Maybe your kitchen sink looked like mine when I was single--full of every plate, pan, utensil, and glass. When I caught a glimpse of it, I would feel frustrated and overwhelmed. To escape that distress, I would just avoid it. But it’s not just the kitchen sink that can get overloaded; presentations can also get packed with everything from the speaker's proverbial kitchen, and when they do, audiences get overwhelmed and tune out.
It’s a Saturday morning and you are in the middle of a friendly game of golf. On the 8th hole you walk up to the ball, set your target, and select a club. You start your backswing, shift your weight forward, strike the ball, and follow through. You look up to see the ball flying hundreds of feet...off target and toward the adjacent fairway. Humiliated, you announce to your group that you are “hitting another ball.” You’re taking a mulligan.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could take a mulligan in every aspect of our lives? In many things we can--transferring schools, changing jobs, switching careers. These are all are do-overs.
In public speaking and presenting, there are no mulligans, no second chances, no do-overs.
If you win this work, it will be a game-changer!
It’s a huge account, and you’ve made it to the final round of selection. All you need to do is ace the presentation to land this life-changing client. Because of the job’s size and scope, the presentation requires contributions from a large and diverse number of people from different divisions of your project team. Everything is riding on your team’s presentation.
The New Year is a time of optimism. Of anticipation. Of hope. And the New Year contains this wellspring of expectation because it marks the beginning. The beginning of something unknown.
The very first moments of a speech share much with the New Year, and like the turning of the calendar, the first thing an audience experiences sets an all-important tone.
I grew up before the advent of GPS, and I keenly remember my passenger’s side-seat navigation. If we were lucky, it involved last-second commands to take a turn or change lanes. On many occasions, however, the command came seconds too late and we were forced to make hasty u-turns, back-track, or otherwise bumble our way to the destination.
And while GPS gave us a digital roadmap to solve this problem in our cars, many speeches and presentations still suffer from unannounced and abrupt twists and turns that leave the audience dizzy with intellectual whiplash.
Providing co-workers critical updates and sharing novel ideas is essential to an integrated, vibrant, and productive team. It was in the spirit of this collaboration and a testament to the “two-heads-are-better-than-one” mentality that regular intra-office meetings were born. But with a trend toward open-office concepts with tightly regulated meeting spaces, increases in off-site employees, and a greater premium placed on efficiency, the regularly occurring 1-hour meeting is no longer a viable calendar event.