You’ve got 5 seconds…maybe 6. You need to grab their attention immediately and then hold it for some time after that. Public speaking or giving presentations at work can be some of the most terrifying moments you may ever experience. It’s weird because you’re not in any physical danger, yet your heart pounds like it’s actively attempting to escape from your chest.
This doesn’t happen at this level for everyone. Some will look very comfortable and at ease. According to Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain,
“There are two types of speakers: those that are nervous and those that are liars.”
If you are like me and have experienced speaking or presenting more than once, the feeling usually doesn’t stay the entire time. It’s those moments before and the first few seconds in. This is the critical time of judgment. This is when your audience decides if they are interested or not. If you lose them in the beginning, can you get...
It was an important roll-out. The team had spent weeks putting together the timelines, the assets, and answering all the questions they could think of. Now, the only thing left was presenting it to senior management. The team chose Sarah, the person who knew the most about the proposed system, to present the idea.
There was one problem, however. Sarah was scared out of her mind. And when she went into the room to present, it showed. She fumbled with her clicker and her papers. Her sentences rambled. The red showed clearly on her face.
When she left the room, she broke down in tears because she had blown it.
Maybe every presentation isn’t high stakes or this dramatically terrible. But, this is a true scenario more often than most companies would admit. Whether it’s a high stakes sales presentation, new business pitch, or laying out a new strategy, the success of the business is dependent upon influence. This...