Talking the talk
Pitching and presenting yourself is part and parcel of this business and the bigger impact you can make on potential clients the better. In a four part series theatre actress Tessa Morton offers some thoughts on how to make your presentations have the desired effect.
Do you want to know what makes a perfect presentation? Don’t ask me! If I knew I would write the book and buy my island. But what I do know is that in the last 20 years of coaching speakers, there are four things that have really made a difference and although they may not guarantee perfection, they will help you be more dynamic, more natural, more present and ultimately more memorable.
These four things have one thing in common, in fact two, the first, and hopefully more comforting one is that you can already do them, and have probably done them several times today without knowing and the second, is that they are all techniques that professional actors are painstakingly taught to perfect their craft.
So what are these four mysterious things?
Well, I will let you into the secret of the first in this article, I don’t want to over burden you and also being quite verbose, I don’t think I have the linage; the other three will follow in due course.
Tip number 1. The Power of Purpose.
Purpose (or motivation) is what drives our communication. If you want to get your mum to make you a cup of tea your communication may have charm, plead, need attached to it, if you want to get your teenage son out of bed, your communication may have urge, reprimand, and possibly despair. Just think, would you get the result in either of these cases if you were not committed to your purpose? Not in my house!
So in a presentation situation it is vital to be clear and committed to your purpose, but more than that make sure your purpose has a direct and effecting relationship on your audience.
More often than not the driving purpose in any pitch or presentation is to TELL, INFORM, UPDATE or REVIEW.
These are all valid purposes but are limited in their dynamic. Think of the communication effect of someone informing or someone telling.
Contrast that with the communication effect of someone INSPIRING, CHALLENGING or REASSURING, which meeting would you rather attend? Recently I asked a managing partner in a law firm what his purpose was, and he said “to not look stupid, to not forget my lines and to finish on time”. All valiant purposes, but I think you can imagine how forgettable his presentation was.
Now to try this out: Next time you are presenting think in advance about what you want your audience to feel and commit to making it happen.
Steal from this list if you want: Inspire / Excite / Shock / Reassure / Challenge / Seduce / Impressed / Awake / Urge / Motivate / Provoke
Try it; you might get that cup of tea.