The first of the “Three Ps” is Principles, and there are seven of them.
These Seven Principles of Especially Powerful Presenting constitute the building blocks of your presentation persona. And you’ll not find a PowerPoint slide in sight.
These principles, in short, are you.
Stance . . . Voice . . . Movement . . . Gesture . . . Expression . . . Appearance . . . Passion
But they are difficult secrets. They are difficult, because they require you to actually do something. I think that perhaps when we think of a secret, we tend to equate it with magic. We automatically believe that there is some magic involved that will help us circumvent hard work. But that’s just not so.
The good news is that these secrets actually are secrets that truly work. They also constitute the dimensions along which we can gauge our speaking ability and judge how much we improve. This is the most important aspect of these secrets – they allow us to tear away the veil from those who pose as merely talented and to understand this beast called The Presentation.
Now, let’s plot our dimensions on a 7×7 Chart.
Take, as an example, the chart below, which is labeled across the top with our seven dimensions and along the vertical axis with a seven-point scale of value: Unacceptable, Below Average, Average, Good, Very Good, Superior, Professional.
The chart plots the seven dimensions against a seven-point scale and provides a thorough evaluation of the presenter’s level of skill. From the chart, we can see that this speaker carries a professional-grade stance and is superior with his gestures. All other dimensions indicate work is needed. The advantage of this chart, is that it disaggregates your various speaking tasks so that you can manage them. It separates them out, so that you can identify your weaknesses in a logical and comprehensive way. It also informs you of your strengths, so that you may build upon them.
The upshot is that his First P of Especially Powerful Presenting – Principles – guides us to master the Seven Secrets, to transform ourselves into truly adept presenting instruments, at home in front of any audience and able to connect across a range of subjects and and in a multitude of venues. Elsewhere, I have addressed the Seven Secrets in detail, and I’ll revisit them again soon.
For now, let’s remember that the especially powerful presenters of the past 50 years have used these Secrets – Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama, Steve Jobs, John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King. They don’t announce that they’re using secret techniques and tricks of the trade, of course. They simply let you believe that they were gifted with special talents. Not a chance.
It’s mastery of the Three Ps.
Next . . . Preparation.