playing with the kids, these actions improve self-confidence, stage presence, and audience engagement. And that’s just the beginning…