Opinions about branding by Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal

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Friday, September 15, 2017

The #1 Reason Your Presentation Sucks



They say that public speaking is more terrifying than death for many people and this is the same reason why, more often than not, your presentations are terrible.

It’s not that you don’t know your subject matter. You probably know it better than the back of your hand.

It’s not that you aren’t prepared, either. Most likely you’re not only studied-up, but probably spent a little too much time hitting the books before your big Ted Talk or senior briefing.

The problem has nothing to do with you. The truth is that while some of us are clearly more theatrical than others, presentation skill is a skill that can be learned.

So why are you so bad at it? Why is your audience changing the channel, at least mentally, for 99% of your talk?

The issue is a basic flaw in your thinking. Please, rinse and repeat the following four words:

IT’S NOT ABOUT ME.

IT’S NOT ABOUT ME.

IT’S NOT ABOUT ME.

If you get up there thinking about yourself, I can tell you right now: your talk will have zero impact. Or worse.

The reason great speakers affect us so much is that they are totally swept up in the power of their message.

It is impossible to focus on yourself and also put the spotlight on a topic that matters.

Fear of public speaking is a sign that you’re definitely making this mistake. Your negative emotional investment is a gigantic red flag, signaling that your talk is wrapped around your ego.

The next time you have to give a talk, subtract yourself from the equation. You can prepare to do this in a very simple way — start doing videos.

No, you don’t have to publish them on YouTube or Periscope or wherever.

You should however practice the art of speaking into the camera, on a regular basis. And then play back the video, to see what you look like while talking.

The point is not to evaluate your performance as a speaker.

It’s also not to gauge whether you know what the hell you’re talking about.

Rather, it’s about getting used to the fact that you actually look pretty bad on video.

Once you accept and get over that fact, and also manage to swallow your many flaws as a speaker, you’ll get past your preoccupation with self altogether.

The truth is that the thing you fear the most is actually very real. You aren’t all that good, you have a million flaws, and when you stand up there people know it.

It’s ceasing to care that allows you to focus on the topic at hand.

I am Jewish, and I happen to have a big nose. It used to embarrass me and I seriously considered a nose job.

Now I like to laugh. That’s me, that’s my schnozz, that’s the sun dancing off my wrinkles.

It’s okay to go gray and to grow a potbelly, too.

What people really do care about is the beating heart inside you.

Good intentions, married with good thinking, is what carries society forward.

Our most pro-social instincts go to work when we see you on stage.

Be a part of the solution and not the problem.

Get over your ego and put your message out front.

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Posted by Dannielle Blumenthal on September 15, 2017. All opinions are the author’s own. This post is hereby released into the public domain. Graphic by geralt via Pixabay (Public Domain).