Sometimes I’ll hear a dynamic speaker with fancy slides and think, “Yeah. But she wasn’t as good as Dairy Queen.”
Let me explain.
One year, my wife and I celebrated our wedding anniversary at Bacchanalia, which, on its website, bills itself as “Atlanta’s most celebrated restaurant featuring contemporary American cuisine.”
If you give enough presentations, it's going to happen. Someone's going to ask a question and you're not going to know the answer.
Maybe you just need a moment to think about it. Or maybe you just have no clue what to say.
Let's imagine that someone drops a satchel filled with $300,000 cash in front of you. He tells you that you will get the money under one condition.
"After your presentation is done, I'm going to grab three members of your audience," he says. "And I'm going to ask them to restate your key messages. If they can all tell me those messages without hesitation, then you get the money."
Many presentation skills books and workshops will give you dozens of “tips” to help you be a better presenter. You can get advice on how to hold your hands, how to make your voice more interesting, how to tell a story, how to stand, how to walk, etc.
But all those tips can obscure the more important point, which is that presenting is about “connection, not perfection.” We think there are only three things you need to focus on.
The recently departed Yankees catcher, Yogi Berra, coined a sage bit of public speaking wisdom when he said, “I don’t want to make the wrong mistake.”
What does this have to do with public speaking?
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