Your Next BIG Speech
I have a mantra I adhere to when giving presentations – “effort improves quality.” With that said, I have an admission. Even at my best, I’m still only pretty good at what I do. I’m not the best at anything. Lots of people have some extraordinary skill or trait that they’ve developed mastery over. I don’t. But, what I do have is a “particular set skills.” They are random, shallow, and diverse. Some may say my knowledge is a mile wide and an inch deep. All these skills originate from a desire to learn something new. Learning is very rewarding for me. I’m happiest when I’m learning. I’m even fine studying something that I know I will never use, or maybe only use once. Want examples? Well, for one, I’m an ordained minister…in three religions. I’ve never officiated a wedding (but technically I could). I make videos, but very few people watch them. I’ve butchered a lamb once (probably the most manly thing I’ve done). I’ve tried to write a book. Still trying to find a publisher for that. I’ve skydived once, no desire to do that again. I’ve built a play structure in my backyard for the kids. My dad had to fix it. I’ve been on TV once in high school. I’ve set a Guinness Book of World Records record for most people kicking a hacky sack (see previous comment). I’ve run a marathon, or two. And I like to bake fancy cakes. Everything I do I do for a reason. Whether it’s to overcome a fear, challenge myself, empower myself, or just grow as a person. I’m a big effort guy. If I were a professional athlete, I’d be the small white guy with a “high motor.” Clichés aside, I don’t think I’d be diminishing my value if I say my effort often outperforms my talent. It is possible to hide many, many flaws with hard work and a bit of wherewithal.
Aim For Quality not Perfection
What does this have to do with quality presentations? Simple, you don’t need to be an artist, designer, or visionary to make appealing presentations. You just need a little bit of time and some effort. Trust me, you’ll be rewarded for your time and commitment when the dust settles.
Before I begin, let me answer that big question rooting around your head. Yes, you should make your talk look “pretty.” In fact, you should spend nearly as much time making your presentation appealing and accessible as you do coming up with the content. Once again, I’ll lean on my science background for an example because that is where my expertise lies. In a perfect world, scientists would spend 50% of their time doing science and 50% communicating what they learned. This, of course, is never the case. Most of the time it is more like 98% doing and 2% communicating. My punch line is this – it is important to make your presentations look good. Period.
I’ll get more into what should go into a presentation over the next few weeks. But for now consider visuals, consequences, and data. Those three things will help give your presentation gravitas. And you want gravitas in your talk.
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…