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Presentation tips won’t help you

Updated: Nov 12, 2019

Everyone in my Present Like a Pro Facebook group wants to improve their presentation skills. Many are looking for presentation tips.

I personally welcome everyone who joins, partly so I can ask the newbie exactly what they want to improve about their presentations.

People want in for many different reasons. Some people join because they are salespeople whose paychecks are determined by the quality of their presentations.

Some of the group members are leaders who need to mobilize their teams and keep them excited and motivated. Some of them are top sales producers who want to be better at presentations.

Many of the group’s members are burning out from presenting all the time in order to make up for a weak call to action or closing ratio. In the trade, we refer to this as “getting off the hamster wheel”.

A majority of people who join my Facebook group take a passive position when presenting. They just consider themselves to be a conduit for information. A passive approach may help them dodge their duties to affect a behavioral shift.

But we don’t need presenters to distribute information. We need presenters to affect change. Every presentation, after all, should contain a call to action.

Getting people to do stuff

It’s not surprising that many people in my Facebook group say that they’re just looking for presentation tips.

But, I have bad news for them. Tips don’t help anyone become a better speaker.

A tip won’t help someone who has been a poor communicator for most of his life. A tip won’t help you improve your closing ratio. A tip won’t improve your income by 20%.

A tip is like putting a band-aid on a gushing wound.

If you’ve been carrying around 50 extra pounds for the last ten years, a tip isn’t going to get you back to your ideal weight.

You might enjoy an afternoon of golf once in a while, but if you really want to improve your golf game, a series of lessons from the golf pro are going to be a lot more helpful than a single tip.

And that’s why speaking tips are not likely to get you drastically different results.

Presentations are about outcomes and outcomes are serious business. After all, your competition is trying to peddle their “outcomes” to the same people you are.

Outcomes are everything

If your presentations are important to you, then so are the outcomes.

An outcome is the result of your call to action.

In other words, what does your audience do as a result of your presentation? If it’s a sales presentation, do they buy? If it’s an inspirational program, is there a measurable shift in their long term attitudes? If it’s a safety presentation, do they stay safe?

Amazing outcomes don’t come about because someone gives you a band-aid. Solid, regular results happen because the presentation and everything connected to it is cultivated.

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld says that he’s impressed with a lot of the younger comics, but that he would be more impressed if they bothered to “cultivate” their stand-up routines.

Cultivation and curation takes time and effort.

A tip is the opposite of an “aha”. The first brings about a quick “aha” and the second brings about long-term mastery.

If you want to solve your leadership or sales problems, stop looking for presentation tips and dive deeper into your situation. Consider getting outside help. If you could fix this, you would have done it already.

Do you want information or transformation?

If you really want to fix your presentations, the first step is to re-calibrate your “presentation GPS”.

Most presenters, for example, think that their presentation is about them. That’s why they say things like “my presentation,” and “my PowerPoint.”

Remember: A presentation is about the outcome and the outcome is for the people you are presenting to.

Sign up for the group if you’re serious about your presentations and I look forward to talking with you!

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