The Missing Link in Presentation Skills Training


Imagine you are the most amazing figure skater who ever lived. When rehearsing in a peaceful, empty rink, you demonstrate the ultimate in athleticism and artistry. You defy the laws of gravity as you leap in the air, landing with flawless precision. You spin with effortless grace and power; you execute jumps other skaters only dream about. On that ice, you are in your element, doing what you love to do and doing it perfectly.

In rehearsal, that is.

The next day, you enter the same rink for the big competition. When you look into the stands, you see thousands of eyeballs on you. As you begin your program, you skate self-consciously, hesitantly. You stumble on moves you usually don't even have to think about. You forget what comes next. You wobble and bobble and barely get through the program on your feet.

Now, consider this: Your frustrated coach barrels up to you and bellows, "That's it! From now on, we're spending two extra hours a day in rehearsal until you get this right in competition!" Question: Will that tactic solve the problem? Of course not, because the problem is not in the realm of the skating. (Remember, you skated the program perfectly 24 hours ago.) The problem is in the realm of the EYEBALLS. You can skate until your feet fall off, but until you make peace with those eyeballs, you will continue to stumble in the spotlight.

So It Is With Public Speaking

Most people say, "One-on-one I'm fine. It's only when I'm in front of a group that I get nervous." If you can speak confidently and clearly one-on-one, it means you already know the content and can convey it well (like skating perfectly in rehearsal). The problem comes when a speech coach says, "OK, we're going to have you rehearse the speech five more times in the conference room to make sure you get it right when you present in front of the Board." Emphasizing the content and delivery has limited value because it attacks the problem from the realm of the SPEAKING. But where most people suffer most is in the realm of the EYEBALLS.

Sure, you're more likely to withstand the eyeballs if you feel confident in your material, but the discomfort will still be there. Techniques and gimmicks (like "picture the audience naked" or "start with a joke" or "look at the back wall if you're too nervous to make eye contact") won't help either. These tricks just put up a barrier; they don't solve the problem.

So what is the answer? Realize that the problem is not that you don't know how to speak; it's that you're not used to being THE CENTER OF ATTENTION. You see those eyeballs and suddenly you're thrust outside of your comfortable anonymity into the shocking realization that someone is actually paying attention. You shy away from the attention, the intense energy. But ironically, the energy in those eyeballs can energize and comfort you-once you let it in.

Yes, eyeballs almost always have positive energy behind them because listeners want you to succeed. Even if you face grouches in the crowd, you can count at least a few positive eyeball vibes coming toward you. Soak in the positive energy and send it back out in the form of genuine warmth and concern for your listeners. Seeing that concern invites even more positive energy, which keeps the cycle going.

Far-Fetched Idea?

It may seem far-fetched at first. But the only way to make peace with those eyeballs is to stop avoiding them and explore them instead. Seek them out. Peer back with your own eyeballs and see what's really there. It takes practice, of course. To get started, seek out a positive setting such as a SPEAKING CIRCLE* or supportive group of friends. Remember, you're already a speaker. You're just not accustomed to being a recipient of listening-a skill that can only be mastered in the mysterious, wondrous, scary, exciting realm of eyeballs.

* The SPEAKING CIRCLE(R) methodology is a revolutionary new approach for building speaking skill and power. It's based on the book Be Heard Now by Lee Glickstein. For more information, go to www.speakingcircles.com.

About The Author

Melissa Lewis turns traditional thinking about public speaking upside down to give people more comfort, confidence, and charisma in front of groups. For more information, call (913) 341-1241 or visit www.upsidedownspeaking.com" target="_new">www.upsidedownspeaking.com, melissa@upsidedownspeaking.com


MORE RESOURCES:

Hollywood Reporter

'Dunkirk' Could Launch a 70mm Film Presentation Renaissance
Hollywood Reporter
Thanks to a reclamation project that was undertaken to locate and restore projectors when The Weinstein Co. distributed Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight in 2015, there is now an existing base of theaters capable of presenting the format, which ...

and more »


NASA's Juno mission to be topic of presentation at historic Harvey ...
VVdailypress.com
The city of Barstow and NASA's Goldstone Visitor Center have a special speaker scheduled to make a presentation Monday night titled "Juno: Revealing ...

and more »


Assessing concussion symptom presentation may provide insight into rise in rates
Science Daily
"The combination of evaluating the patterns of change in concussion symptom presentation, diagnostic tools used and length of time for symptoms to resolve from both severe and mild concussions has not been thoroughly investigated previously," said lead ...

and more »


Bradford Era

Presentation teaches history of Kane's wolves
Bradford Era
The presentation was for the McKean County Historical Society. At the age of ten, while spending time with his grandparents who lived in Kane, Burlingame had the opportunity to visit the wolves at the Lobo Wolf Park and was amazed by them. Over the ...



Financial Times

Mike Ashley confounds investors with 17-word presentation
Financial Times
When Mike Ashley tried to impress Sports Direct's shareholders during a meeting at the London Stock Exchange on Thursday, he came armed with PowerPoint slides and a presentation. It ran to just 17 words. “It's clear we have smashed the ball out of the ...

and more »


wtvr.com

Chef Tammy's Cold Salt Slab Presentation
wtvr.com
RICHMOND, Va. – Fan favorite Chef Tammy Brawley, Owner of the Green Kitchen RVA stopped by our backyard weather garden to fire up our gas grill. Her unique salt slab cooking presentation featured succulent scallops and tender skirt steak. She then ...

and more »


Presentation of evidence on de Lima's obstruction case deferred
Inquirer.net
The presentation of evidence on the obstruction of justice case against Senator Leila De Lima has been deferred after her camp challenged the court's admission of the opposition's judicial affidavit of witness and Oriental Mindoro Representative ...

and more »


Patch.com

Oxford Church To Host Tea Presentation
Patch.com
The presentation will include the history of tea, how tea is processed and the latest health information associated with drinking tea. Lastly she will tell you how to make the perfect cup of tea. The presentation is free and open to the public. To ...



Bleeding Cool News

“The Darkest Jeff Lemire Since Animal Man”: Valiant Retailer Presentation At San Diego Comic-Con
Bleeding Cool News
The presentation lauded that one of Stephen Colbert's writers Daniel Kibblesmith is writing Quantum & Woody. They showed off that ICONS is bringing back Valiant's biggest characters back to the forefront. And they told retailers that Bloodshot ...



​The do's and don'ts of presentation openings
The Business Journals
Now obviously speaking involves delivering content, not a tennis ball, and that content isn't going to be the same for every presentation. But the way you approach your speaking from a physical point of view should be consistent, allowing you to focus ...


Google News

Eitforum.com ©