What about those ubiquitous articles that offer “presentation tips” to help improve your business presenting?
I hate ’em.
Even so, I sometimes relent . . . and give a tip.
In fact, I’m often asked for “quick tips” to improve a presentation or a speech, and I invariably oblige . . . even though I’m philosophically opposed to the “McTips” school of presentation instruction.
Why do I relent?
A hasty presentation McTip can sometimes offer the exact solution needed. Often, all it takes for a fine speaker to vault to the next level is the correction of a tic or bad habit.
These tics affect us all, and they’re like barnacles on a ship, slowing us down. They prevent us from reaching our full potential.
And so, I acknowledge that sometimes a single “tip” can make a powerful difference in the presenting trajectory of an individual person striving to tweak his delivery in a meaningful way.
So here’s a tip.
Here’s a “McTip” for the Day
We all engage in a particular debilitating phrase. We’re all guilty of it at some point. This phrase is like a leech, fastened onto our presentation, sucking the lifeblood from us.
No, not a lot of blood.
That’s why it’s so insidious. It seems so harmless.
It sucks not a lot of energy. But one leech leads to another. And soon . . .
Well, let’s not dwell on the horror.
Instead, just stop saying it.
Stop saying this power-leeching phrase:
That’s it. And it’s insidiously mundane, isn’t it?
Nondescript. Seemingly harmless.
Don’t Say It! Just Don’t!
I know how this phrase creeps in. It ambushes me at times.
Deep into our presentation, we glance at the screen and we begin to make a point. Then suddenly, we realize with horror that–
Our minds furiously spin . . .
In a flash, our imaginations suppose that the audience is filled with Gotcha! types who are poised to leap to their feet and point accusing fingers at us, shouting “You already said that!”
So we reflexively qualify what we say by telegraphing that, indeed, we said it already: “As I mentioned before–”
“As I said before–”
Or someone else on our team already said it: “As my colleague already mentioned–”
This drags down your presentation with every utterance of this putrid phrase. This putrid phrase, in fact, adds no value whatever, and it detracts significantly from presentation flow.
It’s a distraction.
More Presentation Tips . . . ?
It upends audience attention, sending their minds back to some previous point in the presentation that they missed any way.
Go ahead and say it again. And again. And again.
Say it in different ways. Say it in the same way.
Hammer home your main points with repetition and emphasis.
And never, ever announce that you’re repeating yourself.
You’ll find more presentation tips – ugh – in my book The Complete Guide to Business School Presenting.