Authentic Presentations – If your presentation style were a meal, would it be an authentic, unique offering or more like a chain restaurant experience?
I hope that when you travel you take the time to seek out dining experiences that are unique to your destination. Chicago has amazing deep-dish pizza; New Orleans, spirit-lifting creole; and Philadelphia, renowned cheese steaks.
Video: Be an authentic speaker
Charles Greene III in Austin, TX
Yes, you could fry beignets at home. However, they’ll pale in comparison to the experience of sitting at Café du Monde in New Orleans and being served a plate of warm beignets topped with a mountain of powered sugar. Substitutes for authentic food experiences can’t replace the “real deal.”
Do you give your audience the very best of you? Do your presentations offer the “real deal?” Follow the menu below for ways to serve up a more authentic you.
4 steps to serve up authentic presentation experiences.
1) Discover the real you. You can’t present your authentic self if you are currently presenting like someone else. See what your audiences see. Video yourself presenting. Video will reveal what you really say and do when you present. Reviewing the video will let you see the areas that need improvement. Yes, watching yourself can be difficult and boring. However, it’s the fastest way to see the reality of your presentations.
2) Make your style unique. As with food, it’s sometimes not what’s on the plate, but how it’s delivered to the table. Does the steak of your presentation have any sizzle? Do your words come with a side of awesome sauce? Listen closely to the audio of the video. Does your message speak more about you than about the needs of your audience? More customization to their needs would help. Do you speak in a monotone? Work on changing your pitch, pace, and tone when you speak. Customization and vocal variety make your message unique and more appealing.
3) Deliver quality, not quantity. Most speakers try to fit too much information into too little time. Do you find yourself constantly going over your allotted time? Are you always talking faster to squeeze in all of your slides? You may be offering your audiences a smorgasbord of TMI – Too Much Information. Less is more. Pare your presentation to the critical elements. Using a slide deck? Narrow down its size. Using less information and fewer slides will give you a more focused presentation with more impact.
4) Take time to practice. All speakers fall somewhere on the spectrum of skill. Some are chain-food style presenters who just crank it out. Some are like master chefs of communication who use masterful technique to please each audience. No matter where you are on that spectrum, practice and thoughtful review will improve your speaking authenticity. Mahatma Gandhi said, “An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.” Practice. And then, practice some more. See tips and video on the best way to practice.
The choice to be a better speaker is always yours.
It’s your turn now. Lots of speakers want to be more memorable and engaging, but few do the off-stage work needed to evolve their presentations. You can reach that point of offering more of your true self. Leave the “chain restaurant” experience to the masses. Be an authentic speaker.
Charles Greene III