Always a privilege to coach a team of especially powerful presenters.
This team from Drexel University is top-notch and ready for case competition.
Combining superb analytical skills with top-drawer presentation skills, Team LeBow offers a keen amalgam of savoir faire and elan and is imbued with a pervasive humility that makes them a pleasure to work with.
How can you enrich your presenting in unexpected and wonderful ways so to give an interesting presentation regardless of your audience?
To deepen and broaden your perspective so that it encompasses that proverbial “big picture” we forever hear about?
You must become a 3-D presenter.
Now, this means several things. It includes how you utilize the stage to your utmost advantage. A major component is the exercising of your mind.
And I talk about that here.
This is the process of enriching your personal context so that you become aware of new and varied sources of information, ideas, concepts, theories.
It means becoming learned in new and wondrous ways.
Think of it as enlarging your world. You increase your reservoir of usable material.
And you connect more readily with varied audiences.
You accomplish this in a pleasant and ongoing process – by forever keeping your mind open to possibilities outside your functional area. By taking your education far beyond undergraduate or graduate school.
Expand Your World
And that process increases your personal competitive advantage steadily and incrementally.
By doing something daily, however brief, that stretches your mind or enables you to make a connection that otherwise might have escaped you.
By reading broadly in areas outside your specialty, and by rekindling those interests that excited and animated you early in life.
This philosophy of daily improvement was a staple of Benjamin Franklin. Franklin believed that we should start our day with an activity, no matter how small, that would make us better people when we go to bed at night . . . regardless of whatever else might have happened that day.
Read a book outside your specialty. Have lunch with a colleague from a different discipline.
Dabble in architecture, engineering, art, poetry, history, science.
We sometimes cloister ourselves in our discipline, our job. We huddle inside our tight little world and forget that other fields can offer insights.
How does this help in preparing my own classes? It’s never certain.
And that’s the beauty and potential of it.
What a leavening experience it is: Thucydides, Machiavelli, Clausewitz, Lincoln, and many others . . .
I do know that it enriches my store of knowledge so that my own presentations continue in 3-dimensional fashion, connected to the “real world” – textured, deeper, and richer than they otherwise would have been.
It will do the same for yours, and it likely aid your development into an especially powerful presenter, imbued with professional presence.
For more on how to give interesting business presentations, click HERE.
Look slightly upward and raise your right hand to your chin, holding your hand in a semi-fist with chin perched and resting on your index finger and thumb – perhaps with your index finger curled comfortably around your chin.
Put your left hand on your hip. Furrow your brow as if deep in thought, which you are.
Now, while looking steadily at the floor or slightly upward at the ceiling, walk slowly in a diagonal approximately four, maybe five steps and stop, feet shoulder-width apart.
Now, assume your basic ready position and look up at your audience.
Your Bought Time
You have just purchased a good 10 seconds to regain your confidence and composure, to regain your thought pattern, and to cobble together your next few sentences.
If this brief respite was not enough to reset yourself, then shift to the default statement.
What do I mean “default statement?”
This is a rescue phrase that you craft beforehand to get you back into your speaking groove.
It consists of something like this: “Let me recapitulate our three points – liberté, égalité, fraternité.”
Other phrases might be: “Now is probably a good time to look again at our main themes . . .” or “We can see again that the issue boils down to the three crucial points that I began with . . .”
And then, you simply begin ticking off your three or four main points of your presentation.
In doing so, you trigger thought processes that put you back onto the correct path.
Think of this method as levering a derailed train back onto the track.
If you have prepared as you should, then it should be no more than a small bump in the road for you to lose train of thought. A minor nuisance with minimal damage.
If you panic, however, it can balloon into something monstrous.
Remember the rescue techniques to regain your train of thought: Chin-scratch and Default Statement.
You can control the damage by utilizing the Chin-scratch, which buys you time to reassert yourself. Failing that, the Default Statement bails you out by taking you back over familiar material you’ve just covered.
If none of the above works, however, you can still stop yourself from going into total meltdown by using the two rescue words I preach to all my students . . . “In conclusion . . .”