Using Your Natural Authentic Presentation Skills
We have talked about the fear of public speaking before and the many factors that input into that.
What I want to discuss with you today is how, I believe, women actually have a natural advantage when public speaking.
First – let’s address what goes on in your mind when you find out you have to do a presentation / have the opportunity to speak in public.
Your first thought might be, “Do I have to? X would be much better than me” or perhaps “I don’t really want to. I know I SHOULD say yes, but I really don’t want to do it”. Or perhaps you are excited by the opportunity but the little voice creeps in that you are not good enough.
You then start thinking about all the reasons why you would be better off NOT doing it. “You are not as polished as that bloke you saw presenting last week. You’re not very creative and therefore your slides are going to look rubbish. You don’t know how to project your voice / stop your knees from shaking / remember everything you want to say.”
Time Have Changed
Well, here’s the thing. Times have changed. Where once – only professional, expensive, TV quality ads were acceptable – now anyone can grab their mobile and make a YouTube or FB video. No-one wants to believes in stuff that is TOO polished, TOO scripted. The “bullshit” filters go up in the audience and they switch off.
They don’t want to see a projection of who you think you should be. They just want YOU. Authenticity is where it’s at nowadays. The arrival of Twitter was the end of spelling, punctuation and grammar. The advent of Lives on social media channels, signalled the end of studio quality videos and presentations.
What your audience want to see is YOU and your unique take on things.
Let’s face it – almost no-one is doing anything unique. Whatever your product, service or idea is, you can bet there are hundreds if not thousands of other people doing the same thing. Thousands of accountants. Thousands of coaches. Thousands of therapists. There are, of course, a few new things invented or discovered, but most people’s businesses are in essence – fairly similar to a lot of others.
The difference is always and only – YOU.
You, and all your years of learning, experience and honing your skills. You and your unique take on the world. You are your own creative thought processes. That’s the difference. The nuances you bring – that you may not even realise or recognise. The things that seem so easy and obvious to you, but don’t seem that way to others. All of this – this YOU – is what people want.
Therefore, when it comes to presentation skills – the BIG one you need to work on is just being you. Letting the audience see the real you, in all your glorious technicolours. They DON’T expect you to be perfect. In fact, if you WERE perfect (which is impossible by the way) or at least they thought you were perfect, they probably wouldn’t buy from you. Whether you have a product, service or just an idea to “sell”, if you look to be so perfect, so far ahead of them, so ‘together’, then they won’t resonate with you.
It’s like all these Facebook ads you see where the presenter (and it is mostly men who do this) is sitting on a Ferrari or a Bentley, in front of a palatial home or in a far flung place in the world where only the very rich go.
Well, I don’t know about you, but that immediately switches me off. I’m either thinking you are faking it till you make it – because I have never heard of you before and suddenly you are the ‘guru’. Or I am thinking – my god – that’s amazing, but I can’t see myself getting there because it might just be a bit too far for me to believe I can get there too.
That type of marketing is dead or at least dying in my opinion.
People Want To See The Real You
The reality is your audience wants the real you. They want to see that you are a person just like them with problems and challenges, and you have found some stuff that works for you and might work for them. It is not the golden ticket to a life with no problems, flashy cars and big houses. But it might be just what they need right now.
And if they can see the real authenticate YOU, they will be much more likely to want what you have or what you can teach them.
Now, if you are like many women, you may have a slight problem being the authenticate you. You may spend a lot of time being what other people want you to be, or what you THINK you should be. And that’s perfectly normal.
It’s also why I speak about this subject all around the world on various stages and why I run the Find Your Why retreats with my business partner, Marion Bevington, where I am right now. We are in sunny Marrakesh – away from the rain and cloudy UK skies – helping women to find out who they really are and what they are here on this planet to be, do and have.