One of the biggest challenges when giving a presentation or speaking in public is feeling self-conscious. Similarly, the worst presenters seem too self-absorbed and self-promoting. Presentation expert Nancy Duarte offers this advice to overcome this hurdle: be like Yoda.
Photo by sw77.
After evaluating hundreds of presentations, the most common mistake I see is presenters who are self-absorbed and self-promoting in their content. They (understandably) assume they’re the star of the show since they’re in the spotlight.
Let’s clear something up: you, as the presenter or speaker, are not the most important guy/girl in the room. Just because you’re on a stage or in front of a crowd does not make you the saviour everyone has been waiting for. (This applies whether you are addressing a conference of 10 thousand or holding a team meeting with three people.) Recognise that you are Yoda, not Luke. The most important people in the room are your audience: make them the heroes of your story. Defer to them, because if they don’t engage and believe in your message, you are the one who loses. Without their help, your idea will fail. Become the mentor in their story and whisper guidance in their ear, empowering them to be the agents of change and achieve greatness.
This change in perspective, whether you’ve previously been too self-absorbed or naturally uncomfortable on stage, takes the focus off of you and onto the people who are most important to your presentation: the audience. Like Yoda, you too can teach and inspire — the point of most presentations.
Like Yoda You Must Be [LinkedIn]